“I think Islam hates us,” stated a big-mouthed billionaire buffoon on March 9, 2016, while he was running for president of the United States. Apparently, many Americans share these sentiments. Thanks to anti-Muslim propagandizing, many Americans are empowered and emboldened to hate all Muslims, openly, unabashedly, and indiscriminately.
America was built on hate: hate of American Indians; hate of African Americans; hate of Catholic Americans; hate of Hispanic Americans; and hate of Muslim Americans. The history of the United States is very much a history of hatred.
In light of its shameful legacy of intolerance and bigotry, it comes as no surprise that, as of 2017, there are 917 active hate groups operating in the United States. After all, hatred is as American as apple pie (which, of course, is really French Canadian).
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 130 of these hate groups belong to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK); 99 of them are neo-Nazi; 100 of them are white nationalists; 78 are racist skinheads; 21 of them are Christian Identity; 43 of them are neo-Confederate; 193 are black separatist; 52 are anti-LGBT, 101 are anti-Muslim; and a final 100 espouse hatred in general (at least they don’t discriminate in matters of hatred).
With the exception of black separatist groups such as the Nation of Islam (which has nothing to do with Islam as a world religion), cults like the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, as well as racist and anti-Semitic groups like the New Black Panther Party, all of which developed as a natural response to white supremacy, all of the active hate groups in the US are composed of white people, most of whom identify as Christians.
Threats to the US are both domestic and international. Domestic threats come from formal right-wing hate groups, left-wing terrorists, Puerto Rican separatists, anarchists, and eco-terrorists. International threats come from groups often referred to as the radical international jihad network, and state sponsors of international terrorism that attack US interests both at home and abroad.
If al-Qaeda was the major threat to the US in the 1990s and early-2000s, the terrorist group Da‘ish (aka ISIS/ISIL) has supplanted it since. According to researchers at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, there are 300 active ISIS recruiters operating in the US. At last count, the FBI reported that it was conducting 1,000 active ISIS probes in the country. The US government has positively identified fewer than 12 Americans who have joined ISIS.
There are over 1,000 Salafi-Wahhabi Americans who support ISIS. In contrast, there are 5,000 to 8,000 members of the KKK in the US. If we combine all anti-Muslim and white supremacist groups, we are dealing with an “Invisible Empire,” as they are called by the alt-right, but which I prefer to call the Trailer Park of Inbred Imbeciles, composed of half a million (or more) active hate-mongers and violent extremists.
There has been a 197% increase in anti-Muslim hate groups since 2015. Anti-Muslim hate crimes increased 67% in 2015. By 2016, hate crimes against Muslims had increased by 89%. The question begs to be asked: who hates whom?