Other immigrants, such as those from Germany, Italy, and Asia, often got the cold shoulder, too, but it was not as severe. The U.S. always has been a little bipolar on immigration — elated at the idea of a Land of Immigrants, but some of us not so keen when the new arrivals don’t look like us.
Muslims are the latest to arrive in numbers, and they carry the additional burden of being associated with terrorism. “Bad luck,” as with Japanese immigrants in California at the outbreak of World War II, observes Jacob Bender, executive director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. For Muslims, 9/11 created “a level of suspicion that was heretofore unknown to their community.” Bender happens to be Jewish.Continue reading »