20 June 2017

Why Theresa May Is Wrong To Suggest That Islamophobia Is A Form Of Extremism

.... What was interesting however was the way in which she referred to Islamophobia. According to her, Islamophobia was a form of extremism. Of course, any attempt to tackle Islamophobia is not only welcome but so too long overdue in the British political spaces especially as the Conservatives had gone silent on the issue once the impotence of its Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hate had been exposed. However, referring to Islamophobia as a form of extremism and indeed continuing to frame it in this way is extremely problematic

.... For me, the political linking of Islamophobia with extremism is rather more deliberate than today’s announcement might suggest in that it would appear to serve two functions. First, it sends out the misguided message that Islamophobia is solely consequential of terrorism and extremism. In other words, if Muslims ‘stop blowing themselves up’ then people will ‘stop hating them’.

Second, it appears to be something of a pacifier to Muslims in that the Government is saying that if it commits to doing something about Islamophobia then Muslims should not rock the boat about the introduction of ever more stringent and pernicious counter-terror and counter-extremism measures that are likely to be announced in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday.

Instead of exceptionalising Islamophobia by defining it as extremism, Islamophobia needs to be rather more normalised and brought in line with how we understand, define and subsequently respond to other discriminatory phenomena. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more