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Jan 24 2012

Islamophobia is used to scaremonger people into silence

The Guardian has published a letter calling for an inquiry into the ‘anti-Islam’ press.

Whilst racism must be unequivocally condemned, the signatories – like the Guardian, confuse racism with a criticism of Islam. They are not one and the same no matter how many letters and articles the Guardian publishes.

Islamophobia is nothing but a political term used to scaremonger people into silence. [And yes I'm looking at you Islamophobia Watch.]

Well I am sorry but no can do.

You cannot attribute human qualities to a belief system or Islam and Islamism in order to rule out and deem racist any opposition or criticism.

Just in case they didn’t know, let me repeat. Criticism, mockery, opposition to and even hatred of a belief Is. Not. Racism.

Now if the signatories bothered to think rather than parrot Islamist propaganda, they would see that this is the case.  In their own letter they refer to a poll commissioned by the ‘moderate’ Ahmadiyya Muslim community, in order to ‘inform its plans to counter the tide of prejudice against Islam and highlight strategies to promote better community relations.’

That’s what the term is there for – to protect Islam – from prejudice, not Muslims. Given the havoc Islamism (and its banner, Islam) are wreaking worldwide, a criticism is not just a right but a historical task and duty.

(Link via Anne Marie Waters)

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Bruce Gorton

    Just a question that has been running through my head lately:

    How does the use of the term Islamophobia impact on former Muslims?

  2. 2
    Upright Ape

    An “inquiry “? Does this mean a McCarthy style witch hunt?

  3. 3
    Sunny

    Of course, one is not allowed to criticize:

    Female flogging on rise in Maldives
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/female-flogging-on-rise-in-maldives-20120124-1qfmd.html

    The next day protestors rallied outside the UN building, carrying placards that read ”Ban UN”, ”Islam is not a toy” and threatened to ”Flog Pillay”. A website promised to ”slaughter anyone against Islam”.

    Peaceful and merciful indeed!

  4. 4
    timberwoof

    I’m confused. We keep hearing that Muslims and Arabs are not the same thing, that there are many Muslims who are not Arabs … yet Islamophobia is racist? Can’t have it both ways!

    1. 4.1
      sumdum

      It seems they suffer from the same cognitive dissonance that theists often do.

  5. 5
    Steersman

    Criticism, mockery, opposition to and even hatred of a belief Is. Not. Racism.

    And it’s not even against the law. At least as far as I can see.

  6. 6
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Maryam:

    You cannot attribute human qualities to a belief system or Islam and Islamism in order to rule out and deem racist any opposition or criticism.

    Just in case they didn’t know, let me repeat. Criticism, mockery, opposition to and even hatred of a belief Is. Not. Racism.

    -What’s a secular word for amen? Whatever it is, apply it to the above.
    When the term ‘islamophobia’ is used, one can never be sure which version of the word someone is talking about? Is it the fear of the actual religion? Or are they referring to actual Muslims, rather than their beliefs? Unfortunately both versions get co-mingled.

  7. 7
    Mriana

    I don’t see how they equate criticism of religion with racism. Religion is not a race and anyone can be any religion. That is, while the majority of Islamics are Middle Eastern, not all Islamists are Middle Eastern. Some are Europeans and American, not of Middle Eastern ancestry.

    1. 7.1
      mirax

      FYI: the majority of muslims come from south east asia or the indian sub-continent, not the middle east.

      In the UK, zenophobic sentiment from the far right is often expressed as anti-islamic (the bigger migrant groups being of subcontinental muslim origin), thus the overlap between racism and “ïslamophobia”. I feel that it is dangerous to let either the far right racists or the would-be theocrats to define the parameters of free speech and therefore I do not agree the term ‘islamophobia’ encompasses racism. I recognise the existence of anti-muslim prejudice and that is not conscionable.

      That letter in the Al-Guardian is full of the usual suspects -some of whom are very dodgy and guilty of racism themselves and they agenda is an anti-free speech one. Bob Pitt would be happy to shut up the likes of Joan Smith or Maryam.Almost none on that list would stand up for women’s rights or gay rights unequivocally if those came into conflict with the theocratic aspirations of “óppressed brown” people.

