US Muslims fear Islamophobia following workplace controversies

The recent controversies involving teetotaler Muslim cabbies and the Target cashier who wouldn’t ring up pork products touched off a barrage of comments on newspaper Web sites and blogs. The tone of some of these comments is frightening to local Muslims.

“Too bad our troops can’t kill them fast enough,” said one of the more than 900 comments posted on, which first reported the Target incident. Muslim leaders said comments like this are on the rise, and they are calling it: “Islamophobia.”

“Islamophobia is a distrust or fear of anything that has to do with Islam,” explained Haris Tarin, director of community development at the California-based Muslim Public Affairs Council or MPAC. Speaking at a seminar in Minneapolis on Thursday, Tarin said the anti-Muslim rhetoric is driven by a “group of people who want to see the voice of Muslims marginalized in America.”

The vehicle used by these groups, Tarin said, is a new controversial documentary called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” Under a backdrop of 9/11 scenes, the Madrid bombings and the London bombings, the film intersperses Muslim prayers with Nazi rallies.

“The idea is to instill a fear among Americans about Islam,” said Tarin.

Minnesota Monitor, 7 April 2007