US Actions- Anti-moslem is OK, anti-semitism is not?

In another thread I had a sudden realization that the US reaction to 9/11 has led to treatment of Moslem people that would be seen as anti-semitic if similar actions in similar circumstances were taken against Jewish people.

So I ask:

If Ashcroft and Rumsfield had acted as they have against Jews in similar circumstances to 9/11 (as unlikely as this may be- either in its commision or the US reaction), then would they be rightly seen as anti-semitic.

Why does it seem OK for US-Moslems and other Moslems to be treated like this without much outcry about human rights and racism?

Why is this more of an issue in Europe than it seems to be in the US?

Cite, please? Because I see a sizable number of people who are complaining about the abuse and ill treatment of American Muslems.

The notion “it seems OK for US-Moslems and other Moslems to be treated like this” needs more support other than your general impressions.

I rely on monitoring the US serious press (via the web) plus Fox and CNN International.

Considering the level of violation of civil rights, it seems to me that there is little anxiety about these actions. Conversely, the BBC, Reuters, Agence France Press, plus the serious papers in Britain and Europe have given a great deal of coverage to these matters.

My suggestion is that within US society, there is less concern for Moslem rights than for the rights of Jews because of the continuous anti-Arab/pro-Israel bias of the broadcast media and the press.

I don’t believe there is any way to compare the two. How often do we see Jewish extremists crashing planes into US buildings? How many Jewish terrorist groups are there bent on destroying the United States? How often is the US forced to go to action to try to prevent further Jewish terrorist attacks?

But there is a way to compare them. Is there less concern in America for Moslem rights? Not terrorist rights, not extremist rights but Moslem rights. Are you saying that because there are terrorists that are Moslem it’s ok to dismiss them as a whole?

Pjen hasn’t shown that there is a case to be answered here AFAIC but Monster104 it shouldn’t matter what a very small percentage of Moslems are doing when we are talking about rights attributed to people.

I’ll have to echo rjung.

Cite, please?
You’ve been asked for documentation to back up this sort of charge repeatedly, but have failed to provide it.
And no, “I read it in The Guardian” will not be sufficient.

Monster does have a point. Even though it is a small number of bad apples who are the terrorists, they are still Muslim. So, the impression many people are left with is that Muslim=terrorist.

Islam, historically speaking, has also not been a “mainstream” religeon in the US. It has only been relatively recently that Judeism has been considered mainstream.

So that is why Muslims here is the US may seem to be treated more poorly than Jews.

In general, I don’t think that is the case. I have heard of a few incidents in the news, but in general, I don’t hear too many of the Muslims I work with complaining about poor treatment.

Pjen, it is a complex question. No doubt that people are being mistreated as has been discussed in other threads. The first question is to what extent they are being mistreated on account of their being Muslim. I think we will agree this is not the sole or even the primary motivation but yes, I would agree that it is part of the equation. People with links to Muslim terrorists are most likely to be Muslims themselves so it is part of the profile but I do not think anyone can say (or that you intended to say) they are being abused only or primarily because they are Muslims.

Having said that, your question is a valid one. If the terrorists had been Jewish, would the government do the same things to people who are Jewish and would the country as a whole allow it to the same measure?

Frankly, I think it is a question impossible to answer. If Jewish groups would decide to attack the US it would be because Jews as a whole perceived the US as an enemy (in the way Muslims do today). That would imply a reversal of the situation where the US was on the Arab side and against the Jews. A Jewish attack under other circumstances does not make sense. Under these circumstances, then yes, Americans would allow the same things to be done to Jews.

Under present circumstances the answer is no but under present circumstances a Jewish attack on the US makes no sense. In other words it is the same circumstaces which make possible the attacks and the reaction and you can’t have one without the other.

One can look at Jews who broke the law in the financial sphere. E.g., Michael Milken. He was punished harshly (which I think he deserved.)

Another example was the management Equity Funding, many years ago. They were deservedly sent to prison for their crimes. However, gentiles who committed similar misdeeds weren’t punished or not as much.

If one were to do a Pjen-style tar-and-feather job based on recent events in a number of countries, it would be titled:

“Europe: Anti-Moslem is OK, anti-semitism is even better?”

I think that just the opposite is true. People tend to see it as Terrorist = Muslim. This is of course a massive oversimplification as terrorists certainly aren’t limited to professing that particular faith. Still a vast body of experience and media coverage has driven the point home.

This is the part of the pjen’s argument that has not been proved, and indeed is flat out incorrect. Muslims rights in the U.S. simply haven’t been violated in the way pjen suggests.

A Google search reveals that there are no existing comprehensive surveys of the Muslim population in the U.S. (the Census Bureau doesn’t seek out information on religious affiliation). Estimates range from 900,000 to 9 million - the larger figures generally coming from Muslim organizations - with the best estimates (based upon extrapolations from scientifically-conducted surveys of smaller groups) in the 1.9-2.8 million range.

Approximately 1,250 people have been detained in the post-9/11 sweep, of which about 750 had actually, honest to God committed crimes, primarily immigration violations.

So, anywhere from .00055% to .14% of the Muslim population in the U.S. have had their civil rights violated, depending on your definition of violation and your belief about the size of the U.S. Muslim population. Personally, I would take around .021% as the figure - the approximately 500 non-immigration detainees from a population of 2.4 million.

The conclusion I draw is that the OP is absolute bunk - there has not been a large-scale - or even small-scale - abridgement of the civil rights of the U.S. Muslim population.

That there have been violations of civil rights in the wake of 9/11 I have no doubt, and I find it sickening. Those violations, however, are empathically not caused by, or evidence of, an anti-Muslim bias.


It happens that the only terrorists who attack American targets are Muslim. Since this angers Americans, many find a convenient scapegoat to take out their frustrations on.

Do Muslims in general feel the US is an enemy? There are a lot of Muslims in a lot of countries.

Pjen makes a point at least as far as this board is concerned. I can post criticism of Muslims and Muslim nations and it is met with little or no response of anti - muslim despite their being a fair share of their supporters here. They seem more likely to handle criticism. Post criticism of Jews or Israel and “anti - semitism” will show up by the truck load. These people don’t take criticism well and attempt to discredit any source by attaching “anti - semitic” to it.

Not that this is necessarily a justifiable position, but I would wager that the following is how many Americans view the situation (so don’t shoot the messanger just b/c you don’t like what you hear):

  • the majority of terrorist acts the U.S. has been victim to were perpetrated by Muslims–9/11, Lebanon, U.S.S. Cole, Iranian hostages, etc. (Oklahoma City, Columbine, etc., are notable exceptions) This leads to an overgeneralization that most/all Muslims are bloodthirsty and want us destroyed.

  • anti-American sentiment is high in predominantly Muslim nations, and this point is driven home anytime we see Al Jazeera broadcasts of angry anti-American protests

  • the Jews have a long history of getting kicked around by everyone on the planet, from ancient Egypt to Rome to the Catholic Church to modern nations to the Nazis; since the Western world failed pretty miserably to stop the slaughter of Jews in WWII, we feel particularly guilty and keen to prevent any further discrimination against them

  • for the past thousand years, muslim nations were a very real threat to European nations; Muslim rulers swept like a fire through all of northern Africa and Spain before being halted, and you can be damn sure the princes and popes of Europe were very worried that they might be next

  • and, unfortunately, however much you want to say that Islam is a peaceful religion, it was born in combat (not that Christianity wasn’t, also) and the constant cry of Jihad! by Muslim demagogues over the past few decades, as well as the prevalence of fundamentalist Muslim regimes who tolerate no law but the Sharia and no religion but Islam, hasn’t helped the perception

  • the fact that one of the PLO’s stated aims has always been the total destruction of Israel doesn’t generate a lot of sympathy for the Palestinians

So there’s a laundry list of all the baggage we carry that helps to contribute to a general perception that anti-semitism = bad / anti-islam = might be justified. Whether that perception is valid is totally beside the point.

And, I, too, disagree with the assertion that Muslims have, in fact been mistreated in the U.S. since 9/11.

Sweet Willy, your point, whether or not accurate or valid, is utterly irrelevant to the OP. Pjen raised the issue of alleged ill treatment of Muslims by the U.S. Government, not this message board.


Sua, The question is about attitudes towards government policies. The OP cites the difference in European attitudes and attitudes here towards these groups. The question of why don’t more people call for human rights on one side of the issue can be related to public opinion which can be relative to all kinds of things that influence public opinion which is evident on a message board that is obviously a cross section of public opinion. It is relevant to the OP by revealing the disposition of a cross section of people towards the groups at hand. If you disregard it however, it is irrelevant in your world.

Only is a pretty loaded word in any context. Using it here just begs for correction. Certainly “a lot” or maybe even “most” would be far more realistic. toadspittle has already pointed out a couple of instances where your statement was incorrect.

OK, let’s clarify the thought experiment.

As part of a forthcoming ‘Peace Process’ in the Holy Land, the US forces the closure of orthodox settlements in Palestinian territory.

A small group of fanatic orthodox Jews see this as an abomination and organise a dirty bomb attack on Washington DC.

Do you think:

1/ 1250 random Jews who had tenuous links with people who lived in the settlements would be arrested and some of them held for long periods on technical violation charges.

2/ Fox news would refer to anyone of Orthodox appearance as lid-heads in the same way that towel-head was a common epithet last September.

3/ That the US Government would try to convince the British Government that a Jewish Nuclear Scientist who had once sat at the same table as one of the perpetrators should be extradited because he had lied on a medical (REAL CASE!!-some details changed.)

4/ That the US News Media would be as accepting of this level of discrimination as it has been with Moslems.

toadspittle, let me begin this post by saying that I’m not disagreeing with the overall sense of what you are saying or the point you’re making. I think you outline the factors which contribute to American perceptions of Islam/Muslims quite well. But, if I may, I am going to borrow your words and go a little further with them. If you will, I’m challenging the attitudes you outline, not your representation of them. No offense, I trust.

This may be how it appears but it’s always the noisy barrels who get the most attention, whether from al-Jazeera or CNN. Can we really generalize about entire countries based on those who manage to get onto their TV news?

…and the princes and popes of Western Europe swept through Byzantium and the Levant with much the same result, while in Iberia the Christian kings eventually drove the Moors back. Warfare was as much a part of the Christian world as the Islamic world – then and now. In the USA we have institutionalized warfare as much as, say, Iraq. This is not really a religious phenomenon.

…and the Catholic Church once professed to be “the one, true Faith” and burned people at the stake. Hitler and his cronies murdered millions of Jews (and others) in the name of “racial purity”. We’ve seen similar events in Rwanda, Bosnia and Serbia in the last ten years. This is about fear and ignorance, not religion. All that changes are the names given to “The Cause”.

Again, my point is not to dismantle toadspittle’s arguments, because they nicely frame the perceptions that many Americans, rightly or wrongly, have about Muslims and the Islamic world.

My point: in the end I don’t think the religious affiliation of the perpetrators ought to matter. What matters is that particular, individual people did something which I/you/we find horrible and reprehensible. Stressing the fact that they were Muslim, Serbian, Catholic, Jewish, German, etc. only serves to associate them with a larger group who probably does not share their views. In any case, I’m not going to assume that the larger group does until I’m sure I’ve got good evidence of that.

And yes, like many others here, I think the OP needs to provide a bit more concrete evidence before the original question can be fairly addressed.