- - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It is disturbing that The Washington Times chose to publish anti-Muslim hate propaganda targeting European Muslims (“As Christianity exits Europe, ‘Criminal Muslims’ fill void with rabid violence” on Dec. 29) at the same time that mosques in Sweden have been the repeated targets of arson attacks, “neo-Nazis in pinstripes” are staging Islamophobic rallies in Germany and a well-known French television personality has called for the deportation of millions of that nation’s Muslim citizens.

In her Islamophobic polemic, Bethany Blankley echoed the call to remove the continent’s Muslim population when she approvingly quoted a Dutch politician who seeks the deportation of all Muslims, calls for shutting down all mosques and recommends closing European borders to people from Muslim-majority nations.

She based her extremist views on fake claims such as: “In Sweden, Muslim immigrants account for 5 percent of its population but commit 77 percent of its crime.”

In fact, Sweden does not compile statistics on the religion or ethnicity of convicted criminals. Her lie seems to be based on almost 30-year-old statistics offered by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention about “immigrants” and sexual offenses. No mention is made of “Muslims” and the immigrant population of Sweden was much different 30 years ago than it is today.

Another of Ms. Blankley’s falsehoods, that “According to Swedish Public Radio, in Stockholm alone, over 1,000 Swedish women reported that a Muslim immigrant raped them; 300 were under age 15,” is easily refuted by the actual script of that story, which makes no mention of “Muslims” or even “immigrants.”

All of the other “statistics” Blankley offers to suggest that Islam “spawns criminal minds” and that Muslims are the source of all evil in Europe are traceable back to anti-Islam hate sites on the Internet that offer no references that can be checked for accuracy.

For example, when trying to verify one of Ms. Blankley’s “statistics,” the trail leads to a racist blog post about how “Muslim inbreeding” leads to the “limited ability to understand, appreciate and produce knowledge.”

In her conclusion, Ms. Blankley urges European politicians to “speak truth, name and fight evil, which is Islam, [or] these countries will implode.”

No one needs a reminder of what happened the last time a European leader falsely claimed a religious minority was the source of all the continent’s social ills and sought its elimination.

It seems Ms. Blankley would have us repeat that dark period in world history. The Washington Times should not offer her a platform for an implicit call to genocide.

Nihad Awad is national executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.

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