U.S. Muslims ask why their religion's condemnation of violence often goes unheard

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, wondered why Muslims are asked to condemn attacks en masse, but other religions are not.

“We practically have a rubber stamp saying, ‘CAIR condemns terrorism,'” said Hooper. “We have condemned attacks not only as un-Islamic, but anti-Islamic. We shout it from the rooftops, but nobody seems to be listening.”

Nicholas Lemann, dean emeritus of the Columbia Journalism School, said this is a pattern that dates to the 1980s, when Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, stirred up controversy with anti-Semitic and sexist remarks.

For years, Lemann said, black politicians were inevitably asked, “Will you condemn Minister Farrakhan?” while white politicians were not. Lemann likened the question to a “loyalty test.”

“The dynamic sort of kicks in when you have an extreme voice or action that puts itself up as done on behalf of an entire group,” he said.