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Hate Crimes

Reader comment on item: "Islamophobic Prejudice" and CAIR

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (United States), Aug 25, 2004 at 20:08

The Akram case points to two important legal and political issues: (1) dealing with bigotry and (2) the stupidity of instituting a special category of "hate crimes".

Regardless of the Akram case's merits, it is still important that Muslims in the USA enjoy the same impartial protection of the law. Granted fundamentalist Islam is a dreadful religion (as are neo-paganism of the Erich Ludendorff variety, Aryan Nations, Marxism-Leninism, or scientific positivism), but if its adherents in the USA do not wage a jihad of the sword against the rest of us, we need to to respect their freedom of belief. Similarly, if the Akram case should indeed prove to be one of people burning a store simply because the owner is a Muslim (or just someone swarthy, such as a Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Assyrian Christian, or Mizrahi Jew), there's dangerous and un-American bigotry afoot.

This being said, this would be a fine opportunity to re-think the whole business of "hate crimes". It seems the category was established to punish anyone who isn't a relativistic pseudo-multiculturalist. Yet what crime isn't a "hate" crime? If you love your neighbor, or simply show him a bit of respect, will you rob his house, hit him over the head, or shout intimidating slogans at him?

Should there be a real case similar to the Akram one, the authorities, should they catch the perp, could throw the book at him for trespass, arson, reckless endangerment, assault (for verbal threats given earlier in the day, should the arsonist and the verbal bully prove to be one and the same), and a host of other long-established crimes under the Common Law.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (15) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
with all of the islamist terror attacks on westerners, there (thank God) have been few attacks against the muslim community .. 2010 Feb [262 words]Phil GreendFeb 26, 2010 20:06169429
akram khan [37 words]girl who knowsOct 16, 2009 04:06163147
"Hate crimes" against the Muslims [103 words]l. DavisNov 6, 2007 10:08113196
I'm confused. [39 words]SoapScumBuildupMay 29, 2006 17:3746649
Necessary exposure [34 words]S.C PandaSep 10, 2004 05:5516884
Thanks [155 words]Aubrey SteeleSep 7, 2004 19:5716756
Some facts seem at odds with arson guilt [202 words]Roger ChapellSep 6, 2004 09:5416697
Framing the Victim [136 words]AJJan 30, 2007 19:5816697
Another case of screaming "injustice" [56 words]Rebecca WilkinAug 28, 2004 07:1116563
Very stupid arsonist [121 words]a.festineAug 27, 2004 15:1716549
The Problem With Islamic Authorities [66 words]A readerAug 27, 2004 13:2016544
Retraction? [16 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
TomAug 27, 2004 10:0416537
Main Stream media. [39 words]Chard JeromeAug 25, 2004 20:1816495
Hate Crimes [272 words]Peter J. HerzAug 25, 2004 20:0816494
Boobs and dupes [74 words]Dave MitchellAug 25, 2004 17:5116493

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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