It took two weeks after the mass slaughter by radical Islamists in Paris, but the New York Times finally finds itself comfortable with raising the false spectre of American "Islamophobia," with an enormous assist from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the so-called civil-rights organization which many on both left and right consider a Muslim pressure group, and whose ties to Hamas have been documented in federal court and by Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.
Reporter Kirk Semple breezed past all that to repeatedly cite CAIR in Thursday's Metro story: "'I'm Frightened': After Attacks in Paris, New York Muslims Cope With a Backlash."
The group was mentioned no less than four times in different contexts, making one wonder just where the Times' "Islamophobia" angle originated.
Even the Times' headline quote, "I'm frightened," comes straight from a representative of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (CAIR is also apparently frightened of documentaries that expose Islam's own "civil rights" record on women.)
In the days since the Paris terrorist attacks, Muslims in New York and elsewhere have guarded against a violent backlash, changing their routines and trying to manage their fear.
Still, the violence has come.
In the past week and a half, several Muslims in New York, mostly women wearing head scarves, have reported being victims of verbal abuse and physical assault. Even some non-Muslims -- including at least one Latino mistaken for a Muslim -- have been subjected to Islamophobic taunts or worse, community leaders said.
In an episode the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported this week, two Muslim women in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn said that a man claiming to be a postal worker assaulted them, elbowing one and spitting in her face, and telling them he was going to burn down their “temple.” The police arrested a man on Tuesday in connection with the episode and charged him with aggravated harassment and menacing as a hate crime.
“We’ve never seen so much backlash against the Muslim community” since the Sept. 11 attacks, said Sadyia Khalique, director of operations for the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “I’m frightened.”
While Muslims in the United States say they have come to expect an anti-Islamic reaction to any major terrorist attack on Western soil carried out in the name of Islam, the vitriolic response to the Paris attacks has found an accelerant in Congress and the American presidential campaign.
Islamophobia spurred by the Paris attacks has been bolstered by Republican candidates’ provocative statements about Muslim refugees from Syria, and by the vote in the House of Representatives to halt the resettlement of those refugees in the United States, Muslim leaders assert.
Recent remarks by Donald J. Trump, the Republican front-runner, have been particularly incendiary, including his suggestion that he would put in place a database to track Muslims.
These developments, Muslim leaders say, have in effect sanctioned and encouraged anti-Islamic sentiment in the broader population. In a statement on Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called the phenomenon “the mainstreaming of Islamophobia.”
With each passing day, Muslims say, they are growing more fearful for their lives.
Semple found more "help" coming from CAIR:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has distributed a pamphlet with guidelines on how to protect a mosque....
Nothing critical of CAIR was said, though there has long been plenty of criticism and concern from both left, right, and the FBI. Liberal atheist Sam Harris has stated "I have long considered CAIR to be an Islamist pressure group masquerading as a human rights organization."
CAIR applauded when brave Muslim apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose life has long been threatened by radical Islamists, had an honorary degree from Brandeis University rescinded because she was (in their words) a "notorious anti-Muslim extremist."
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer noted that the group's cofounders have "intimate links to Hamas," the anti-Israeli terrorist group. The Times itself has reported that the FBI cut off "high-level cooperation with the group" in 2008.