Saturday, August 13, 2016

Six Months of "Islamophobia" at Huffington Post

Now August, it's a good time to check in how Huffington Post's running tally of "Islamophobia" in 2016 is going.

If we split the year up January to June, let's go over how it went, and then continue with some analysis:

January:

  • Man says arson attack on his halal food truck was a hate crime
  • Muslim woman ejected from Trump rally
  • Man vandalizes mosque and leaves bacon behind
  • Christian college fires woman for wearing hijab and saying allah == yahweh. Now she works at UVA. 
  • Manufacturing company in Wisconsin changes prayer time rules, fires a dozen of muslims
  • Smeared ketchup found on mosque
  • Man couldn't enter "Muhammad Khan" in a videogame as it matched a name on an embargo list
  • Robocaller in support of Trump said "We don't need muslims"
  • Residents of Bayonne New Jersey opposed a mosque
  • Islamic center of Omaha had a window broken and bacon put on the door
  • Someone made a parody website of the Islamic center of Wheaton, Illinois
  • Drunk college students in Tuscon threw beer bottles off a building and said something racist
  • Sikh man says an incident in December 2015 wherein he was attacked and called a 'terrorist' was a hate crime
  • Man in Florida on Facebook threatens to burn down mosques
  • Men in the Bronx beat up a Bangladeshi man and shout "ISIS"
  • Australian MP was asked routine citizenship questions and fingerprinted at LAX
  • Bill in Tennessee aims to stop "Islamic religious indoctrination" in schools after a teacher asked students to recite the shahada
  • People in Milwaukee don't want a new mosque
  • Man in Philadelphia punched "for speaking Arabic"
  • Poll results find half of Idahoans want ban on muslim immigration
  • Man in Minnesota says Sharia law is coming
  • Hijabi in Michigan called a terrorist
  • California state muslims student association had a "hateful message" left on a table
  • Education administrator in Georgia fired for writing "If you wipe your butt with your bare hand but consider bacon to be unclean, you may be a muslim."
  • Bill in South Carolina legislature bans citing Sharia as a defense
  • Bill in South Carolina OKs bill to create registry of refugees
  • Ben Carson says Islam isn't a religion, says it has an "apocalyptic vision"
  • Megyn Kelly asks Chris Christie : "They saw [packages, muslims] and they did not think that was enough to call the cops. Do you?"
February:
  • Missoula protesters rally to block refugees, say Islam hates Christians, Jews, women, gays.
  • Tea party accused school in Tennessee of white washing Islam by saying it spread peacefully
  • Maryland lawmaker says mosques with ties to terrorism shouldn't be tax exempt
  • Palos Park Illinois don't want mosque built
  • Ariens fires more employees over unscheduled prayer breaks
  • NH lawmaker says Islam isn't a religion
  • Drill in Tampa puts active shooter actor in a keffiyeh
  • Frat brothers in U of Chicago said in private emails that a fellow muslim student was a terrorist and "dynamite and C4" were two fixtures of Islamic culture
  • Dudley Massachusetts doesn't want a muslim cemetery built
  • Fox News host says 'I haven't heard of any' anti-muslim crimes 
  • CNN interviews Jared Taylor, he says 'why would we want more muslims?'
  • Man arrested outside mosque after becoming belligerent and firing a pellet gun at a car
  • NH poll says 65% of GOP voters support ban on muslims
  • Michelle Bachman says muslim immigration is an "invasion"
  • Mayor of Lubbock calls Homeland Security after someone placed a large black Arabic flag with a red heart on an abandoned building
  • Muslim man in Portland killed by man he hired to work on his property 
  • Ben Carson says muslims only embrace democracy if they're "schizophrenic"
  • Proposed Florida bill authorizes military force if "invaders" appear
  • Billboard in Minnesota says Catholic charities are evil for resettling "Islamists"
  • Confusion at Maryland school somehow spread by Pam Gellar leads to false bomb scare
  • Trump tells questionable "pigs blood" story from Philippine-American war
  • Muslim woman says a bank in Omaha made her take off headscarf
  • Minnesota revokes "FMUSLMS" license plate
  • Poll result says have of Texas voters support ban on muslims
  • Oklahoma capitol "Muslim day" receives threats
  • Missouri man says "all of you should die" to muslim family, takes out gun. Blames it on skipping PTSD medication
  • CAIR worker in Tallahassee hears joke "is it safe to ride the elevator with you?"
  • Poll result says most Trump supporters dislike muslims
  • Vandals write "F**K MUSLIMS" on Plainfield Indiana ISNA headquarters
  • Principal in Twin Falls Idaho censors school newspaper article about 'islamophobia'
  • Teenager in Huntington Beach says he was stabbed for speaking Arabic
  • Tennessee lawmakers pass anti "islamic indoctrination" bill
  • Man in Illinois displays silhouettes of a man in a turban getting shot
