The term “Islamophobia” was invented and promoted in the early 1990s by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad -- who was with that organization when the
word was formally created, and who has since rejected IIIT's ideology -- now reveals the original intent behind the concept of Islamophobia: “This loathsome term is nothing more than a
thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks
for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its very
origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a
totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them.
was an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood's "General Strategic Goal for North America,"
which the organization aimed to wage "a kind of grand Jihad in
eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and
'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's
religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions." To
implement this plan, the Brotherhood enlisted the help of 29 likeminded "organizations of our friends"
(one of which was IIIT), whose task would be to depict themselves as
civil-rights groups speaking out on behalf of a Muslim American
population that was allegedly besieged by outsiders who harbored an
illogical, unfounded fear of them -- i.e.,
by a society replete with "Islamophobia."
Although the term was coined in the early 1990s, “Islamophobia” did not
become the focus of an active Brotherhood campaign until after 9/11.
Since that time, Islamist lobby organizations (including the Council on
American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR) and Muslim civil-rights activists
have regularly accused the American people, American institutions,
law-enforcement authorities, and the U.S. government of harboring a deep
and potentially violent prejudice against Muslims. The accusers
charge that as a result of this "Islamophobia," Muslims are disproportionately
targeted by perpetrators of hate crimes and acts of discrimination.
But FBI data on hate crimes show that the foregoing accusers are wholly incorrect.
The incidence of anti-Muslim abuses nationwide has actually declined
since September 2001.
Moreover, anti-Islamic hate crimes are but a fraction of overall
religious hate crimes. In fact, the overwhelming majority of such crimes
target Jews. In 2006, for instance, fully 66 percent of religiously
motivated attacks in the U.S. were against Jews, while just 11 percent
targeted Muslims, even though the Jewish and Muslim populations in the
United States are similar in size. In 2006, a total of 156 anti-Islamic
hate crimes were committed nationwide -- a 68 percent drop from 2001.
The FBI report discredits CAIR’s alarmist narrative of “Islamophobic”
lynch mobs marching on mosques across America. It shows that in reality,
Americans have been remarkably, and admirably, tolerant and respectful
of Muslims and their institutions since 9/11.
Each year, CAIR, which claims to be the “Muslim NAACP,” releases a
report citing thousands of alleged civil-rights and physical abuses
against Muslims, which largely are based on anecdotal reporting from
members of its organization. Despite CAIR’s obvious bias (and proven
record of dissembling), the mainstream media often report its numbers
unfiltered and without question.
But a careful analysis of the numbers shows that the incidents reported
by CAIR are mostly victimless crimes. For instance, in its 2006
report CAIR listed as “hate crimes” such occurrences as:
someone placing a copy of the Quran in a toilet at the library of Pace University in New York
someone trampling on a “flower bed” at a mosque in Texas.
Even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was virtually no
vigilantism or violent backlash against Muslims in the United States. In
November and December 2001, Zogby polled American Muslims and found
that only 6 percent had suffered “physical abuse or assault.”
In October 2010, CAIR announced that it was forming a new “Islamophobia” department
that would produce an annual report tracking “trends in rhetorical
attacks on Islam and Muslims and ... offer accurate and balanced
information to be used in the struggle for tolerance and mutual
A Nexis search suggests that the term "Islamophobia" was first used
in the media around 1990, when a Soviet Academy of Sciences academic
told an Uzbekistan-based newspaper that Soviet leaders' “Islamophobia”
might trigger an “Islamic explosion.” In 1995, Jordan’s Prince Hassan used the word
in an address at the UN General Assembly, asserting that many people were using "inflammatory
rhetoric" to "ta[r] all Moslems with the brush of
fanatical extremism." In 1996
the British think tank Runnymede Trust established a Commission on
British Muslims and Islamophobia, which later produced a report entitled
“Islamophobia: A challenge for us all.” In the late 1990s,
Iranian diplomats used the term with increasing frequency at the
(now-defunct) UN Commission on Human Rights, characterizing
the phenomenon as “the perception of Islam and its followers as threats
to the West.” Today, references to "Islamophobia" appear regularly in UN documents.