July 11, 2020

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Yes, we should talk about the ‘i’ word

http://david-collier.com/islamophobia/

Trigger warning: If you think you will be triggered by discussion of the word ‘Islamophobia’, then you should not read this article – in fact you probably should not be reading my blog at all. It is too honest for you.

The most offensive article in the history of the world

On December 16th Melanie Phillips wrote an article about the use of the word Islamophobia. The article was 725 words long. Judging by the reaction, Melanie’s article was clearly one of the most offensive pieces of writing that has ever been published. Luckily, as I have both Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on my overflowing antisemitic bookshelf, I felt I had the stomach to have a closer look. I want to tell you what I found:

Words 1-140

The article opens with a general introduction to the topic. Phillips suggests reaction to the level of antisemitism in the Labour party is muted and she lays a platform for the article by suggesting there are two causes for this.

Words 141 – 381

Melanie factually addresses the level of antisemitism in anti-Israel activism. Anyone who still doubts this, has no place in any discussion on anti-Jewish hatred. It has been proven beyond all reasonable argument that everywhere that people gather to demonstrate about – or talk against – Israel – you will have a room at least half full of Holocaust deniers and Rothschild Conspiracy theorists. It is like a high-powered magnet.

Words 382 – 450

Melanie suggests that it is difficult to discuss these attitudes without being called Islamophobic. She then states some of our own Jewish leadership have gone along with this – even equating ‘Islamophobia’ with ‘antisemitism’. When she makes this point, she raises the issue of the levels of antisemitism within Muslim communities. All this is equally well-known factual commentary.

Words 451 – 507

Phillips then clearly distinguishes between anti-Muslim bigotry – prejudice against Muslims – which she condemns – and cynical and manipulative use of the term Islamophobia. It is important to make this distinction and she was absolutely right to make it. Although there may be a problem with the way the word ‘Islamophobia’ is being used – the key point of the article – it does not mean for one second that anti-Muslim bigotry is not a problem.

This leaves about 218 words still to consider.

Words 511-591

Having separated Anti-Muslim bigotry from ‘Islamophobia’, Melanie now talks about the historical misuse of the term Islamophobia (which is nothing to do with a denial of anti-Muslim bigotry).

Phillips suggests *the term* Islamophobia (as we understand it today) was styled by the Muslim Brotherhood explicitly for misuse. This is not a new claim. In fact, in an article designed to attack the Phillips piece in al-bab.com, the author explicitly accepts that ‘the term can certainly be misused’ in the way Phillips describes, before going on to wrongly suggest Phillip’s article had denied the existence of anti-Muslim bigotry.

Recently, Seyran Ateş in the Telegraph, suggested adopting the currently circulating definition of Islamophobia would protect and help Islamist groups, and names the Muslim Brotherhood as a possible benefactor.

It is interesting that the al-bab piece suggests the first recorded use of Islamophobia in the UK, was against Salmon Rushdie. The charge against him at the time was blasphemy – and a fatwa issued from Iran.  Do we have a problem with blasphemy? Back then, we protected Rushdie, today he would have been called an Islamophobe – and that difference is certainly an issue for legitimate debate. Is blasphemy – Islamophobic?

Phillips suggests that the misuse was deliberate. Antisemites see the charge of antisemitism as a shield. Antisemitic Islamists saw this as something to mimic.

I don’t need to agree with Melanie on each point to suggest these conversations should be on the table. Phillips is not talking about my neighbour, or yours. Hamas use civilians as human shields.  It is deliberate strategy based on an understanding of a weakness in western society. When western media fall for this strategy they play into the hands of radical Islamists. Pointing this out is not Islamophobic. Precisely the same logic applies here.

There is nothing here that deals on a personal level with Muslims as people, nor does it detract from the real abuse some Muslims receive. Is the charge of Islamophobia misused or not? Is the term itself acceptable? Many think not. What is wrong with discussing this? The biggest victims of Islamic blasphemy laws are Muslims and the term is used to shut down criticism of extremism and shut down criticism of religious belief (particularly by ex-Muslims).

Words 592-725

In almost a prophetic ending Melanie then covers the smear campaign that occurs when anyone discusses this subject. One only needs to look at the response to her article to know she had a point there.

Equating antisemitism and Islamophobia

Melanie was chiefly attacked by those who suggested that as we are fighting antisemitism, we need to be seen standing shoulder to shoulder with those fighting Islamophobia. Thus drawing a direct equivalence. Given so much antisemitism is actually coming from the Islamic world, little can do more damage to the Jewish people.