  • Unidentified woman claims two unidentified hijabis that did not speak english had eggs thrown at them in Buffalo
March:
  • Man in Newark spits on muslim woman
  • Two muslim women removed from JetBlue flight for 'staring'
  • Buddhist monk in Oregon allegedly attacked after hearing profanity about muslims
  • Man in Massachusetts shares a meme photo of JAWS labelled "Throw me a muslim"
  • People on MSNBC are surprised Dearborn voted for Bernie
  • Trump tells Anderson Cooper that he thinks "Islam hates us"
  • Students in Wichita allegedly attacked by man yelling 'Trump'
  • Ibtihaj Muhammad asked to remove hijab at SXSW for badge photo
  • Idaho advances anti-Sharia law
  • Ted Cruz asks Frank Gaffney to be his adviser 
  • Muslim family kicked off United Airlines flight for 'safety issues'
  • Mosque in Nebraska receives threatening email
  • Ted Cruz wants police to patrol and secure muslim neighbourhoods
  • Republicans in DC refuse to answer questions about Ted Cruz's patrolling idea
  • San Martin California doesn't want a new mosque built
  • South Carolina passes bill to create refugee registry
  • Woman in DC library asked to remove hijab
  • Lyft driver in Utah says 'muslims are terrorists'
  • Charles Payne & Ben Carson say Islam was 'born and spread through violence'
  • Letter to the editor in Florence South Carolina paper says Islam is satanic
  • Student in Hayward California has her hair pulled and was called a terrorist by "same guy that was bullying me since third grade"
  • Muslim 8th graders in Stamford Connecticut are questioned after allegations that they were going to bring guns to school
  • Poll result says half of US voters support idea to patrol and secure muslim neighbourhoods
  • Man yells 'Trump' and 'Kill all muslims' at group of muslims in Grand Rapids
  • Letter in Cheyenne, Wyoming says Islam is fascist and that muslims 'lie and cheat'
  • Various websites allege that muslims were shooting at people in a desert in southern California
  • Unidentified man in Michigan says 'I've killed your mfing kind'
  • "StopIslam" and "Trump" written in chalk in Ann Arbor campus
  • Sherrif supports Ted Cruz's patrolling idea
  • Student in Texas called terrorist by teacher, teacher claims it was to demonstrate 'negative stereotypes'
April:
  • "Anti-muslim DVDs" left on cars in Idaho
  • Man in Phoenix rips up Quran in front of mosque
  • "Stop Islam" written in Amherst, Massachusetts campus
  • Ted Cruz adviser says there are "no-go" zones in muslim neighbourhoods
  • "Choose 1 Pro-Islam<>Pro Women's & Gay Rights" written in chalk at University of Kansas
  • "No more muslim violence" and other slogans written in chalk in Ann Arbor
  • Lawmaker in Tennessee hands out "anti-muslim DVDs" to colleagues
  • Businessman in Washington sends anti-mosque postcards to residents
  • Pat Robertson says Islam is an "infection" that must be killed
  • Woman working on school board in Pennsylvania had written a "I am officially against muslims" Facebook post
  • "Islam bloody Islam, doomed by its doctrine!" billboards appear in Florida
  • Ted Cruz refuses to meet with muslim constituents 
  • Muslim woman removed from Southwest flight and given no explanation
  • Ted Cruz adviser says there are "Sharia courts" in Texas and Michigan
  • The Hill publishes Ted Cruz adviser's "anti-muslim conspiracy theory"
  • Mosque in Queens attacked by man high on drugs that claimed he was a prophet and demanded a Quran, yelling anti-muslim slurs
  • Terry Jones & a friend tear up a Quran in Atlanta
  • Letter to the editor in Kalispell, Montana accuses Islam of being a 'centuries old political machine'
  • Blonde Trump supported allegedly pours water on a hijabi in DC
  • Elmwood Park, NJ board of education member on Facebook urged muslims to "stay in their deserts" and "follow your religion in your own countries"
  • Urth Caffee in Laguna Beach allegedly kicked out muslim women for being muslim. The cafe claims it was just to clear the table for other customers
  • GOP candidate for senate in Florida wants to ban 'anybody from the middle east'
  • Man in Vermont allegedly pulls gun on woman and called a terrorist
  • Unidentified muslim woman in Louisana says a courtroom bailiff motioned for her to remove the hijab, and was then removed from the room for noncompliance. Judge in the courtroom says she did not realize the scarf was a hijab.
  • 911 call in Florida claimed 'middle eastern' person was on UCF campus with a gun
  • Los Angeles sheriff's aide apologizes for forwarding racist and 'islamophobic' emails during a previous job in Burbank. Apology did not satisfy muslim groups. The aide then resigned a few days later
  • 19 year old man in Queens is attacked by three men shouting "ISIS!"
  • Students protest SDSU president for not denouncing Anti-BDS fliers posted around campus
  • TSA official in Minneapolis says he was ordered to profile Somali Americans
  • Group protests anti-Islamophobia film in Missoula
  • "Anti-muslim extremist" Ryan Mauro gives talk in New York 
  • Trump repeats "pig blood" story in California

