So said Mohammad Fadel, an associate professor specializing in Islamic law at the University of Toronto (“Behind an Anti-Shariah Push”, Sunday’s NY Times, July 31, p. 16).

The front page Sunday Times article (above the fold) reviews well the nativist, paranoid and right-wing effort to create a straw dog of American Muslims and then attack them. This campaign (to my great shame and embarrassment as a Jew) is being led by an American Orthodox Jewish lawyer, David Yerushalmi.

Given that there is no organized push by Muslims to impose Shariah law anywhere in the country, Yerushalmi himself says that this is a prophylactic measure so that “if” Muslims try to take over the legal system of the United States (as he says they are doing in Europe), a law will be in place to prevent it, as if the US Constitution and our democratic system of checks and balances wouldn’t be enough by themselves!

This organized grass roots effort to demonize the American Muslim community as the perpetual outsider, interloper and enemy, and to attack Islam as a religion is based on motivations that are contrary to facts and reason.

The paranoia of the right-wing and their historic search for a scapegoat (Communists, homosexuals, African Americans, Latinos, liberals, and now Muslims) says far more about them than the object of their obsessive fears and hatred.

Facts, of course, are irrelevant when confronting masses of people who are convinced of their “truth.” Here is a relevant fact – The American Muslim population (Pew Research Center, 2009) was 2.5 million, a mere .86% of the American population.

The article is worth reading and I recommend it if you have not already done so.