There are 15 million Jews on the planet. About 33% were wiped out just a few generations ago. Jews have suffered horrendous persecution from enemies that seek to eradicate them. They were chased from nation to nation and eventually, when they returned to Israel, Arabs nations sought to annihilate them there. From far-right to far left and across the Islamist world – we have enemies that still want us gone. We are 15 million. A tiny minority.

The Muslims are about 1.8 billion, or one in every 4 people on the planet. They have majority status in dozens of states that cover enormous parts of the globe. Some of their lands are drowning in mineral riches. They absolutely face bigotry -some of it deadly – but the biggest killer of Muslims today is other Muslims.

Outside of one tiny strip of land – Jewish people pose no threat of any kind to anyone. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Muslim world. There are groups inside the Muslim world that do pose a threat. In the last few years we have seen mass killings in cities such as London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Nice and so on. We have to be allowed to freely research and criticise these forces without it being suggested we are engaging in anti-Muslim bigotry.

If you feel I am out of order for saying so, something is wrong with your own basic logical functions.

The Muslim world is rife with antisemitism. If the term Islamophobia cripples those who seek to address this or criticise acts of terror (or those behind them) – it is the term that needs to be adjusted.

Different opinions

As it happens I agree with much of what Melanie Phillips says (not all) – I often do – but that is not important here. You are free to disagree with her every word. What matters is what happens when we don’t agree with someone’s opinion. After the Phillips article came out  – I got told it was racist. I asked which part exactly – I was met with silence.

What happened to Melanie, as with what happened to Richard Kemp was disgraceful. We have a ‘moral police’ operating in our community. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sit in the centre of the spectrum, but rather quite a bit to the left of it.

These moral police have a problem with Melanie. And they will have a problem with anyone who stands by her. They have a problem with me too. Their role is to paint anyone who is not of the far left – as an extremist. Does it sound familiar? It should – this is Corbynista strategy. Most of my centrist friends online have been attacked and at some point called a racist, a fascist, an Islamophobe – or any of the other smears that fly around these days.

It is the way the far left behaves. The soft left never stands up to fight – so those at the extremes keep shifting the goalposts. The nervousness and insecurity of those near the centre has everyone reacting – to virtue signal and attack whoever is the latest victim of this lynch mob. Remember – Daniel Sugarman who jumped on Melanie here – was left ‘ashamed‘ when his ‘rush to be first to condem virtue signalling’ went badly wrong before. Some people are sitting in their offices just desperate to show the rest of the world how upright and moral they are.

Little by little the attitude of the virtue signallers and the far left consumes free speech, alternative opinions and anything they disagree with. Everyone but them becomes a fascist.

Does Melanie Phillips have a point?

Does Melanie Phillips have a point? Well we should perhaps ask Daniel Sugarman.

islamophobe

Is Daniel Sugarman an Islamophobe? He was the author of the key tweet attacking Phillips. If the accusation of Islamophobia is always sincere, then you would have to conclude that he is. I could have conducted a far larger exercise, to show that all the key members of the Board, the JLC and everyone else who criticised Melanie have wrongly been identified as Islamophobes – many times. It is a way of shutting down criticism. Which is in effect, what I think Melanie Phillips was trying to say.

Put it this way. If antisemitism is a problem in parts of Muslim society – how can we address it critically and forcefully without being Islamophobic?

Brave voices

I am a truth teller. I am not here to make friends or only write things with which people feel comfortable. The attitude of perpetual pacification is a disease of the Jewish diaspora. Being vulnerable is in our DNA. Submission is in our DNA too. But Zionism arose as a response to the inevitable destruction of a community with such an attitude. Zionism allows us to leave such folly behind. I am here to fight against those that wish us harm and to tell people the truth. What I write here is truth as I see it.

There are few brave voices in our community. And unfortunately responses such as the one Phillips received makes it all the more difficult to speak out. Even though this piece has been carefully written in an attempt to ensure there is no misunderstanding, it will still be used against me.

Our thought police on the left are attacking the only people willing to stand up and fight for our community. We either learn to stick up for – and stand by them- or accept the fact that our entire community will be swept away by the tide.

A moment of victory

In other news, last October at the request of both UKLFI and the Zionist Federation, I conducted an analysis of a Pearson school textbook on the conflict. The book was full of errors and bias. I produced a report and Pearson created a panel to digest the findings. Pearson have just announced that they have withdrawn the biased book and are rewriting it for next year. Schoolchildren will no longer have their minds poisoned by that particular text. This shows that this research has a far reaching effect and makes a difference in the real world.

 

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The post Yes, we should talk about the ‘i’ word appeared first on The David Collier blog.

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