May:
  • Man calls Bangladeshi store clerk a terrorist and then stabs him
  • Letters in Sacramento call on people to execute muslims
  • Vandal leaves 'Ban Islam from America' fliers at mosque site in Washington
  • Muslim student labelled "Isis" in printing of yearbook in Rancho Cucamonga
  • Military college in South Carolina denies request of muslim student for exception of cadet uniform policy
  • South Carolina votes down anti-Sharia bill
  • Anti-muslim protesters in Vermont speak against taking refugees
  • Anti-muslim motorcycle group protests in Islamberg, NY
  • GOP group allows "anti-muslim extremist" to speak in North Carolina
  • Man allows his dogs to attack poodle because his owner was a 'terrorist prick'
  • Florida newspaper publishes letter claiming Quran is a 'plan for world domination'
  • Harris County Texas GOP aide tries to block muslim man from office as Islam and Christianity 'don't mix'
  • Michael Flynn defend's Trump's 'muslim ban'
  • Newt Gingrich wants airport workers to be tested to see if they 'believe in sharia'
  • Muslim woman called a 'terrorist' during road rage incident in Tennessee
  • NY cab driver beaten by  a man calling him a 'muslim asshole'
  • "Anti-muslim speakers" gather at a 'refugee resettlement event' in Florida
  • 'Anti-muslim rally' held outside new Islamic center in Houston
  • Church in Oregon puts up sign 'Muhammad is not greater than Jesus'
  • Boss of company in NY allegedly asked employee to denounce ISIS
  • Former Washington state city manager expresses interest in knowing where Sunni and Shia residents live
  • Muslim woman harassed in ice cream shop in Orange County
  • Islamic center in Golden Colorado receives threatening email
  • 11-year old 'heckled' after asking crowd in Boca Raton if they thought she looked like a terrorist
  • Dudley Massachusetts apparently still does not want muslim cemetery [Same story as February]
  • "Anti-muslim extremist" speaks in Vermont
  • Republican primary candidate in Colorado said Trump's muslim ban 'doesn't go far enough'
  • Democrats say HR 5203 singles out muslim travelers
  • Armed men in Texas film themselves using bullets dipped in pig's blood
  • Anti-arab graffiti found in convenience store in Massachusetts 
  • Speaker in Minnesota church congregation says muslims are using journalists to 'destroy you'
  • Comments on weather service page in Lubbock Texas are offended by use of term 'haboob' instead of 'dust storm'
  • A Sikh man named Davinder Singh was murdered in what his son alleges was a hate crime.
June:
  • During Maryland traffic dispute, woman allegedly yelled "Get the hell out of the country you bitch ass muslims". Driver was charged with a hate crime and denies the allegations
  • Teen charged with hate crime in beating of a muslim man outside mosque in Queens
  • Army reserve officer in North Carolina allegedly threated to kill members at mosque
  • Muslim activist in Texas claims a man in a white pickup truck attempted to run his car off the road
  • Trump delegate leaves "anti-muslim voicemail" for church in Pennsylvania. Voicemail said Islam is "not a religion" and called the sign "despicable".
  • Bullet holes found in ISNA sign in Plainfield, Indiana
  • Man in Seattle threatens to "take revenge" on a mosque.
  • Someone on Twitter tweeted location of ISNA in Dearborn, with hashtag "#CrusadeAmericaCleanagain", and "We must execute the muslim scum"
  • Florida GOP congressional candidate calls for an end to 'every radical muslim institution'
