Doing their utmost to confirm the bigot’s view

Unrepentant Jacobin makes a good point in his post from yesterday on Maajid Nawaz and the cartoon uproar:

It’s interesting to note that secular and progressive Muslims also seem to be those who complain least about ‘Islamophobia’. What drives them to distraction is the refusal of Western relativists to offer them support in their own confrontations with the Islamic far-right. Meanwhile those identitarians who complain most often and most noisily about ‘Islamophobia’ are often the same people doing their utmost to confirm the bigot’s view that all Muslims are childish and intolerant. Not only do they behave in a childish and intolerant way, but they insist that it is they who really represent Islam.

That’s exactly what I kept noticing and objecting to over the past two or three weeks – the way so many people seemed absolutely determined to confirm and spread and celebrate the very worst stereotypes about Muslims there are. The mashup of adamant dogmatism and frothing rage is not a good look.

It is astonishing how quickly a deeply-entrenched taboo can collapse in a free society once it has been violated. Had the reporting of the Jesus and Mo row been universally accompanied by the cartoon in question (as it would have been in any other context), it would have demonstrated at a stroke how stupid the debate about Islam has become. Shafiq and Ansar understand this perfectly, which is precisely why they have kicked up such a racket over such an innocuous image. If sharing a gently satirical comic strip can attract such outrage, vituperation and hatred, what are the chances of a genuinely provocative, transgressive and iconoclastic satire of Islamic beliefs and ideas emerging?

Ask Taslima, ask Salman, ask Waleed.



  1. sacharissa says

    At least these days anyone with a remote interest in the story can go online and see the cartoon anyway. In fact they’ll find the J&M site and see far more. I bet J&M has got a lot more readers in the last few weeks.

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