In the News: U.S. House Resolution 569 Condemns Anti-Muslim Bigotry

A resolution recently introduced into the United States House of Representatives condemns “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims.”

H.Res.569 – Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States., 114th Congress, 1st Session, 2015-12-17

RESOLUTION

Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.

Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;

[…]

Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;

Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances; and

Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

[…]

(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;

[…]

Although acts of violence against anyone, including Muslims, must be condemned, what we see here is a disturbing trend—a sort of creeping multiculturalism—where Muslims are singled out and identified more with their religious community than with their role as citizens. Although this resolutions fortunately does not mention the buzz-word “Islamophobia” and speaks more correctly of anti-Muslim prejudice, it nevertheless bears a disturbing resemblance to Quebec’s Draft Bill 59 which the Couillard government plans to adopt, a bill which pleases only Islamist fundamentalists and is opposed by all others as a threat to freedom of expression and the right to criticize religion in general and Islam in particular.

The representatives responsible for this resolution need to answer a few obvious questions:

  • Why should Muslims be singled out for special protection? What about discrimination against other religious believers? What about the very real prejudice against atheists, especially in the United States?
  • Why does the resolution condemn violence against Muslims or those perceived as Muslims, but fail to denounce violence against non-Muslims perpetrated by Islamist jihadists? Not only is the latter just as serious as the former, but indeed it is the main cause of anti-Muslim prejudice!
  • Why does the resolution endorse “religious articles of clothing” such as hijabs and headscarves, when these articles are indeed potent symbols of the very Islamism which is the root cause of the problem? Would it not make more sense to discourage or prohibit such symbols in the country’s public services in order to indicate to the population that the authorities take the problem seriously?

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