by Hugh Fitzgerald
Never mind that the very term “Islamophobia” is used to silence all legitimate criticism of Islam. Such criticism is said to be based on an “irrational hatred” (a phobia) of Islam and of Muslims, but many of us believe that anyone who studies both the text of the Qur’an, and the observable behavior of Muslims toward non-Muslims both now, and during the past 1400 years, has good grounds for alarm about the Muslims in our midst.
Ilhan Omar’s proposal that a special envoy be appointed who would monitor and fight islamophobia, is discussed previously at Jihad Watch here, and here also: “Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia,” by Aris Folley, The Hill, July 20, 2021:
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 [July 20], 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.”
What “spike in Islamophobia” is that? Hasn’t she noticed that during the past decade the Western world has flung open its gates to millions of Muslims who have been allowed to settle in the very midst of European states, deep behind what Muslims are taught to regard as enemy lines? Muslims have brought a “spike” in crime rates and in terrorism wherever they live. By taking advantage of every possible benefit that the generous welfare states of Western Europe offer – free or highly subsidized housing, free education, free medical care, family allowances, and more, Muslim migrants have cost the European taxpayers tens of billions of dollars – and counting.
All of this surely contributes to the “rational” antipathy that Europeans increasingly feel toward the Muslim migrants now in their lands, who largely refuse to integrate, supplement their welfare payments with crimes of property, and threaten the security on the streets of both women and of Jews. Meanwhile, both governments and the media confuse the public, in some cases by failing to identify Muslim terrorists as Muslims, or if they are so identified, the public is so often told by the police that the perpetrator was likely suffering from a “mental illness.” No one bothers to investigate what is in the Qur’an that explains perfectly such behavior by Muslims, including their duty to “strike terror in the hearts of the Unbelievers.” Mainstream journalists, and the police, are hellbent on ensuring that the public does not learn the contents of the Qur’an. Big Tech companies – including Google and Facebook – are willing collaborators in this effort, making it harder for islamocritical sites such as Jihad Watch to reach their potential audience. Public figures, from presidents on down, bend over backward to assure the public that Islam is a “tolerant and peaceful religion,” and tell us that “we mustn’t allow extremists to define Islam. We must not make the mistake of blaming Islam. For if we do, the terrorists will have won.”
Meanwhile, in the real world, since 9/11/2001 there have been nearly 40,000 separate terrorist attacks by Muslims.
When people start to mistrust or dislike Muslims, such feelings are based on what they observe of Muslim behavior and attitudes. It is based on real evidence, and does not reflect a pathological mental condition. Antisemitism is a very different phenomenon. It is a pathological condition; Jews are hated not for what they say or do, but for who they are. And nothing they say or do will change the mind of the convinced antisemite.
Antisemitism is a much bigger problem than anti-Muslim attitudes; outside Muslim countries themselves, where sectarian strife is common, anti-Muslim attitudes rarely result in violence. Jews in the U.S. are 2.5 times as likely to be attacked than Muslims. Outside the U.S., in Europe, anti-Jewish attacks are 5 ties more likely than anti-Muslim attacks.
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.
Obviously the situation of Muslims in China, where one million Uighurs are in re-education camps, a carefully-bowdlerized Qur’an is the only version of the book that Muslims may possess, imams are humiliated by being made to dance in public and declare their allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party, the observance of Ramadan is made more difficult by forcing restaurants to remain open all day but then to close at night before the Iftar dinner, long “Islamic” beards must be cut, and Muslim first names are forbidden, is very bad. But other than China, and to a much lesser extent Myanmar, there is very little mistreatment of Muslims except in Muslim lands themselves. In Pakistan, Sunni terrorist groups such as Sipah-e-Sahaba specialize in killing Shiites, destroying their mosques and schools. Also in Pakistan, Ahmadi Muslims are by law not allowed to identify themselves as Muslims; they are despised as “Qadianis” who are guilty of “blasphemy” for believing that the 19th-century founder of the sect was indeed the Last of the Prophets. Ahmadis are a frequent object of both government repression and of private parties desirous of inflicting their own murderous punishments for blasphemy on the Ahmadis.
In Saudi Arabia, the Shi’a, almost all of whom live in the Eastern Province of al-Hasa where the oilfields are located, are mistreated by their Sunni political overlords; the Shi’a-populated province receives less aid from the central government to build much-needed infrastructure than any other region; it is also difficult for the Shi’a to obtain government employment. In Iran, it is the reverse. The Sunni Baloch in eastern Iran, on the border with Pakistan, are discriminated against by the Shi’a central government. Finally, in Afghanistan, the uber-Sunni Taliban was in the process of massacring the Shi’a Hazara in 2001 when the American troops arrived and rescued them; the Taliban have this year already renewed attacks on the Hazaras, not even waiting for all of the American troops to leave.
