Fear of rampant anti-Muslim sentiment is really a fear of the people.
The deaths were still being tolled, the casualties still being taken to hospital. But while the rest of the world was coming to terms with the Paris attacks, those keen to see anti-Muslim prejudice and bigotry everywhere just couldn’t help themselves. Out the familiar lines came: ‘demagogues [will] immediately blame it on Muslims’;‘terrorist attacks in Paris are going to trigger more anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe’; ‘a field day for Islamophobes’; and, from the UK, ‘too often the response to such attacks is to hold responsible and scapegoat all Muslims’.
That so many commentators and MuslimsAreNotTerrorist hashtaggers were quick to dust off this tale of rampant anti-Muslim feeling just waiting to explode shouldn’t have been a surprise.