I've been reading Robert Spencer's JihadWatch.org off and on since it started. Recently, Spencer's been part of a movement that, rightly, opposes the Islamic center/mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York. For his efforts, Spencer has been branded an "Islamaphobe" and a bigot by his opponents, even though his targets are Islamists, jihadists, and other extremists who incite violence, not law-abiding Muslims.
The charge of "Islamophobia" is a canard used by critics to claim that the United States intrinsically hates Islam and Muslims. This is patently untrue. Americans have been very accommodating of Muslims well before and well after 9/11. Anti-Muslim sentiment is a recent phenomenon and its root lie not in Americans themselves, but the actions of certain Muslims. As Robert Spencer writes:
It is not at all established that "Islamophobia" really is growing. In fact, the FBI has recently released data establishing that hate crimes against Muslims are comparatively rare. But if there is any actual suspicion of or negative feelings toward Muslims in the United States, it is solely and wholly the responsibility of Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood jihadist; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas underwear jihadist; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who killed one soldier and murdered another in a jihad shooting outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark.; Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square jihadist; Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden on 9/11; the London jihad bombers of July 7, 2005; and so many others.These attacks were not committed on foreign soil but right here in the United States, some by United States citizens. So it's only natural many American feel ill at ease about Muslims in their midst, but, please, don't call it "Islamaphobia."