  8. 8
    Cheradenine Zakalwe

    That’s the problem with unequivocally condemning something, dear. Once you’ve defined a certain category of speech that must be unequivocally condemned, you’ll see bracket creep as interested parties try to bring their own favoured causes inside its boundaries. It’s much better if you just agree that people can say whatever they like and that, whatever their arguments are, they will be assessed in light of the evidence they can adduce to support them.

    I’ve seen you play the same “hate speech” game against the EDL and JihadWatch, so don’t whine now when it’s played on you. That “coming back to bite you” sensation is inevitable once you depart from the free speech ideal.

  9. 9
    ecks why

    Informed rational freedom loving people have all the reasons in the world to fear islam. The twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. Even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

    The evil koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.

    Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    and a snappy graphics version, great for emailing…

    http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/1479/dangermoko.jpg

    1. 9.1
      Michael A

      “Even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.”

      Theology means Aqeedah. And Aqeedah is an abstract concept. You don’t seem to understand what it is.

      Also how is Islam’s history worse than Judaism’s history (Biblical genocides) and Christianity’s history?

      “Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.”

      So did the Biblical God Yahweh, are you scared of Judaism and Jews because of their history?

      “The evil koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god…”

      You should read the Old Testament.

      “…which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.”

      Worst ever? Haha! Let’s see:

      Holocaust (6 million dead) – German Catholics
      Holodomor (2.5 million dead) – Soviet atheists
      Native America genocide (at least 2.5 million dead) – European Christians
      Cambodian genocide (1 million dead) – Communist atheists
      Rwandan genocide (500 thousand dead) – Africans
      Aztec human sacrifice (at least 300 thousand dead) – Mexican pagans
      Rape of Nanking (at least 260 thousand dead) – Japanese Buddhists and Shintoists

      “Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology…”

      George Orwell said about “fascism”:

      …the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else … Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathisers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come…

      “… used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.”

      Muslims are not taking over. Don’t worry. Some statistics for you:

      1) Ethiopia (33.9%, 28 million Muslims), Mali (92.5%, 12 mil), Senegal (96%, 12 mil), Burkina Faso (59%, 9 mil), Guinea (84.4%, 8 mil) are all secular states in Africa with very large Muslim populations. Having a Muslim majority population does not mean having an Islamist government or fundamentalist Sharia law courts.
      2) There are actually European states with large Muslim populations. Albania (79.9%), Kosovo (89.6%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (40%) and Macedonia (33.3%) are secular states who don’t have an Islamist government or Sharia.
      3) Former Soviet republics: Uzbekistan (96.3%, 26 million Muslims), Azerbaijan (99.2%, 8 mil), Kazakhstan (56.4%, 8 mil), Tajikistan (84.1%, 5 mil), Turkmenistan (93.1%, 4 mil), Kyrgyzstan (86.3%, 4 mil) are all also secular states with no Islamist governments or Sharia.

  10. 10
    Michael A

    Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same coin. Please don’t deny it.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/06/islamophobia-anti-semitism-everything-old-is-new-again/

  1. 11
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    [...] Islamophobia is used to scaremonger people into silence The Guardian has published a letter calling for an inquiry into the ‘anti-Islam’ press. [...]

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    [...] from within the Mormon community. It was interesting to read the same complaint from Miriam Namazie in regards to Islam. It points to the way communities have of closing ranks and dividing the world into clearly [...]

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    [...] I am talking about is their seeming denial of the existence of Islamophobia: That’s what the term is there for – to protect Islam – from prejudice, not Muslims. Given the havoc Islamism (and its banner, [...]

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    [...] from within the Mormon community. It was interesting to read the same complaint from Miriam Namazie in regards to Islam. It points to the way communities have of closing ranks and dividing the world into clearly [...]

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    Islamophobia exists | Crommunist

    […] That’s what the term is there for – to protect Islam – from prejudice, not Muslims. Given the havoc Islamism (and its banner, Islam) are wreaking worldwide, a criticism is not just a right but a historical task and duty. […]

  8. 18
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    […] of fear and violence moslems have to live with in the USA. (Articles against the use of the term here and here, in favor here and here.) And I’m certain there are others who are undecided about […]

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