  • Armed "anti-muslim" activist films himself in front of a mosque in Georgia, saying 'the time for war has begun'
  • Muslim woman on Facebook claims that man on train on Queens told her to 'go back home and take their bombs with them'
    • “After some back and forth,” Hasan wrote, “one man said, ‘This is New York City. The most diverse place in the world. And in New York, we protect our own and we don't give a fuck what anyone looks like or who they love, or any of those things. It's time for you to leave these women alone, Sir.’ I couldn't have said it better. Sure enough, our train was stopped. This royal douche got off the train to the sound of cheering.”
    • .... probably didn't happen
  • Mosque in Sanford, Florida had "#StopTheHate" spraypainted on it
  • Mosques in Chicago receive threats in email (no details)
  • Woman on Facebook claiming to be postal worker says she will destroy mail with Ramadan themed stamps on them
  • GOP group leader says a new mosque in NJ would be "unsafe"
  • Muslim woman on Twitter has her mentions filled with "hate" after speaking on Homeland Security panel. The woman had said "9/11 changed the world for good", with "for good" clarified to mean "forever"/irreparably.
  • Man in Ohio interrupts mosque prayer service by shouting "Jesus is Lord!" and claiming to be a police officer
  • Trump says muslim-americans "don't assimilate"
  • Syrian refugees in Arizona allegedly receive hate letter saying they are "not welcome"
    • The family is unnamed and the only source of this incident is Imraan Siddiqi, who manages a Twitter feed devoted to content just like this...
  • Muslim man claims he was kicked off an Alaska Airlines flight departing from Texas after another passenger said he looked "arabic & scary".
  • Man wearing white prayer cap in New York was beaten on his way to the mosque
  • Someone wrote "Muslim trash go home!" on a train in Boston
  • Alabama GOP representative says American muslims want to kill homosexuals
  • Commuters in Massachusetts call 911 allegedly after spotting two muslims praying on a train platform
  • ISNA center in Indiana that had bulletholes in its sign also receives a threatening email
  • OK state rep shares Facebook article that says Islam 'is not a religion'
  • Former FBI agent says 'jihadis' will work with Marxist groups and impose sharia
  • Mosque in Orlando receives multiple threats in email
  • Trump says 'I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country"
  • Muslim NYPD officer suspended for refusing to trim beard
  • "Anti-muslim activists" claim refugees were involved in an incident involving disabled girl. Prosecutors say this is false.
  • "Anti-muslim activist" says USA should "close every single mosque"
  • GOP committee member apologizes for calling Islam a 'death cult'
  • Man threatens to kill imam in Staten Island
  • Man in Connecticut calls worshippers 'sand n***ers' and 'ISIS'
  • Urth Caffe women file suit, defense lawyer accuses them of waging 'civilizational jihad'
  • Motorcyclists circle mosque in Florida
  • Editorial in WVa newspaper claims refugees will lead to a demographic crisis that will lead to sharia law
  • Mosque that was encircled by motorcyclists also receives threats by email
  • Ted Cruz allegedly invites "anti-muslim conspiracy theorist" to testify at senate hearing
  • Horse in Tennessee owned by a Sikh family was shot
  • Man allegedly yelled 'Fuck Muslims' before shooting two men in Minneapolis
  • Woman at Trump rally asks the candidate to fire all hijabis working for the TSA

