PFAW report: The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism

People for the American Way press release

Right-Wing extremists are leading a sustained attack against American Muslims, attempting to prevent them from freely practicing their religion, curtail their political rights, and in some cases, compel their deportation, according to a new report by People For the American Way. The report lays out how the Right Wing is using a set of specific strategies to stir up destructive fears, and as a result are putting our fundamental tradition of equality and justice at risk. The report, The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism, identifies the scare tactics used by the Right Wing to conjure up anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States and outlines some ways that concerned Americans can push back against anti-Muslim extremism.

“Right-wing activists, elected officials and even some presidential candidates have launched an overt assault on American Muslims, using a religious minority as a scapegoat for any number of national fears and frustrations,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “In doing so, they compromise some of our dearest national values. Anti-Muslim extremists and the political leaders who repeat their talking points are spreading baseless and destructive fears and explicitly disregarding the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion and equal treatment under the law.”

The report discusses eight strategies employed by anti-Muslim activists to cast doubt on the validity of Islam as a religion and the integrity of American Muslims in order to justify prejudice and illegal discrimination:

  • Framing American Muslims as dangerous to America
  • Twisting statistics and using fake research to “prove” the Muslim threat
  • Inventing the danger of “creeping Sharia”
  • Justifying taking away freedoms and liberties from Muslims in order to “defend liberty”
  • Denying the validity of Islam as a religion
  • Arguing that Muslims have no First Amendment rights under the Constitution
  • Linking anti-Muslim prejudice to anti-Obama rhetoric
  • Slandering progressives and non-Christians as unholy and anti-American

The report is available here.