Saturday, 25 October 2014

Islamophobes Harm Western Economies

“Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment has cost the United States and the West a number of business opportunities,” Haroon Moghul, Fellow at the New America Foundation and Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security, explains.

A concrete example came in 2006 when a Dubai enterprise, Dubai Ports World, dropped out of a deal to manage six U.S. ports after members of Congress attacked the plan on national security grounds. U.S. authorities would have been in charge of security at the ports.

“The Dubai Ports World fiasco,” Moghul says, harmed U.S. interests by “denying necessary investment for no reason other than a baseless and prejudicial mistrust of Arabs.”
Tourism is another case “of the potential and loss of business opportunity” resulting from Islamophobia, according to Rafi-uddin Shikoh, who directs DinarStandard, a research group specializing in Muslim-world markets.

In 2011 the Muslim tourism market was worth $126.1 billion, 12.3 percent of the global total, Shikoh says. The top travel destinations were Malaysia, Turkey, the UAE, Singapore, Russia, and China.
“I’m sure the mere discomfort of traveling to America as a Muslim or an Arab has . . . encouraged alternate tourist destinations,” Moghul says. “This lack of exposure will also cost us, as fewer Muslims and Arabs get the chance to study, travel, and experience America and gain an appreciation for our country.” []

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