Are there similarities between Muslim and Mormon persecution?

Sen. Hatch said something yesterday regarding the Fort Hood massacre that I think is very reasonable:

I don’t think all Islamic people in this country should be tarred by the fact that one guy goes off the rails. I think we ought to be fair. There are many wonderful Islamic people in this country. One of the best is my old friend Muhammad Ali. He’s a great, great person. You can’t put everybody in that category because one guy goes nuts.

I thank Sen. Hatch for this sane, uplifting comment. But I do think he is missing the point in some ways.

It is worth pointing out that, because of our Mormon heritage, Hatch understands that it is easy to paint people with a broad brush. Mormons have certainly suffered from that ever since the New York, Ohio and Missouri days. We still suffer from it today: look how we are being blamed for the same-sex marriage vote in Maine even though the Church made no special efforts in Maine and we have relatively few members there. It is also worth remembering that there was something of a “religious test” in the 2008 elections among Republican primary voters, especially the supporters of the bigot Mike Huckabee.

It is interesting to note, however, that hate crimes against Muslims are not a huge problem in the U.S., which is pretty remarkable given the conflicts with the Muslim world going all the way back to the 1970s.

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