Thursday, July 22, 2021

  • Thursday, July 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

From The Hill:
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and other Democratic lawmakers have signed onto a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to appoint a special envoy tasked with monitoring and combatting Islamophobia.

In the letter sent Tuesday, Omar and two dozen other lawmakers cited the spike in Islamophobia seen in recent years as well as the “persecution of Muslims manifesting itself around the world.”

The lawmakers also pointed to a recent annual report released by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in which the office identified multiple countries with “patterns of mistreatment and human rights violations against either their entire Muslim populations or particular sects of Muslims.” 

“In addition to state-sponsored policies of Islamophobia, we have seen a disturbing rise in incidents of Islamophobic violence committed by individuals connected to larger transnational white supremacist networks, including but by no means limited to the mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019 and the recent murder of a Muslim Canadian family in London, Ontario,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers went on to strongly urge Blinken to establish the new role dedicated to combatting Islamophobia, calling it “a genuinely global problem that the United States should tackle globally.”
This would make worldwide bigotry worse, not better.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report that these members of Congress reference describes various issues of religious intolerance, including antisemitism and intolerance towards Muslims. It also describes bigotry against Sikhs, Hindus, Yazidis, Christians and specific Christian sects like Copts and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Crucially, however, it also describes discrimination against Muslims in Muslim countries - Shiite countries persecuting Sufi Muslims and Baha'i, Sunni countries persecuting Shiites and Ahmadiyya Muslims. There is arguably more religious persecution of Muslims by other Muslims than by non-Muslims. 

If the State Department would appoint an Islamophobia envoy with the parameters suggested by Omar and others, these cases of Muslim discrimination against other Muslims would be swept under the rug. Indeed, the only persecutors mentioned in the press conference about this initiative were white supremacists as the major threat to Muslims worldwide, which is clearly not true. 

An Islamophobia envoy (especially one whose remit is to concentrate on white supremacism) would downplay Muslim intolerance towards Muslima, and redirect attention and resources away from such persecution.

In addition, many Muslim countries persecute non-Muslims besides the "other" Muslims. This envoy would also take away from existing, vital efforts to fight these other examples of discrimination. 

There are other problems with Omar's initiative. If you read her statement announcing the call for an envoy, she speaks about her own experiences with Islamophobia as she was growing up in the US and in Congress. A State Department envoy would do nothing to fight that.

Moreover, if Islamophobia deserves its own envoy, then why not one to fight anti-Hindu or anti-Christian discrimination and bigotry? Why not one to protect Sikhs and Kurds?  And why limit it to religion - why not an envoy against anti-Asian hate? 

The best way to fight anti-Muslim discrimination is to fight discrimination altogether. Countries that hate their Muslim minorities generally hate all their religious or racial minorities, and the efforts to fight that bigotry should address all of them. Dedicating an envoy to Islamophobia would dilute and hurt efforts to fight all the other cases of discrimination.

The other problem with this initiative is more fundamental.

It is clearly modeled on the existing (and unfilled) position of an ambassador-level position to monitor and combat antisemitism. Omar, who has already proven multiple times her antipathy towards Jews, wants to water down the antisemitism envoy's power by equating Islamophobia with antisemitism. 

They are vastly different. 

Islamophobia is just like other bigotries - people hate the "other" and discriminate against them. That is why the best way to fight Islamophobia is to fight racism and bigotry as a whole. China hates Uyghur Muslims because they are there. Burma hates Rohingya Muslims because they are there. Neither of them hate Muslims in Europe or in the Middle East. 

Antisemites hate the Jews no matter where they are. The most antisemitic countries are the ones with the fewest Jews. 

Antisemitism is fundamentally different from Islamophobia and other discrimination because it is the manifestation of pure hate, not just bigotry. Leftists call Jews "white supremacists" and "racists," neo-Nazis accuse Jews of being anti-racist and supporting immigration. Both of them attribute to Jews that which they hate. Both of them passionately hate the Jewish state. 

Antisemitism occurs within all political contexts, and it is justified by people of every belief system where Jews represent everything people loathe. It is the only bigotry where the hated group is said to have almost supernatural power over the haters. 

People like Omar who claim that they fight antisemitism along with all other hatreds are knowingly diminishing antisemitism and encouraging it by pretending that it is just a specific form of white supremacism. They want to dissociate themselves from their own part in modern antisemitism. 

Because antisemitism is so different from other bigotries it cannot be fought using the same methods that one fights other types of discrimination. 

That is why it makes sense to have an antisemitism envoy - and why it makes no sense to have a special envoy for other kinds of bigotries.


EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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