Monday, September 11, 2017

"Islamophobia": Silencing Islam's critics

Muslims burn copies of Salman Rushdie’s "Satanic Verses" in Bradford, U.K., in 1988. (DEREK HUDSON/GETTY IMAGES)
Muslims burn copies of  "Satanic Verses" in the U.K., 1988. 
(Derek Hudson, Getty Images)

Pascal Bruckner in City Journal:

...The term “Islamophobia” probably existed before these bureaucrats of the empire used it. Still, this language remained rare until the late 1980s, when the word was transformed little by little into a political tool, under the pressure of British Muslims reacting to the fatwa that the Ayatollah Khomeini had pronounced against novelist Salman Rushdie, following his publication of The Satanic Verses. With its fluid meaning, the word “Islamophobia” amalgamates two very different concepts: the persecution of believers, which is a crime; and the critique of religion, which is a right. A newcomer in the semantic field of antiracism, this term has the ambition of making Islam untouchable by placing it on the same level as anti-Semitism.

In Istanbul, in October 2013, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, financed by dozens of Muslim countries that themselves shamelessly persecute Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus, demanded that Western countries put an end to freedom of expression where Islam was concerned, charging that the religion had been represented too negatively as a faith that oppresses women and that proselytizes aggressively. The signatories’ intention was to make criticism of the religion of the Koran an international crime.

This demand arose at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban as early as 2001 and would be reaffirmed almost every year. UN special rapporteur for racism Doudou Diene, in a 2007 report to the organization’s Human Rights Council, decries Islamophobia as one of the “most serious forms of the defamation of religions.” In March of that year, the Human Rights Council had equated this type of defamation to racism, pure and simple, and demanded that all mockery of Islam and its religious symbols be banned.

This was a double ultimatum. The first goal was to impose silence on Westerners, who were guilty of colonialism, secularism, and seeking equality between men and women. The second, even more important, aim was to forge a weapon of enforcement against liberal Muslims, who dared to criticize their faith and who called for reform of family laws and for equality between the sexes, for a right to apostatize and to convert, and for a right no longer to believe in God and not to observe Ramadan and other rites. Such renegades must face public condemnation, in this imperative, so as to block all hope of change.

The new thought crime seeks to stigmatize young women who wish to be free of the veil and to walk without shame, bareheaded in the street, and to marry whom they love and not who is imposed on them, as well as to strike down those citizens of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom of Turkish, Pakistani, or African origin who dare claim the right to religious indifference...

Questions about Islam move from the intellectual, individual, or theological sphere to the penal, making any objection or reticence about the faith liable to sanction.

The concept of Islamophobia masks the reality of the offensive, led by the Salafists, Wahhabis, and Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and North America, to re-Islamize Muslim communities—a prelude, they hope, to Islamizing the entire Western world.

Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, a refugee in Qatar sought by Interpol for inciting murder and promoting terrorism, often deplored the fact that Islam failed twice in its conquest of Europe: in 732, when Charles Martel stopped the Saracens at Poitiers; and in 1689, with the aborted attempt of the Ottomans to take Vienna. Now the idea is to convert Europe to the true faith in part by transforming the law and the culture...


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3 Comments:

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Morgan Driver said...

Thank you very much for this. Recommend everyone link to the full article.

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, it's a good summary of the problem. A large part of the problem is the muddle liberals and progressives are in on the issue, which is particularly evident here in San Francisco, which I, a mere liberal Democrat, occasionally deride as Progressive Land. I think all religion is like a virus that causes symptoms like stupidity and denial. But Islam is in a particularly violent phase now, which the West went through 500 years ago. Denying this reality not only clouds judgment but plays into the hands of know-nothing politicians like Donald Trump and his Christian base.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Following up on my comment: See this and this.

 

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