Sometimes outside-the-box thinking proves invaluable in solving the controversies that plague us, but sometimes it turns out to be a minefield of useless self-embarrassment. CBS anchor Katie Couric’s novel approach to combating alleged Islamophobia falls firmly in the latter camp. During a panel review of 2010’s biggest stories, Couric lamented the American people’s clueless intolerance:
“The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface,” Couris said. “Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn’t enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong — and so disappointing.”One wonders how Couric is measuring this “seething hatred.” By what Americans say? Doubtful—Newsweek’s latest poll on the subject found that 67% of Americans believe that “only some” or “very few” American Muslims “support the goals of Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalists,” and 62% believe “most” or “many” are “peaceable and do not condone violence.”
Is she judging by what Americans do? Equally dubious—according to the FBI’s most recent statistics, Muslims were the victims of 7.7% of all religiously-motivated “hate crimes in 2008,” as opposed to Jews, who were the victims of 65.7%.
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