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Why Muslim-Bashing Doesn’t Work

anti-muslim anti-islam bashing

Protestors gather outside the site for the Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images News

Writing at Tomdispatch.com, Stephan Salisbury knocks down the notion that Islam-bashing wins votes. “It has become an article of faith” among Republicans, he writes, that a successful candidate “should treat Islam with revulsion, drawing a line between America the Beautiful and the destructive impurities of Islamic cultists and radicals.” A look back at the 2010 midterm election, however, shows otherwise. “In state after state, candidates who focused on illusory Muslim ‘threats,’ tied ordinary American Muslims to terrorists and radicals, or characterized mosques as halls of triumph (and prayer in them as indoctrination) went down to defeat.” In fact, says Salisbury, a cultural writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, there’s a case to be made that Islam-bashing actually turned a lot of voters off, “even as it hardened an already hard core on the right.”

‘Islam-Baiting Doesn’t Work’ [Stephen Salisbury, Tomdispatch]

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