Ilhan Omar and her fellow lawmakers again:
“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.
Other than China, where are there “state-sponsored policies of Islamophobia”? Only Myanmar comes to mind, for its attempt to drive Muslim Rohingya, regarded as a security threat by the Burmese Buddhists, into Bangladesh. But certainly there are none anywhere in Western world, where governments and the media have dedicated themselves to minimizing domestic Muslim threats. As for Omar’s reference to “larger transnational white supremacist networks,” neither Brendon Tarrant, who carried out the mosque shooting in Christchurch, nor Nathaniel Veltman, who ran over a Muslim family in Ontario, had connections to such networks. They were lone wolves.
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.”
Ilhan Omar and her fellows want this proposal for the appointment of a special envoy on Islamophobia to achieve two goals. First, they want to impress upon the world that Muslims are every bit as much the victims of irrational hatred as the Jews whom Ilhan Omar thinks get far too much attention. Second, they want to use the charge of “Islamophobia” as a way to silence all legitimate islamocritics from continuing their work and, especially, to reduce their presence online.
Elder of Ziyon comnents on this here.
This would make worldwide bigotry worse, not better.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report that members of Congress reference 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….
It would be interesting to know if Ilhan Omar would support the appointment of a special envoy on anti-Hinduism, who would have to focus on Muslim persecution of Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Would she want our government to establish a special envoy to report on the persecution of Sikhs in Pakistan? And what would Ilhan Omar say if President Biden were to appoint a special envoy on the persecution and murder of Christians worldwide, which — always excepting China and North Korea — is almost entirely the handiwork of Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and Nigeria?
I suspect – don’t you? –that Ilhan Omar would resent any attempt to enlarge the number of such envoys; she wouldn’t want anything to distract from the attention paid to the work of the newly-appointed envoy on “Islamophobia.” Why, she might even volunteer to take on the task herself.
If Ilhan Omar has her way, this new envoy would focus only discrimination by “white supremacists” against Muslims. Muslim discrimination against other Muslims, which affects tens of millions of Sunnis, Shia, Ahmadis, and Sufis, would simply be ignored.
Hatred of Jews is not based on rationality. It is, rather, a pathological condition. It has nothing to do with what Jews do or do not do, whether they are capitalists or communists, deeply religious or atheists, Little-Enders or Big-Enders. For this hatred, it is sufficient that they are Jews.
Whatever an antisemite loathes most is the very quality he will attribute to the Jews. Reality does not matter. If he hates the rich, the Jews are “shylocks of high finance.” If he is against vaccines, Jews are “pushing vaccines to cause sterility among the Gentiles.” And so on, with so many possibilities to pin on “the Jews,” each more absurd than the last.
Omar cannot abide the focus on antisemitism. The Jews, the Jews, always the Jews, she can’t stand it: “What about the Muslims? What about Islamophobia?” She wants to push Muslims forward as equally the victims – no, even greater victims – of unreasoning hatred, than are Jews. None of the statistics on hate crimes compiled by the FBI bear her out; Jews are 2.5 times as likely to be the victims of hate crimes as Jews. Furthermore, she specifies in her statement about a special envoy on Islamophobia that “white supremacists” are to be blamed, just as they to be blamed for antisemitism. Neither is true. It’s not white supremacists, it’s not even non-Muslims, but other Muslims of rival sects, who pose the greatest danger to Muslims.
Antisemitism is “the oldest hatred” in time and the one with the farthest range in space. In its violence and virulence, it far outdoes any of the other ethnic or religious hatreds. It can be found all over the lands of what was once Western Christendom. It can be found, too, all over the Muslim lands. Those who feel antipathy for Muslims do so because of what Muslims believe and do. Those who feel that extreme antipathy for Jews known as antisemitism do so no matter what Jews believe and do.
Antisemitism is a hatred that, in its obsessiveness, is like no other, and to be properly combated requires a long period of mental immunization that has to begin in early adulthood. This hatred can never disappear, though the number of its adherents can be reduced to manageable proportions. But no one, least of all a crude antisemite such as Ilhan Omar, should be allowed to divert energy and attention away from that fight by claiming, both falsely, and with malice aforethought, that “Islamophobia” is just as bad. There are six million ghosts who beg to differ.
First published in Jihad Watch.