Criticism Mounts Over White House’s Insensitive Release of Anti-Islamophobia Plan

On Wednesday, the Biden administration drew criticism when it revealed plans to create the inaugural US National Strategy to Combat Islamophobia, against the backdrop of increasing antisemitism.

The White House’s emphasis on addressing Islamophobia coincided with the arrest of a 21-year-old individual in New York who self-identified as a “Hamas fighter” and allegedly made threats against Jews at Cornell University. FBI Director Christopher Wray also informed senators that antisemitism in the US has reached “historic levels” following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

“For years, Muslims in America and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate fueled attacks,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a video posted on X.

“As a result of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen an uptick in anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents across America,” she added, referencing the brutal slaying of a six-year-old Palestinian American boy in Chicago last month.

Harris indicated that the plan – still in the works – will aim “to protect Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim from hate, bigotry and violence. And to address the concern that some government policies may discriminate against Muslims.”

The White House’s initiative also follows a poll conducted by the Arab American Institute, which revealed that President Biden’s support among Arab-Americans dropped to only 17% after endorsing Israel’s actions in the conflict with Hamas. In contrast, 40% of Arab-American respondents indicated they would support former President Donald Trump.

Canadian professor Gad Saad, who referenced Director Wray’s statistics during his Senate testimony, was among those who voiced their dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s anti-Islamophobia announcement on social media.

“According to the [FBI] director, Jews make up 2.4% of the US population but are the targets of 60% of hate crimes. This is why it is apparently important to fight Islamophobia according to the White House,” Saad, who was born into a Jewish family in Lebanon, wrote on X.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who has called for the deportation of foreigners expressing support for Hamas, was equally appalled by the announcement.

“After the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and a breakout of pro-Hamas activism on campus, the White House is claiming *Islamophobia* is our top concern,” the Arkansas Republican tweeted.

Blake Beye, a member of the Hilsboro, Kan., City Council, called the unveiling “tone deaf” in the wake of rising antisemitism.

“This is one of the most tone deaf posts I’ve ever seen on this platform,” Beye said in response to the vice president’s video message. “The amount of hatred I’ve seen towards the Jewish community and the nation of Israel over the last month makes me sick to my stomach and breaks my heart. Read the room, sweetheart.”

“Aside from the fact this is a slap in the face to American Jews who are the actual victims of hate crimes, the good news for Republicans is that Michigan must be in play,” Hemingway said on X.

In alignment with numerous voices on social media, conservative radio talk show host Tammy Bruce voiced her criticism regarding the timing of the Biden administration’s announcement.

“Timing is everything and is itself a statement,” Bruce tweeted. “This as Jews are being threatened, hunted, and attacked worldwide. Tells you everything you need to know about the moral depravity and corruption of the Democratic Party and especially of the people in the White House.”