16 November 2015

After Paris: the myth of Islamophobia

.... And yet the backlash, Islam’s night and no doubt day of broken glass, never arrives. There never is an anti-Muslim pogrom. There never is a mass eruption of spitting, niqab-renting hatred. Some nasty graffiti and unpleasant tweets, yes; perhaps, lamentably, a fire at a mosque; and even the odd, isolated physical attack on a Muslim for no other reason than the fact he or she is a Muslim.

But the actual anti-Muslim backlash, the actual fulfilment of Islamophobia proponents’ wet nightmares, the actual mass assault on each and every Muslim… it continues to lack reality.

.... Islamophobia, this pre-emptive diagnosis of an anti-Muslim pathology afflicting the masses, not only speaks of the authorities’ fear of the masses; it disciplines the masses, too. It is a prohibition, a ban on a certain way of thinking. It says: do not judge the Islamist worldview; do not criticise another’s faith.

As Brendan O’Neill has argued, Islamophobia, this ‘multicultural conceit’, acts as a ban on judgement, a ban on criticising one set of beliefs and values, and asserting the superiority of another set. It prevents people, unless they want to be charged with being an Islamophobe, a perpetrator of a hate crime, from questioning, interrogating and judging the beliefs and values of those who kill in the name, yes, of Islam. [spiked] Read more