The toll of Islamophobia

Michele Bachmann and others declare that the U.S. government has been infiltrated and compromised by Muslim terrorists. Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh contends that radical Islam is “trying to kill Americans every week” and that “it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11.” In our own state, then-Rep. Rex Duncan said of Islam and Sharia law, “It’s the face of the enemy, and we need to call it what it is.”

Meanwhile, vandals threw bottles filled with acid at an Islamic school for children in Illinois.

Meanwhile, assailants hurled pig legs at worshippers leaving a prayer service at a mosque in California.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City Muslims woke up the morning of Aug. 12 to find their house of worship vandalized with paintballs.

Within a week and a half, eight cases of attacks on houses of worship occurred nationwide, seven of them against the American Muslim community. When our own citizens are living in fear every day for doing what our Constitution promises they can do — practice their religion freely and openly — we cannot continue to applaud statements that demonize them, then scratch our heads in mock wonder and disown responsibility for violent acts against them.

As long as this gross trend of debasing and dehumanizing our fellow citizens who happen to be Muslim continues, it is the responsibility of freedom-loving Americans to stand together and say that we will not tolerate hatred and discrimination in our community.

—Jillian Holzbauer-Frazier, Tulsa

Holzbauer-Frazier is communications director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Jillian Holzbauer-Frazier

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