Huffington Post — In the public debate over America’s role in the Syrian refugee crisis and in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Cal State San Bernardino criminal justice professor and terrorism expert Brian Levin called for more factual, reasoned and civil discussion in his opinion piece.
“For a variety of reasons, factually anchored analysis proves elusive, even to those immersed in the field, because of a confusing barrage of often conflicting information,” wrote Levin, the director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. “The evolving threat is at once both severe, yet partly unpredictable; opaque, but worse yet, accompanied by a masquerade of factually dubious prejudices. In our contemporary post truth political era, these religious and political prejudices and half-truths have elevated into shiny counterfeit currency.
“Moreover, a quasi-ubiquitous Islamophobia, broadly casts a divisive web of suspicion and pain upon our 2.7 million innocent Muslim American neighbors, who interestingly are also derided by ISIS as docile ‘coconuts’ for choosing to live here in freedom,” Levin wrote.
“The wafting toxic vapor of this un-American bigotry is casting a pall across our land in small concentrated puffs on the Internet and at social gatherings, as well as in industrial strength bellows by an expanding constellation of presidential carnival barkers. This snake oil is not only morally inapposite to our exceptional pluralistic democracy; it threatens our national security as well,” he wrote.