Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anti-semitic crimes so prevalent in US, they aren't reported

From Bella at It's Complicated:

When, almost two weeks ago, a particularly serious anti-Jewish hate crime was committed in Brooklyn, the NY Times first reported it only in it's Metro section blog and then sat on the story for a full weekend before doing a follow up. In the meantime both NY tabloids, The Daily News and The NY Post reported it throughout the weekend as a matter of urgency. But they're just tabloids. 
Coincidentally, I happened to be perusing the Southern Poverty Law Center's website and was surprised to discover that Antisemitism is not listed as a specific 'ideology' (apart from Holocaust Denial) in its Intelligence Files. I found that rather confusing and wrote to Mark Potok asking for an explanation. He very graciously responded with a phone call and explained that because Antisemitism is to be found among just about every hate group/ideology -- from Left to Right -- it cannot be made to fit into SPLC's morphology. What I heard was that Antisemitism is so ubiquitous in our society that somehow it defies categorization. 

So prevalent, so expected is it in our society that the press barely mentions it when, as Jeffrey Goldberg  posted today, the FBI reports that crimes against Jews qua Jews tops the list of all religion-based crimes in the US. That is, 65.4% are committed against Jews, as opposed to, for example, 13.2% against Muslims.

This gets us back to Mark Potok of SPLC, who cited, in an Huffington Post article, a 50% increase in hate-crimes against Muslims, but, as Goldberg remarks, didn't mention anti-Jewish crimes. I guess that just doesn't rate a mention.
I don't know the reason that anti-Muslim hate crimes spiked this year. I do have a couple of observations, though.

In a "Caution to Users," the FBI warns against drawing conclusions about hate crimes from one year to the next:
Some data in this publication may not be comparable to those in prior editions of Hate Crime Statistics because of differing levels of participation from year to year.

When Muslims want to report hate crime or violations of civil rights, they can find a link off of the main page of the CAIR website to a form they can fill out. I assume that CAIR works pro-actively to report these to relevant law-enforcement agencies as bias crimes. I am not aware of any similarly widely-available method for Jews to report anti-semitic crimes.

The ADL has reports on anti-Muslim hate crimes. CAIR has a few mentions of specific anti-semitic acts but it seems perfunctory.

And the CAIR site has this interesting part about Islamophobia:
Islamophobia has resulted in the general and unquestioned acceptance of the following:

  • Islam is monolithic and cannot adapt to new realities.
  • Islam does not share common values with other major faiths.
  • Islam as a religion is inferior to the West. It is archaic, barbaric and irrational.
  • Islam is a religion of violence and supports terrorism.
  • Islam is a violent political ideology.[i]

As such any criticism by Muslims of American policy towards the Muslim world is dismissed as being “reactionary,” “anti-Semitic” and “irrational.”
In this short section, CAIR shows that it has an even more simplistic and dismissive view of their critics than the critics have of Muslims!

(h/t O)