Fox Hypes Islamophobic Fears About Michigan's Muslim-Majority City
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Fox's Pete Hegseth hyped Islamophobic fears about Hamtramck, Michigan, the U.S.'s first Muslim-majority city, asking residents whether the mosques in the city "raise an eyebrow." Hegseth also hyped fears over the "integration" of Muslims and invoked the December 2015 San Bernardino, CA mass shooting -- implying a likeness between the shooting and the Michigan city, saying "Obviously, San Bernardino, there are fears, there have been over 120 arrests of ISIS members in the United States, is there no reason for other Americans to be worried?" The city has been a target of Islamophobia before. In an interview with CNN, the mayor was asked if she is "afraid" of her city with a Muslim majority. From the February 3 edition of Fox & Friends:
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STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Meanwhile, Hamtramck, Michigan is the first Muslim-majority city in America. So what is it really like to live there?
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Pete Hegseth went to find out himself. First time ever in America, right?
PETE HEGSETH: We did, absolutely. In 2013, this town became the first Muslim-majority city. We went to check it out. What was Hamtramck, Michigan like? It is unlike any other town in America. Surrounded by the city of Detroit, Hamtramck just elected a Muslim-majority city council, and more changes are coming.
HEGSETH: We talked to a lot of folks that day. And what was interesting was what was said on-camera and off-camera. A lot of folks weren't willing to go camera and say their true feelings. When the camera's off --
KILMEADE: They've got to live there, right?
HEGSETH: Yeah, they've got to live there. There's a lot of social pressure. But when the camera turns off or when we're pre-interviewing, they're saying, well, we're pretty worried about this. There's a lot of anxiety. We're not sure if, they're not actually integrating as much as we'd want them to.
ANNA KOOIMAN (CO-HOST): Yeah, we talk a lot about assimilation and how important that is. A rep from the Census Information Center said that the predominantly Muslim groups don't intermingle much because of language barriers. Did you notice them assimilating?
HEGSETH: And we saw that. Twenty-seven languages in the schools, segmentation in the town. There's a Yemeni portion, there's a Bangladeshi part. There isn't as much assimilation. Folks in the Polish population talked about that, too. So, concerns about integration.