Dalia Mogahed is Chairman and CEO of Mogahed Consulting and former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. She has written a well researched article, which is worth reading. Click here to read her piece.
In her brilliant piece, she writes "anti-Muslim sentiment is almost entirely independent of the events of international conflicts, or even terrorist acts on U.S. soil, and much more tightly linked to election cycles and building domestic consent.
As horrific as the attacks of September 11th 2001 were, the rise and fall (mostly rise) of negative sentiment toward Muslims and Islam in America does not coincide with this or any other Al-Qaeda act of violence. Instead, levels of anti-Muslim sentiment follow trends in domestic U.S. politics, not international terrorism."
She argues, leaders matter. And she is absolutely right on the spot. She concludes, "Most importantly, Islamophobia is the result of deliberate public manipulation, not organic cultural difference or a response to discrete acts of violence. As such, those who perpetuate anti-Muslim prejudice undermine our democracy by manipulating and misinforming the American people. Muslim Americans are vital organs in the body of the nation and the disease of racism turns the body against its self, making it mistake vital organs for foreign agents. This disease doesn’t only hurt those organs, but it eventually kills the entire body if not abated."