Finally, on Wednesday, February 15, a South Carolina man was arrested after allegedly telling an undercover federal agent he wanted to carry out a large-scale attack on non-whites, and scrawl on a building “In the Spirit of Dylan Roof, afterwards.” The man had communicated his intentions to an undercover agent, from whom he hoped to buy a Glock handgun and hollow-point ammunition.
These stories are not only attracting less attention and outrage from mainstream media outlets. Their perpetrators are also receiving very different legal treatment, when compared with Muslims accused of similar crimes. This distinction was made clear in the case of Robert Doggart, who was arrested in April 2016 after trying to recruit accomplices in a plot to burn down a mosque in a predominantly Muslim community in upstate New York. Doggart, who has been under house arrest, is not being charged with terrorism.
If he was Muslim, there is no doubt he would have been labeled a terrorist.
Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric must be fought at every turn, but it is also symptomatic of a larger problem. Non-Muslim allies must realize that the fight against Islamophobia in this country will not be won until the legal and normative distinctions between Muslim and non-Muslim criminals are dismantled. This is a long-haul fight, and one that will need to be waged long after Trump is out of office.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Muslim Post.
This article originally appeared on muftah.