Wednesday, December 18, 2019

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Recently, there has been a controversy in England over a column written by Melanie Phillips on Islamophobia published in TheJC:

Palestinian misdeeds, including Jew-hatred, can’t be acknowledged. Nor can the Jew-hatred coursing through Muslim society in general.

And that’s because the Islamic world is given a free pass on the grounds that it is the historic victim of the west. So any such criticism is silenced by the claim it is “Islamophobic”.

Shockingly, some Jewish leaders have gone along with this travesty, even equating “Islamophobia” with antisemitism.

This displays a quite stunning ignorance and naivety. Of course, true prejudice against Muslims should be condemned, just like prejudice against Hindus, Sikhs or anyone else.

But the taunt of Islamophobia is used to silence any criticism of the Islamic world, including Islamic extremism. This is the second issue which ties people up in knots over antisemitism.

“Islamophobia” was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood to mimic antisemitism, the concept which these Islamists falsely believe immunises Jews from criticism — itself an antisemitic belief.

So “Islamophobia” appropriates to itself the unique attribute of antisemitism — that it is deranged — in order falsely to label any adverse comment about the Islamic world as a form of mental disorder.

The concept of “Islamophobia” is thus profoundly anti-Jew. To equate it with the dehumanising, insane and essentially murderous outpourings of Jew-hatred is obscene.
In response, the Board of Deputies of British Jews tweeted:



I'm not certain of the origins of the the term "Islamophobia" as currently used - I've seen claims that it was created by Iran, not the Muslim Brotherhood - but Phillips' main point is true: the term is used to shut down debate in much the same way that Israel-haters claim that Jews use antisemitism. Except in the case of Islamophobia, it is true.

Notice that Phillips was very careful to distinguish between actual anti-Muslim bigotry, which she rightly condemns, with the far more expansive idea of "Islamophobia," where any criticism of Islam or how Muslim nations act are considered a form of bigotry. This was lost on her critics, who cannot distinguish between the two - thus proving her point by attacking her in order to appear liberal and woke.

What seems to be lost in this discussion is the history of the "phobia" part of "Islamophobia."

For 150 years, there has been a dance between Western fears of Islam as a strange, exotic but potentially deadly ideology and Muslim stoking of those fears to bend Western diplomacy to their will. Here's a typical example, the first and last paragraphs of an article from 1882:


Or this from 1895:


The West has been afraid of a pan-Muslim jihad ever since the concept entered general knowledge. Muslims were regarded as exotic and unpredictable, seemingly walking around with scimitars which were always ready to be used against infidels, and as such deserving of a wide berth.

It didn't take long for Muslim nations to realize this and use this Western fear of Islam to their advantage. The sheer unpredictability of fatal Muslim anger keeps Westerners on edge and wanting to appease Muslims in order to stay on their good side. Whether it is the British reacting to Arab pogroms in Palestine by limiting Jewish immigration, or Western newspapers refusing to publish images of Mohammed that caused murderous rampages, Muslims have realized that their occasional 
eruptions have political advantages.

Palestinian leaders have used the threat of Arab anger and the "Arab street" literally every day for decades in order to gain political advantage. An example from today: Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said, "Without Jerusalem there will be no state, no peace and no stability for anyone." This is an implicit promise to the world of a permanent state of Islamic terror if Palestinians don't get their way, but it is still taken seriously by the West instead of being treated like a mob-style threat it is - which would be rejected if uttered by anyone but a Muslim.

The fear of Islam is not bigotry. It is a tango between a fearful West and a politically astute Muslim world that takes advantage of that fear.

The modern flavor of what is called Islamophobia is a slight variation of that fear - the fear of liberals of being labeled bigots, so they bend over backwards to ensure not the slightest possibility of offending Muslims - many of whom are more than happy to adopt the role of a thin-skinned people for whom every criticism of their religion or their countries is evidence of hate. Many Westerners themselves now work hard to forestall even the slightest possibility of potential offense, what Richard Landes calls "proleptic dhimmitude." The US wants to move its embassy? No, the Arabs worldwide will have massive deadly demonstrations - so don't do it!

To a large extent, this Western fear of Islam contributes to the infantilizing of Muslims and Arabs. The underling logic behind it all is that they are not assumed to be normal, rational people. The true irony of the leftist attitude towards Islam is how patronizing it is. This is why, for example, human rights groups will not hold Muslim nations to the same standards as they hold Israel and the US.

The real solution is to treat Muslims and Arabs like adults, who must take responsibility for their actions - whether it is sexism in the form of hijab laws, or calling them out on threats of riots to affect Western foreign policy, or any of dozens of other examples. Psychologists know that students will act the way teachers expect them to act and it applies to the wide world as well. As long as the West treats Muslims to a lower moral standard than themselves, the Muslim leaders will do everything they can to make their people live down to those expectations.

Is it really so radical to treat everyone by the same moral standards? Isn't that what liberalism is meant to be?

It takes two to tango, and the West can end the dance.




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