Our little kingdom of just 5.4 million souls has become bitterly divided into two distinct groups of about equal size, – one half declaring themselves ashamed of being Danish. According to them, the other half have turned into racists. In particular, Muslims are looked upon with suspicion.
“We”, – meaning half of us, – have become Islamophobes..
The other half frowns and dismiss this as utter nonsense. They are proud of being Danish, at the forefront of the battle against what they see as a totalitarian ideology: Islam. One notable representative of this view is Lars Hedegaard, President of the Free Press Society, who, like Wilders in Holland, is on trial for incitement to hatred.
So what is up and what is down in all this…
The mother-of-all-conspiracy theories is perhaps the myth of a shadowy Jewish elite, manipulating the masses from behind the scenes , seeking world dominion, as suggested in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a notorious fraud, exposed by The London Times already in 1921, – but none-the-less still widespread, and endorsed as authentic throughout the Arab world.
Anti-Semitism, – or, more to the point: Jew-hatred, is deep-rooted and multi-faceted, but this idea of a Jewish elite conspiring for world dominion plays a major role.
Similarly, (hardcore) Islamophobes suspect all Muslims of being Jihadis, bent on world domination, assured even through demographic means, in which , “the dusky hordes overwhelm the West by sheer weight of numbers”.
As with anti-Semitism, this idea of a quest for world dominion is but one of many root-causes that define Islamophobia. Such parallels have caused various racist watch-dogs to come forward with a dubious claim, that “Muslims are the Jews of today”.
In support of this claim, Jacob Holdt, photographer and writer, famous for “American Pictures”, and Danish writer and historian Rune Engelbreth, are pointing to what they consider to be “..hate-filled rhetoric reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda of the 1930’s”, – that “has become an accepted part of the Danish political debate”.
To prove the equation, they quote members of the Danish People’s Party, who have called Muslims “a plague over Europe“, and “a cancer on Danish society”. (It is common knowledge of course, that Jews were perceived by Nazis as “the world plague”).
These two well-meaning and hate-allergic pan-humanists have even created a video-letter, aimed at one Obama himself, warning against what they see as a degeneration of Danish /European moral values.
In so far as hateful, demonizing rhetoric is based on irrational fear, generalisations and outright lies, – leading to hate and acts of hostility against Muslims for no other reason than being a Muslim , I find it fair to say that Islamophobia IS comparable to anti-Semitism, – what else ?!, – but I would still argue that it is a narrow-minded, twisted and distasteful comparison that completely ignores huge, significant differences.
Besides, rampant anti-Semitism is on the loose all over Europe, – not to mention the entire Arab world (!), – so let’s get things straight: Today’s “Jews” are.., well, – Jews, stupid !
Now, let me get straight to my point: Whereas I view anti-Semitism as completely unfounded, based on notorious lies and irrational in the true sense of the word, , Islamophobia is another story…
As I have stressed already, hate-filled rhetoric, whether against Muslims or Jews, does abound, and I will admit too, that hard-core Islamophobic fears of an Islamic demographic take-over, are somewhat exaggerated: ( Newsweek : Dispelling-the-Myth-of-Eurabia ), – but there are other, more sound reasons for fearing Islam..
Now, – I am not Jewish, so no explanation for my seemingly biased view there. I have only contempt for Nazism, so no explanation there either. I do not vote for the Danish Peoples Party and would never dream of doing so either, so no explanation there either. – In fact, according to the Worlds shortest political test I am a..
Nope, – I am trying to view this academically, disregarding race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, so now we’ve got that in place, read on..
First, an important point: Neither Jews nor Muslims are a race.
Anti Semitism , “prejudice and /or hostility towards Jews”, is, simply, Jew-hatred. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew, historically and today. It is true that Jews are often perceived as a race, “thanks” mainly to the Nazis, and, for legal purposes, the US supreme court ruled in the 1980’s ,that Jews should be viewed as a race, but genetically speaking, they are not.
A Jew is not necessarily a religious person either. In fact, it is estimated, that 25-40 % of Israelis are atheists. In their own view, they are “simply” a family : Who is a Jew.
Whereas it may be difficult to recognize the fact that the Jewish family are not a race, it is more obvious that Muslims are not, at least to all who knows the difference between, say, Arabs and Persians, Turks and Indonesians..
The incessant talk about racism is a disservice , and the equation Islamophobia = Racism is a stumbling block used /abused to stifle sober criticism of religion.
Islamophobia, – [irrational] fear of Islam, is fear of the religion of Islam. It is, of course, not easy to distinguish between the religion itself and it’s practitioners, but whereas a Jew is a Jew is a Jew, regardless, most Islamophobes divide Muslims between Islamists /radicals and moderates.
In the eyes of hard-core Islamophobes, a Muslim = an Islamist, and they find support for this simplistic claim from high-ranking Muslims like Turkish PM Erdogan, who has stated, that: “The term “moderate Islam” is ugly and offensive — Islam is Islam”. (Source: Milliyet, Turkey, August 21, 2007).
Now, – before I tell you why I don’t hesitate to call myself an Islamophobe, let us first examine Jew-hatred..
If one was to write a list of “justifications” for hating Jews, what immediately comes to mind, is 1. Conspiracy for World dominion, – and 2. The killing of Christ.
