“Islamophobia” at home and abroad is a recurring focus of the New York Times. Even after multiple reports of sexual assaults by Islamic migrants, and the problems of assimilation and cost, the Times can only see one reason for opposition: Racism.
In his sycophantic report on the meeting of the Islamic Society of North America, “Muslims Forum Laments ‘Normalization of Bigotry’ In Current Political Scene,” Ron Nixon had to steer clear of some embarrassing facts, with federal prosecutors linking the group to Hamas and other anti-Israel terrorist groups. Elsewhere, reporter Alison Smale tried to cram as many "far-right" labels into a small space as possible, and David Zucchino fretted whether "a longstanding but latent racial hostility is being unearthed" in Denmark for the nation having qualms about admitting Islamic refugees.
As is its habit, the Times strung together some anecdotes from across America that purportedly showed Islamophobia running rampant in the streets.
An imam of a mosque in New York City and his associate shot dead while strolling following afternoon prayers. A presidential candidate calling for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States. Muslim women harassed and physically attacked in Chicago while walking to their car.
During the Islamic Society of North America convention that started here on Friday, official speakers said these actions had become all too commonplace in the United States.
“In this political climate, we’ve seen a normalization of bigotry,” said Altaf Husain, an associate professor at Howard University and a vice president of the society, whose convention here is the largest Muslim gathering in the United States and Canada.
But Mr. Husain, expressing what he said was the sentiment of many other American Muslims, said the Obama administration had made it a priority to bolster engagement with Muslims across the country. The latest example of the administration’s engagement came Saturday night when Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, became the first sitting cabinet member to address the Islamic Society’s convention.
Mr. Johnson said his own history had made him more sensitive to the angry speech and physical attacks directed at Muslims.
He cited his grandfather, Charles S. Johnson, the first black president of Fisk University, who was called before the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee in 1949. In his testimony, he denied being a communist and defended the patriotism of African-Americans, who were accused of being anti-American for advocating civil rights.
Nixon tried to steer the terror conversation away from radical Islam and toward “white nationalist” groups.
The conference also featured a heated debate among several Muslim scholars and activists about the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to counter extremism and recruitment by groups like the Islamic State. Several panelists said the government’s efforts focused on potential extremism within Muslim communities to the exclusion of white nationalist groups, which have been linked to several domestic terrorist attacks.
That same day, reporter Alison Smale went on a labeling spree in a report from Berlin in “German Far-Right Party Overtakes Merkel’s Bloc in Elections in Her Home State.”
Voters in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political home state delivered her a stinging rebuke on Sunday, propelling a far-right party to second place in the state legislature, ahead of her center-right bloc.
It is the first time in an election in modern Germany that a far-right party has overtaken Ms. Merkel’s bloc of Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.
Official results released early Monday showed that Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats had received 19 percent of the vote, against 21 percent for the far-right Alternative for Germany. The center-left Social Democrats, with whom Ms. Merkel governs nationally, got 31 percent in the state, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and are likely to continue their coalition there with Ms. Merkel’s bloc.
The vote took place a year to the day after Ms. Merkel agreed with Austria that the two countries would admit thousands of mostly Syrian refugees then trapped in Hungary, with several hundred desperately marching on foot toward the West.
Initial analysis in poll research undertaken for the public service broadcaster ARD indicated that the far-right party had benefited heavily from people who had not voted in previous elections, and then in drawing votes from Ms. Merkel’s conservatives. The research also showed that 75 percent of voters for the far right said they wanted to deliver a protest message to the mainstream political parties.
In recent weeks, her conservatives emphasized the “homeland” and public safety -- traditionally far-right themes -- in the northeast and in the city-state of Berlin, which votes on Sept. 18.
Asked if it had been a mistake to try to stop the far right by embracing its themes, Mr. Tauber noted that voters had clearly shown fear of losing out in globalization and were worried for their future. “In elections, I really think you have to address the themes voters say are preoccupying them,” he said.
A Tuesday front-page story by David Zucchino, “Muslim Migrants Spawn Backlash in Denmark,” followed a similar pattern. The online deck of headlines was particularly unforgiving: “‘I’ve Become a Racist’: Migrant Wave Unleashes Danish Tensions Over Identity -- The thousands of Muslim asylum seekers pouring into Denmark have spawned a backlash, and questions over whether the country has a latent racial hostility at its core.”
Johnny Christensen, a stout and silver-whiskered retired bank employee, always thought of himself as sympathetic to people fleeing war and welcoming to immigrants. But after more than 36,000 mostly Muslim asylum seekers poured into Denmark over the past two years, Mr. Christensen, 65, said, “I’ve become a racist.”
The recent influx pales next to the one million migrants absorbed into Germany or the 163,000 into Sweden last year, but the pace shocked this stable, homogeneous country. The center-right government has backed harsh measures targeting migrants, hate speech has spiked, and the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party is now the second largest in Parliament.
There is tension, too, over whether the backlash is really about a strain on Denmark’s generous public benefits or a rising terrorist threat -- or whether a longstanding but latent racial hostility is being unearthed.
Zucchino finally got around to the issue of terror:
Denmark is just one of many European nations grappling with the wave of migrants amid a spate of terrorist attacks across the Continent by Islamic extremists: A recent Pew Research Center survey found that at least half the citizens in eight of 10 countries polled said incoming refugees increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks.