Ohio Makes Another Bad Top 10 List …

… and Cincinnati helps prove the point that we’re one of the top ten states for hate crimes against Muslims.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has released a report, The Struggle for Equality, that documents a 29 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslim Americans, the highest number ever recorded since the documentation of civil rights violations began.

CAIR describes itself as a grassroots organization with a mission to “enhance a general understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

With 32 chapters and offices nationwide and in Canada, CAIR processed 1,972 civil rights complaints in 2005, compared to 1,522 cases reported in 2004.

“This constitutes a 29.6 percent increase in the total number of complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment from 2004,” the report says. “For the second straight year, the 1,972 reports also marks the highest number of Muslim civil rights complaints ever reported to CAIR in its 12-year history. In addition, CAIR received 153 reports of anti-Muslim hate crime complaints, an 8.6 percent increase from the 141 complaints received in 2004.”

The District of Columbia and nine states account for close to 79 percent of all civil rights complaints to CAIR in 2005.

1. California (19 percent)
2. Illinois (13 percent)
3. New York (9 percent)
4. Texas (8 percent)
5. Virginia (7 percent)
6. Florida (6 percent)
7. District of Columbia (5 percent)
8/9. Maryland (4 percent)
8/9. Ohio (4 percent)
10. New Jersey (4 percent).

While there have been a few decreases — civil rights complaints involving Muslim-owned businesses declined from 6.5 percent in 2004 to 1.57 percent in 2005 — hatred still abounds.

The report refers to the “double pipe-bombing of a Cincinnati area mosque” and allegations of two employees being refused time off for prayers on Friday. After going anyway, they were demoted to part-time status, losing health care benefits.

When locals wonder why anyone who isn’t a white, Christian, middle-class conservative expresses concern about feeling ostracized in this community, all they need to do is look at what happens to people who don’t fit that description. Deviate from the standards — such as praying on a day other than Sunday or not celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday — and you’re punished in some way.

There’s a Buddhist adage that says you don’t get wheat from a bean seed. It’s a universal truth: You reap what you sew. If you want peace, then sew the seeds of peace, cultivate them, give them constant attention and keep the weeds of hatred, intolerance and judgmentalism at bay. It’s hard work, but what better work is there when the happiness and lives of people are at stake?

— Margo Pierce

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5 Comments on “Ohio Makes Another Bad Top 10 List …”


  1. Margo,
    I love you, and I love Muslims, but this posting is a textbook example of lying/obfuscating with statistics.
    Notice the correlation between the top 10 and the most populous states.
    This is an embarrassment to CityBeat.

  2. newsman Says:

    City Beat is reaching deap nowadays. I guess this is what happens when a competitor like CinWeekly is eating your lunch.

  3. Margo Says:

    David,

    Whenever statistics are quoted there will always be someone else who can look at them from another angle. So, do I write nothing out of fear that someone will point a finger at me and charge bias?

    The point I chose to make is clear: Ohio, and Cincinnati in particular, have an ugly truth to face – race and creed matter. Others outside our state have taken notice of this, it’s time we should too.

    There are many who dismiss intolerance as the over-sensitivity of those calling themselves victims. Is this unique to the Buckeye state? No, as you pointed out, many state have the same problem.

    Some of this is cultural phenomena. When people demonize a segment of a specific population (culture, religion, etc) in order to justify waging war, inhumane treatment and killing, it’s impossible to say identify those specific people unless you brand them (e.g. slapping a star on their clothing). So things like hate-crimes seem perfectly reasonable to some people. We’re at war! These people are so horrible and disgusting they deserve to die, so what’s a pipe-bomb or two?

    You can choose to dismiss these statistics based on my perspective, or you can recognize that there’s some truth behind them.

  4. WestEnder Says:

    I don’t think Mr. Gallagher’s comment accuses anyone of bias. He is correctly pointing out that these statistics do not indicate that these states have the highest RATE of anti-Muslim events. They merely indicate that they have the highest INCIDENCE. It is erroneous to conclude that they are the least safe states for Muslims based on these statistics only.

    For example, a list of states with the most traffic accidents is not the same as a list of states with the worst drivers. Similarly, a list of the most common cancers is not a list of the most deadly cancers. To find those, one has to compile data on rates of accidents or deaths (per X number of people).

    A better statistic to measure the increase in anti-Muslim sentiment is the 29.6% increase in anti-Muslim events over the last 2 years. This gives a clear “before and after” measurement. If CAIR had given a state-by-state breakdown of this overall increase (rather than the incidence), then one could make a better determination of which states are indeed the least tolerant.

    But the best statistic would still be a ratio of adverse events per segment of the population.

  5. Dane Says:

    newsman Says:
    September 21st, 2006 at 8:51 am
    “City Beat is reaching deap nowadays. I guess this is what happens when a competitor like CinWeekly is eating your lunch.”

    And according to CinWeekly it’s the most totally awesome lunch ever. And we had a fabulous martini to go with it. And IKEA’s coming to town. And everything’s great in Cincinnati – isn’t it?


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