However, – I will out of hand dismiss these accusations as an insult to any serious thinking person, so let’s try to look beyond that..
What is true, is that, – I repeat, – hatefilled and dehumanizing rhetoric is everywhere you look, but it is equally clear, that it amounts to nothing but wild accusations, – no evidence /justification is ever provided, nothing concrete is pointed to.
This is of course true of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and the same can be said about Luther’s “The Jews and their Lies”. He writes, to take just one example, outrageous accusations like: [The Jews] “are full of the devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine”.
In a case of what some would call a Jungian synchronicity, I read in the paper just today, that even world renowned Danish philosopher Soeren Kierkegaard talked about Jews in this manner. In private papers, he writes: “Only death is worse that the blood-thirsty Jew”.
Amongst the general public the saying goes, that Jews are misers, cheats deceivers, frauds, etc. etc., - again without bothering to explain exactly why they have these views.
In todays world, the same goes for Jew-hatred in the Arab World, the prime example being the“protocols”, – and then there is of course the Qur’an.., – packed with hatred of Jews.
Summing up: What one finds, is nothing but outragious, hatefilled, dehumanizing rhetoric directed against Jews as individual characters and as a race, – and a complete lack of “justification”.
Does this mean then, that Jews are beyond criticism ? – Of course not, provided this criticism is more that empty rhetoric, – and needless to say, the same goes for Muslims, or, for that matter, anyone else. – Jews have their share of religious extremists/lunatics, – remember, f.ex., the murder of former Israeli Prime Minister , Yitzhak Rabin..
Bill Maher, himself a Jew, in his film religulous, is portraying some of these lunatics.
Dreadful, bloodthirsty passages can be found In the Torah and the Talmud too, – and the Bible, needless to say.
All of this does not, however, amount to any rationale for being anti-Semitic, so..
Why isn’t Islamophobia irrational.. ??
Well, – to some degree it is, as I have said already. Fear of being out-numbered demographically is somewhat exaggerated. I am saying somewhat, in view of the fact that we are witnessing parallel communities /ghettos in cities all over Europe.
Fear of being in the midst of a terrorist attack is somewhat irrational as well, as I wrote in my last post, – ( Islamophobia ), – at least for the common man, who refrains from being involved, does not critize.. – eh.. demonize Muslims, and generally stays put.
The “Runnymede Trust” has identified “ eight components ” that they say define Islamophobia.
Check them out and decide for yourself, to what extent these components are irrational /rational. It would require a longer discussion if I had to examine each of them, so instead, ask yourself this question: Why does the Runnymede Trust not mention with a single word any of the following:
Sharia law, – a systematic enslavement of women, honour killings, public stonings / hangings / whippings, pedophile marriages, death penalty to apostates / blasphemers / Homos / infidels /etc.
Fatwas, – Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen , Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Kurt Vestergaard, Lars Vilks, Robert Redeker, – you name them… – Add to these Pokemon (!), Mickey Mouse (!).
Note: In all fairness, a fatwa against terrorism has also been issued , a most encouraging step and the correct remedy for curing, at least partly, the Islamophobic “disease”. However, – what does that tell about the approval of terrorism among Muslims in general, that nothing short of a Fatwa is necessary to help prevent radicalization..
Death-threats / intimidation, – often directed against people, who are themselves of Muslim background: Politicians Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, – Ekin Deligöz, Green Party member of German Parliament, – Ehsan Jami, Dutch politician, – Naser Khader, member of Danish Parliament, - Nyamko Sabuni, Minister for Integration and Gender Equality in the Swedish government. – journalists Magdi Allam, Reda Hassaine, Mohamed Sifaoui,- and add to these,activists, writers, academics, artists..
( See Victims of Intimidation )
Then I could talk at length about the suppression of freedom of speech, but I should think the above mentioned violations of basic human rights ought to be more than sufficient as sober evidence for the rationality of being Islamophobic.
Undeniably, “hate-filled rhetoric reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda of the 1930’s” does flourish, and although I am personally against any hate-speech laws, I find it stupid and deplorable to debase oneself by uttering this kind of empty nonsense, not to speak of the harm done to innocent, law-abiding citizens of any creed. – However, – this must never be confused with sober scholarly criticism, where one points to clear and concrete violations of basic human rights, social injusticies, etc., as described.
Criticism of Islam, then, by both non-Muslims and Muslims, represents not paranoia but realistic concern. Whereas.. Racism is the height of stupidity, – Islamophobia is common sense !
It is regrettable, that in today’s world, it requires ultra right-wingers to play the role of the little boy in “Emperor’s new clothes”, – I would prefer Liberals to come forward, but the majority of Liberals appear to be sh.. scared of being labelled as a racist, and in today’s world, they cowardly attack the “little boy” and apparently prefer to protect “the Emperor”…
I personally wish to be no part of this, so, as a Liberal, – I have spoken my mind..
Surely i could write a long list of reasons for justifying, say Hindu-phobia, Chinese-phobia, and what have we, but we are not at war with them. Hindu’s are not issuing Fatwa’s and the same goes for the Chinese, although they did warn of “serious consequences”, if, as it happened, we were to give the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo.
It’s not that we are indifferent to injustice, suppression and discrimination all over, – fact is, that in our everyday lives, we are confronted almost exclusively with the challenge of radical Islamic elements.