Basically, the reason they’re taking place now is that this is an unprecedented time in American history for the mainstreaming of Islamophobic sentiment and rhetoric. What was once allowed to operate on the fringes and by fringe actors has been co-opted by mainstream political actors and parties to capitalize on people’s fears, panic, and hysteria. You see this pattern in American history. When there is a moment of panic and fear around an economic downturn, politicians and people in cottage industries turn on minorities. It has happened with Jews and with African Americans in the past.