© 2022 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Source: A Climate Of Fear And Profiling

Daljeet Singh (pictured) is demanding authorities bring charges against the passengers who falsely accused him of making a bomb threat – which led to him being detained for 30 hours and photographed without his turban.";

Last week, a man was pulled off a Greyhound Bus in Amarillo and detained for 30 hours because he spoke a foreign language and was wearing a turban. Earlier this week, An Italian mathematician was removed from a U.S. flight for working on his equations. Both were thought to be Muslim terrorists, one was Daljeet Singh, a Sikh man from India. The other, Guido Menzio, is an Ivy League economist.

A culture of fear and xenophobia have given rise to the widespread acceptance of racial profiling and knee-jerk overreaction. Islamophobia has not only become acceptable, it has been encouraged by many public officials. One has to look no further than the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to find a plan that would ban all Muslims from coming to the U.S. A plan he has tried to distance himself from this week. 

To say its mainstream is an understatement, and in Texas it is just as bad.

"This is very much happening in Texas. Hate crimes are up against Muslims. Vandalism against mosques, school bullying is up, and many of our public officials are participating in the anti-Muslim sentiment," says Simran Jeet Singh.

Singh, who is an assistant professor of Religion at Trinity University recently released a paper detailing the troubling pattern of Islamophobic sentiments expressed by public leaders, including Governor Greg Abbott.

Have we allowed islamophobia to become acceptable and how can we change it?


  • Harsimran Kaur, legal director at the Sikh Coalition
  • Simran Jeet Singh, assistant professor of Religion at Trinity University
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive