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Islamophobia in Maine Post-9/11

For the Muslim Identities in America Summer Seminar

Brandon Baldwin

on 29 July 2015

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Transcript of Islamophobia in Maine Post-9/11

Federal Statistics
Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes

"Maine's Muslims seem to have fared better than Muslims living in other parts of the United States."

from Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Ghana, Afghanistan, Iran, Kenya, Bosnia, Kosovo
Islamophobia in Maine Post-9/11
around 6000?
1.33 million
A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

"Considering its current forms, Islamophobia has become a form of racism because it targets a group of people and incites hatred against them on the basis of their religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and ethnic backgrounds. With the rise of hatred and discrimination against Muslims, racism has come to combine not only race but also ethnicity, language, culture, and religion at the same time... [I]t is impossible to separate Islamophobia from the ethnic and racial hatred of Arabs, Asians, and blacks."

-Ibrahim Kalin
"I got a lot darker after 9/11."

-Edward E. Curtis IV
"The problem is the identification. A complaint could be filed as bias based on religion, bias based on national origin (immigrant population), etc."

-e-mail from Margie Berkovich
Civil Rights Detective for the Maine AG's Office
"Islamophobia is also the product of the state's legal and extra-legal attempts to control, discipline, and punish Muslim American individuals and organizations."

-Edward E. Curtis IV, in "The Black Muslim Scare of the Twentieth Century: The History of State Islamophobia and Its Post-9/11 Variations,"
"Attitudes towards Muslims have less to do with religion and its practitioners than it does with current events and media reports, which have indelibly associated Islam with violence in the American public square."

-Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, in "Islamophobia and American History: Religious Stereotyping and Out-grouping of Muslims in the United States"
Today we invite you here in connection with the sad mishap of New York, Washington and other parts of the country. We are mourn[ing] not only on this irreparable loss but strongly condemn the inhumane, brutal, barbarous, uncultured, uncivilized, immoral and unreligious action.

What is the justification of this precious and uncountable loss of innocent lives? No religion on earth can support this type of barbarism.

We have been living here among you people for a decade and your goodness is witness of our past and present.

We admit this fact that by religion we are Muslim. The real Muslim is quite different than that of the professional one. The real Muslim is a symbol of love, affection, sacrifice and mutual understanding and we have been showing this attitude for the last decade.

Bahaar Pakistani Restaurant
Bangor, ME
September 16, 2001
What is Islamophobia?
Motivated by Bias Based on:

race and color
ancestry and national origin
physical or mental disability
sexual orientation
Maine Civil Rights Act
Criminal Conduct:

threats of violence
property damage
threats of property damage
8 mosques
refugee population
a term that has come to denote acts of intolerance, discrimination, unfounded fear, and racism against Islam and Muslims
-Ibrahim Kalin
can take many forms, including hate crimes, acts of discrimination, microaggressions in everyday public life, political action, media representation, etc.
explaining a phenomenon
will always be difficult to measure
Defining a Hate Crime
"American anti-Muslim attitudes are as old as the United States."

-Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, in "Islamophobia and American History: Religious Stereotyping and Out-grouping of Muslims in the United States"
"Islamophobia did not suddenly come into being after the events of 9/11. In many ways, the trauma caused by 9/11 merely helped bring the problem to the surface."

-Ibrahim Kalin
"new nebulous racial category"

Muslims, Arabs, and Arab-looking people

Jonathan K. Stubbs
"The Bottom Rung of America's Race Ladder: After the Sept. 11 Catastrophe Are American Muslims Becoming America's New N....s?,"
Journal of Law and Religion
political as much as social
(in which I further explore some of the many manifestations of the phenomenon we call Islamophobia)
Civil Rights Violations (Hate Crimes) in Maine
Islamophobia in Maine Post-9/11
"It makes me feel like I'm not welcome."
“It makes me feel like I’m not welcome,” said the mosque’s treasurer, Abdiaziz Mohamed. As a U.S. citizen with four children who were born here, “this is my home,” he said.

Mohamed said he is not naive, and he has seen people on TV express hatred toward Muslims, but he worries about the graffiti’s impact on children’s perceptions and the congregation’s sense of safety.

“Whoever did this is going to plan to do other things,” he said. “I think safety is important right now.”

"Graffiti on Portland Mosque Decried, Investigated,"
by David Hench,
Portland Press Herald
, May 3, 2011

-Reza Jalali,
"Muslims in Maine: Eid Mubarak!"
Maine Policy Review
, 2015, Vol. 24.
2001, Bangor
2002, Portland
2004, Portland
2006, Lewiston
2009, Orono
2010, Portland
2011, Portland
2011, Portland
2014, Portland
2014, Portland-Westbrook
2014, Portland-South Portland
2014, Portland
2015, Portland
Full transcript