It is true, the Koran burning and the anti-mosque sentiment. However, the Times Square bomber and the 5 in Virginia, occur BEFORE these issues. The shooter at Fort Hood - BEFORE.
Nine years on Dawn Editorial
Saturday, 11 Sep, 2010
Nine years since the tragic events of Sept 11, 2001 there is an unmistakable sense that Islamophobia is on the rise in the West, a development that could have dangerous consequences on the fight against militancy across the world. Consider that in the early years after 9/11, the Muslim community in the US was heralded as an example of how followers of Islam could find a comfortable niche for themselves in western society. That is no longer true, with the furore over the ‘ground zero mosque’ and a malevolent attempt by a fringe pastor in Florida to deliberately hurt Muslim sentiments dominating the news in recent weeks.
Of course, not all of this is happening in a vacuum. Faisal Shahzad (the young man of Pakistani origin who attempted to bomb Times Square in New York) and the ‘Virginia Five’ (young Muslim men who travelled to Pakistan in search of jihadi inspiration before being caught and convicted by an anti-terrorism court here) are just two examples of disaffected Muslims in the US turning to militant Islam — a dangerous development for security in the West.
Nevertheless, it remains true that while the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the West do not in any way identify with the violence of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, Muslims as a whole are being tarred by the brush of terrorism and violent jihad. The worst offenders, strangely enough, are politicians, ostensibly the ones who are supposed to uphold the values of tolerance and inclusivism of western society. Having figured out that Islamophobia may be a potent vote-getter, Republicans have been keen to exploit the issue of the ‘ground zero mosque’ and continue to peddle the ‘suspicion’ that President Obama may be a closet Muslim. The problem goes beyond American shores of course, there being a real fear among western Muslims that right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiments in Europe may be whipped up again. Looking at this uncomfortable state of affairs, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Al Qaeda must be pleased: what better way to prove that the West is out to undermine Islam than to expose its intolerance towards Muslims?