A new report shows that Islamophobia is metastasizing on the Internet. After anti-Muslim sentiment crystallized in 2010 around the construction of an Islamic interfaith center in Manhattan, there’s been a sharp increase in such feelings.
“In recent years, we have seen hate groups and anti-Muslim activists use the Internet and social media platforms to spread hate,” Madihha Ahussain, staff attorney at Muslim Advocates and lead author of the report, tells me. “For example, Pamela Geller, a well-known anti-Muslim proponent who has her own blog, had 19,000 supporters on Facebook last summer. Today, less than a year later, she has over 78,000 supporters.”
The report is entitled, “Click Here to End Hate: Anti-Muslim Bigotry Online & How to Take Action.” It mentions several hate groups.
There’s Act! for America, led by Brigitte Gabriel, who, the New York Times reports, “presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion.” Her outfit claims to have roughly 875 chapters and 279,000 members nationwide. Its Facebook page has almost 84,000 likes.
The United States Defense League, dedicated to “exposing Shariah law,” has nearly 23,000 likes for its page.
A blog named Bare Naked Islam has a reported 51 million hits since 2008.