We send our students to college to learn what they need to know to become good American citizens. From this knowledge we hope that they will realize useful, maybe even successful, lives. Perhaps they’ll even gain personal improvement through introspection from it all. At least that’s what we used to think. Apparently, these days we send kids to college to be trained to hate the U.S.A. and at least in the case of Brooklyn College to learn that today Muslims are treated as badly as the African Americans or the Japanese internees of our past.
Brooklyn college has assigned all incoming freshmen to read a book titled, “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi. The book is a series of vignettes imparting the immigration stories of seven Muslim Americans and their claims of the discrimination they’ve met in a post 9/11 America. Bayoumi could have written an uplifting tale of the freedoms America offers, but instead it is little else but an attack on America.
The story supposedly regales us of the lives of Muslims who have “found themselves part of the newest suspect class in the United States.” Bayoumi, also a Brooklyn College English professor, absurdly claims that the Muslims in his book — and by extension throughout America — have gone “from simply invisible to being regarded with suspicion and even actively pursued” by the U.S. government.
The New York Daily News leads us through Bayoumi’s conclusions:
Bayoumi sees America more darkly. In the book’s afterword, he writes that “Muslims and Arabs are scrutinized for sedition at every turn,” that Arab-American life includes “substantial government surveillance and repression,” that “today, everyone – immigrant and citizen, activist and spectator – has become vulnerable,” that “spies and government informants have penetrated Muslim-American communities” and that “torture has been normalized into American culture.”
In sum, he asserts, “What we are currently living through is the slow creep of imperial high-handedness into the rest of American society, performed in the name of national security and facilitated through the growth of racist policies.”
Bayoumi is obviously a raging anti-American. He outrageously believes that Arab Americans are facing the same situation that Japanese Americans faced when FDR ordered their internment during WWII.
In an interview with Penguin Books, Bayoumi said the following:
I believe we will come to see this period as being gripped by a similar kind of mass hysteria that fueled the Palmer Raids and Japanese Internment. What’s depressing is that this would happen in our post Civil Rights era, when I thought we would have learned from the mistakes of the past.
This is flat out nonsense. Muslims face nothing like the sort of fear and discrimination Japanese Americans faced during WWII. In fact, Muslim Americans today face nothing so bad as the race hatred that Jewish Americans face today. FBI stats show that Jews are several times more likely to be the victims of racial and religious discrimination than are Muslims. Muslim discrimination barely registers as a blip on the FBI’s stats.
The last year that the FBI has released full data for hate crimes is 2008, but it shows that hate crimes against Jews far out number those against Muslims.
FBI Hate Crime Statistics: Religious bias
Of the 1,732 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:
- 66.1 percent were targeted because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
- 7.5 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias.
- 5.1 percent were victims because of an anti-Catholic bias.
- 3.6 percent were victims because of an anti-Protestant bias.
- 0.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
- 2.8 percent were victims because of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
- 4.0 percent were victims because of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
In light of these stats, Bayoumi looks like a wild-eyed polemicist instead of an aggrieved minority.
Yet here is this author making these absurd claims anyway. Worse his book was chosen by an American college as an important text for incoming freshmen and his lies raised to the heights of important “literature.”
This is what Brooklyn College is teaching its students, that Muslims are being treated as badly as were Japanese Americans who were rounded up by the thousands and sent to camps under armed guards. Bayoumi also used the example of the Palmer Raids, a campaign set in motion during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency when some 500 known American left-wing radicals were rounded up and forcibly deported.
So, where are the concentration camps for Muslims that this evil United State has created to oppress Muslims? Where are the hundreds of Muslims forcibly deported? Where are the mounting cases of anti-Muslim discrimination in these United States?
There aren’t any.
Because of this incident, Brooklyn College has already lost the support of one wealthy alumnus. Bruce Kessler, Class of 1968, has cut the college out of his will because of the assignment of Bayoumi ‘s book to incoming freshmen.
Kessler says that Bayoumi is a “radical pro-Palestinian professor.”
Looking over Bayoumi’s screed it’s hard to fault Kessler’s logic.