Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), spoke to Radio Islam International, reporting back on the fourth annual conference on Islamophobia. Hooper noted that the conference was a reminder of the rising Islamophobia and tried to provide solutions to this growing issue, which Hooper reminded us, has been occurring in developed countries such as Canada. A representative from the Canadian Masjid targeted in June 2020, which killed 3 generations of a family, and the Imam of the New Zealand Masjid, which was targeted in 2019, also spoke at the conference. The conference has been recorded, and clips can now be watched on streaming platforms such as YouTube.
CAIR in July reported over 500 Islamophobic incidents in the US alone, since the start of 2021. These spiked in the US during the Israeli invasion of Gaza in May, and in Canada following the Islamophobic attack on a Masjid in June.
Meanwhile, and in keeping with the increase, students in some US schools and Universities are being victimised for wearing Islamic attire. Further, a new Islamophobic game, Six Days in Fallujah, which sees players try to kill as many Arabs and Muslims as possible, is available on Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. In May, Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights organization working to halt bigotry criticized the game, which had been halted in 2009 following much backlash. However, it has now been released. “The Second Battle of Fallujah claimed the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, as well as hundreds of US, British and Iraqi troops. Turning their deaths into a game is wrong. The game’s original publisher declined to sell it over ten years ago because it was wrong then. It is still wrong today. This game risks turning into a biased, ham-fisted propaganda tool that amplifies anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes and justifies violence against these communities.”
Significantly the white phosphorous used by US marines, which is a war crime, cannot be deployed in the game, providing individuals with a sanitised version of the very brutal Fallujah massacre, in which dozens of innocent civilians were killed. Hundreds more continue to feel the after effects of the use of depleted uranium.
Meanwhile, CAIR has also reminded Virginian Muslims to register to vote. Muslims comprise a significant component of the state, and can have much influence in swaying the result of the upcoming race scheduled for November. Hooper noted how paper-thin margins have often swayed results in swing states, arguing that Muslims needed to act and participate to protect their rights and freedoms.