The left tries, fails to discover an anti-Muslim backlash
If invented crises were stock in trade, the left's inventory would be overflowing – an aisle of spooky climate change here, a stack of bogus campus rape there, and warehouses of racism and white privilege killing black people everywhere. In the wake of the San Bernardino massacre (which initially the left was determined to pin on anyone but Muslims), the mainstream media and leftist chattering classes have dusted off another tried and true product: the phony anti-Muslim backlash crisis.
The anti-Muslim backlash crisis is particularly tough to sell, there being not even a scintilla of evidence for it. That doesn't stop liberals from trying, though. For example, Thursday's Washington Post featured an utterly risible news article in the Metro section about the anxiety Washington-area Muslims feel in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, in fear of the nonexistent anti-Muslim backlash:
One Muslim woman who wears a headscarf said she felt people were 'moving away from me' on a D.C. street this week. Another went into a store in suburban Maryland to look for a wedding gift but left without buying anything after other customers fell silent and stared. A third woman was buoyed by a friendly greeting from a total stranger as she loaded her children into her minivan.
So the best the Post reporter could do after canvasing the rather substantial Muslim community in the greater D.C. area is two women who subjectively felt bad because people looked at them or moved aside as they approached (although had those people walked too close or looked away, these ladies probably would have had an issue with that, too). Meanwhile, a third was treated better than your average ordinary non-Muslim by an overly friendly passerby.
Later we learn that according to "Muslim advocacy groups," there have been "scattered incidents of harassment against individuals and mosques in various parts of the country," including supposedly one fake bomb – though the reporter provides no evidence or corroboration for even these slight claims.
The rest of the lengthy article is a similar litany of comments from various Muslims, like Tariq Zakaria, an accounting firm employee who notes that he's encountered "no direct hostility, just a sort of mutual uneasiness." This proves that Mr. Zakaria is uneasy around non-Muslims, but not the converse.
Meanwhile, on campuses across the country, Jewish students are routinely harassed, denied appointments, and even prosecuted by campus tribunals for the crime of voicing support for Israel. Same with Jewish speakers who fail to follow the dominant anti-Zionist (often really just anti-Semitic) line. There is a documented epidemic Jew-hatred on American campuses. This active discrimination is regarded as progressive action by the left and often led by Muslim students and faculty.
In 2013, the Post published another article with a scary anti-Muslim backlash headline: "Anti-Muslim hate crimes are still five times more common today than before 9/11." But what the "wonkblog" article actually reported totally undermined the headline and undercut any reasonable claim that, despite spates of terror attacks, Americans have in any meaningful way turned on Muslim citizens. In fact, the statistics are shocking only in what they demonstrate about American tolerance toward Muslims and the pernicious presence of anti-Semitism, increasingly propagated by Muslims or Islamist sympathizers.
As of February 2013 (after 9/11, the D.C. snipers, the attempted shoe bombing, the Fort Hood attack, and other lesser incidents, though just shortly before the Boston Marathon bombings), anti-Muslim hate crimes accounted for only 13% of religiously motivated crimes and 2% of hate crimes overall. By far the majority of all religiously motivated hate crimes – 60 percent – were against Jews.
Americans are a remarkably fair and charitable people, especially those ordinary citizens (including the tens of millions who cling to religion and guns) whom the left distains. Despite the left's evident wish that things were otherwise, America proves again and again that it is indeed an exceptional nation, especially when it comes to tolerance.