Equal treatment by law is one of the most fundamental rights we hold today, and its effects go beyond simply criminals and their punishments. A recent study by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding has shown how this right is not being given to Muslim criminals in the United States, and the effects this has on the broader Muslim community.
Police, courts and the US Department of Justice all have clear differential treatment when it comes to Muslim and non-Muslim criminals. From sentencing being four times longer for Muslims in comparable cases to 770% more media coverage, there is an unambiguous trend.
This practice also affects the ways in which our broader society views the Muslim community. When the US Department of Justice releases a national press statement on an ideological plot, it gets far more coverage and has a greater effect on the public’s awareness of the issue.
That means that despite the fact that very similar plots with comparable targets and scale are attempted by both Muslim and non-Muslim criminals, the public hears far more about the former, heightening their fear of the perpetrators and stigmatising entire communities.
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