The list is growing through July and August, and at the top of the article it currently reads:

233
ANTI-MUSLIM ACTS IN 2016 



This is absolute comedy.

What isn't funny, of course, is the violence, intimidation and plainly false rhetoric used against the muslim community. These acts do form part of the enumerated list of 'ACTS' and are reprehensible.

The funny part is that the Huffington Post thinks this is journalism, and that the Huffington Post thinks it can add.

Let's go over the problems with this list:

It includes baseless conjecture as "anti-muslim acts".

Is there an unverifiable claim on Twitter? A crime that even the police haven't been told about? Did someone shoot a Sikh family's horse?

Even the remote possibility that an attack was motivated by racist or anti-muslim animus is enough to include it as an 'anti-muslim' act.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post needs an allegiance to ISIS signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry before it will believe that Omar Mateen was in any meaningful way motivated by Islamism. Huffington Post bloggers claim Mateen was motivated by "More Personal Pathology Than Radical Ideology"

It's not even limited to 2016

Events listed in January plainly describe events that happened in the previous year, and many of the news clippings are quite ambiguous about when events actually occurred. The only thing consistent is that the date is when the Huffington Post came to know about the 'act'.

It relentlessly double-counts incidents

The "Islamophobia" tracker follows the same "anti-muslim" bills in different stages of becoming law. If it is brought to a house in one month and voted on in the next, it plainly appears as two 'anti-muslim' acts.

Similarly, if a mosque has bullet holes in its sign and bad words in its email inbox, it will appear as two distinct incidents. If a town has a hearing on a new mosque in February and then again in May, same thing -- just count it twice! If there is an extended disagreement like the Urth Caffé incident, count each and every chapter in the saga as a new 'anti-muslim act'.

This is odd when comparing and considering that 9/11 and the Charlie Hebdo attacks are commonly thought of as singular 'attacks'. In reality 9/11 was the coordination of four terrorist attacks, and the Charlie Hebdo shootings included an attack on a kosher grocery.

It's interesting how 'Islamophobia' tends to multiply events but terrorism tends to fold incidents when one tries to claim that '94%' of terrorist attacks are non-muslim. (Spoiler alert: Some people just need Greenpeace to be as bad as al-Qaeda)

It copy/pastes repetitive campaign talking points as unique problems

What did Trump say this week? Basically the same thing he said last week, but it apparently stands out as another 'act'. Same thing goes for everyone surrounding Ted Cruz.

It includes a lack of a religious accommodations as 'anti-muslim acts'

Failing to change a dress code at a bank, military college, corporation, public building or police department to accommodate muslims is arguably discriminatory, but does it qualify as 'islamophobic'?

Is it 'islamophobic' if a bank teller acts strangely when dealing with a customer in a niqab?

If a pool does not allow for a women-only burkini swim time, is it 'islamophobic act' by default?

It includes 'somewhat problematic' opinions as 'anti-muslim acts'

Feeling that Islam is not a religion or that muslims have an agenda are opinions that are not politically correct and are very debatable. To the degree that Islam is a homophobic project is similarly debatable.

However, these showerthoughts broadcast on Facebook are no more Islamophobic -- in fact perhaps even less Islamophobic -- than the mundane opinions shared on social media that detail how Shia or Ahmadis are not actually muslims.

Strangely, even though that this hateful rhetoric leads to the deaths of muslims, Huffington Post does not feel an obligation to find even one person that shared an anti-Ahmadi or anti-Shia sentiment on social media in the entire United States in 2016.

It counts 'acts' that are the opposite of Islamophobia

In May, South Carolina rejected the 'anti-sharia' bill that the Huffington Post was tracking as 'Islamophobia'. Oddly enough, the rejection of the bill appears on the website just the same - and presumably helps add one more to the final tally of '233' Islamophobic acts.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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