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Demonization Incites Hate Crimes - Offensive Cartoon
Chicago Tribune
September 19, 2004

[Ahmed Rehab is Communications director for the Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago.]

I was gravely disappointed by a political cartoon on the Sept. 9 Editorial page that collectively portrayed Muslims as hypocrites. The cartoon suggests that Muslims are indifferent to the massacre of children and innocents.

There is no evidence that the Muslim world is in anyway accepting of, or even indifferent to, the tragedy in Beslan, Russia. All indications coming from all corners of the Muslim world clearly point to a strong condemnation of the heinous act.

The cartoon is demeaning to Muslims as it is a rudimentary show of primitive stereotyping and gross generalization.

Irresponsible and sensational media pieces that demonize Muslims feed heavily into the anti-Muslim frenzy that is on the rise in America. They help create an atmosphere that is conducive to, and even incitive of, hate crimes.

copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune