Hate speech against Muslims a two-way street

By Jeff Myczek

The row over the “cartoon controversy” the last few days has again exposed what the local Muslim community is terming “Islamophobia.” While such a term is rather broad and ill defined, it does nonetheless, describe a general feeling of suspicion among many regarding the global Muslim community. What the leaders of the Muslim population need to understand, however, is that if they want to fight this “Islamophobia” they need not march on the Quad against some cartoons, but rather march against the behavior of their own brethren in the Middle East.

During the last week, people have been killed, private businesses destroyed, embassies attacked, and “Death to America” chanted without pause across the Islamic world. If this were perhaps an isolated incident it would be easy to dismiss, however, it appears to be occurring in virtually every country with a majority Muslim population.

My question for the people marching against the cartoons on the Quad is the following: if it is the negative stereotype of Islam you are trying to fight, why was there not a single poster condemning the acts of the rampant Muslim mobs in the Middle East? The malicious attack on a single Danish embassy in the Middle East does thousands of times more damage to the name of Islam and your prophet than some printed ink in a college newspaper.

This recent row over cartoons is simply the latest incident in a string of self-inflicted negative publicity the Muslim world is giving itself. No mass Muslim crowds protested the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole, the bombing of the nightclub in Bali, the train bombing in Madrid, or the offering of rewards to suicide bombers who kill Israelis.

Perhaps another question would be: are the cartoons more against Islam than they are against acts of terrorism committed in its name? If the number of Muslim protesters on the Quad were any indication, then the 150 who were there on Tuesday, which easily dwarfed the roughly zero I saw there following the recent terrorist attacks in London and Madrid, might be revealing. The terrorists in both of those attacks claimed their activities were in the name of Islam, and no mass Muslim mobs disputed them. If it is “Islamophobia” that you wish to fight, then those were two missed opportunities to show the world that you will stand up and prevent radicals from hijacking your religion and perverting it to kill the innocent in the name of your prophet.

I am not saying that Muslims as a whole condone murder or acts of terror, but I have never seen the “angry mobs” of the “Arab street” do anything to stop these acts, or do more than simply say “we condemn them.” If it is the source of “Islamphobia” you are looking for, than look no further than the unstopped acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, with no “outrage” on the part of the Islamic community after thousands of innocent people get killed.

It was also somewhat ironic that the Quad protest against “hate speech” chose not to protest against the chants of “Death to America,” the burning of American flags, or the reference of the Holocaust as “just another one of those European fables.” Evidently, “hate speech” is only “hate speech” when it is committed against the Muslim community, not when it is committed by it.

“Hate speech” is not a subjective term. If the Muslim community wishes to fight “Islamophobia” then it must equally protest “hate speech” committed against Islam as well as that committed in the name of Islam. The Muslim world must understand that the damage done by these cartoons to their religion, pales in comparison to the damage done by the unprotested murder of the innocent in Islam’s name.

Jeff Myczek is a junior in LAS. His column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at

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