CAIR’s Vision Regarding Islamophobia in America
Our vision looks toward the time when being Muslim carries a positive connotation and Islam has an equal place among many faiths in America’s pluralistic society.
Among the indicators that this vision is a reality would be the following points:
Islam has a 75 percent or higher favorability rating among the general public.
A person’s Muslim faith is considered an asset in private employment and public service.
Politicians welcome and seek public support from Americans of the Islamic faith.
Association with anti-Muslim movements or rhetoric discredits those who put themselves forward seeking to earn the privilege of public service.
Islamophobia is close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims.
Islamophobic acts are directed at Islam or Muslims in general. Anti-Muslim discrimination is directed at a specific individual, institution or group of individuals.
An Islamophobe is an individual who holds a closed-minded view of Islam and promotes prejudice against or hatred of Muslims.
Questioning Islam or Muslims is not Islamophobia
It is not appropriate to label all, or even the majority of those, who question Islam and Muslims as Islamophobes. Equally, it is not Islamophobic to denounce crimes committed by individual Muslims or those claiming Islam as a motivation for their actions.
“A critical study of Islam or Muslims is not Islamphobic,” former CAIR Research Director Mohamed Nimer wrote in 2007. “Likewise, a disapproving analysis of American history and government is not anti-American… One can disagree with Islam or with what some Muslims do without having to be hateful.”
“I would be careful to remind my Muslim friends not to characterize anyone who is opposed to the Ground Zero center as a racist or bigot,” said a conservative political activist during an interview for this report. “My argument is there [are a few Islamophobes] … but the vast majority of Americans are people who’ve been misinformed, who don’t know the truth and don’t know the real facts.”