Our community learned a long time that Anti-Semitism can surface even where there are no Jews. In fact, the absence of a local Jewish community has often fueled such hatred, since those who might be inclined to such thinking do not have any personal experience with “real live Jews” to offset the popularly-received stereotypes.
So I guess it’s not a surprise than anti-Muslim animus is flourishing in the United States, especially, it seems, in places with almost no Muslims. As Roger Cohn reports from Perry, Oklahoma in this great New York Times op-ed, “You might not expect Shariah, a broad term encompassing Islamic religious precepts, to be a priority topic at the Kumback [diner] given that there’s not a Muslim in Perry and perhaps 30,000, or less than one percent of the population, in all Oklahoma. And you’d be wrong.”