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The Tory peer is spot on about bigotry and Islamophobia.
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Tags: Islam Conservatives
Many people take issue with the term Islamophobia. People on the far right object to it as they assert that it is indeed rational to fear and despise an entire faith community; moderates object as they feel it is used to stifle debate; and some Muslims dislike it as they think the incorporation of the term "phobia" somehow absolves those exercising it of any responsibility for their actions.
The second case does surprise me - I can't say that I've seen any evidence of debate being shut down by resorting to cries of "Islamophobia": on the contrary, articles dealing with Islam attract a huge amount of debate, which unfortunately usually includes some hate-filled and inflammatory comments. See, for example, the recent piece "How on earth is my religion to blame..." and its extraordinary number of comments; certainly no-one felt stifled there.
Islamophobia may be an imperfect term (even some of those involved in its creation and promotion have since expressed their reservations about its suitability); yet it has now entered currency and, rather than opposition to any criticism of Islam and Muslims, we should be clear that it refers to bigotry, pure and simple - something which I hope we can all agree is inexcusable.
Thanks Olijaan, but how can the term be seen in this way when it is used by bigots?
A well reasoned post, thanks.
However , it is unfortunate that as you say ' ...Islamophobia... (even some of those involved in its creation and promotion have since expressed their reservations about its suitability); yet it has now entered currency .....
And why has it entered currency - because of it's conatant use by people like Mehdi Hasan etc.
I remember a column Megdi wrote some time ago - unfortunately I can't remember which, but it was one of the first times he used that expression. At the time comments were made as to its unsuitability and I believe Mehdi agreed. Didin't stop him though.
Inflammatory rhetoric will unfortunately always bring out the worst in people and perhaps Mehdi should have recognised that. Much like his gleefully smug ending of this article - almost goading those with an axe to grind - imagined or not- to respond.
A few cooler heads and a little less rhetoric is the way forward.
Even thought you are a racist idiot you may have a point- the British State should do more to stop inbreeding:
What islamophobia means is clear in the word itself. FEAR of Islam not hatred of Islam. It is not necessary to read the Koran to see why. Nor is it bigoted, racialist or imagined, it is fact.
Turning the World Muslim is the declared objective of the faith.
Jews, Christians and Muslim all worship the same God and so should regard each other as of the same faith. But that is not the way of religion.
Religions are phantasies made up by man to protect him from the harsh truth of the finality of death. As faiths they are irrational, so to reason with believers is pointless.
I see the triumph of monotheism as a huge step forward, enabling tribes and then nations to live with their neighbours. Christ softened the Word but then came Islam to reassert the harsh world as it was bc.
Now we need to take the next step and replace religion fully with an enlightenment based on what we now know is mankind's responsibilty - to protect and preserve the Earth for future generations and for the life with which we share it.
Only then can we hope to get rid of the bigotries so many comments show. Only then can the danger of Islam be dispelled. I shall not see the day I am an octogenerian and to strip ignorant religious masses of their false beliefs will take years, decades, even centuries. I only hope for the future of mankind it happens before Islam takes over.
Meanwhile, would apologists for Islam, please, see it as it is and replace appeasement with reality.
Thankyou for your reply Mr.hasan.I am a regular reader of the NS,have been for fifty years,and I am familiar with your views.
Now that's out of the way perhaps you will answer my point which was as follows:
What word can one use to describe somebody who advocates the death penalty for blasphemy if one cannot use the word extremist?
"What word can one use to describe somebody who advocates the death penalty for blasphemy if one cannot use the word extremist?"
Easy, praha7 - The word you are looking for is "Muslim."
"This term, which is worthy of totalitarian propaganda, is deliberately unspecific about whether it refers to a religion, a belief system or its faithful adherents around the world."
Pascal Bruckner, The Invention of Islamophobia, in Liberation
no suprise medhi hassan is defending his biased muslim sister baroness warsi,but lets examine the facts,there is only bigotary and so called islamaphobia towards the muslim community because of the bigotary and every other phobia expressed by muslims towards the non muslim community,,notice baroness varsi did not mention that today,,do i smell a rat??after the muslim vote mrs varsi
Mehdi, I wonder if perhaps given the suicide bomber in Moscow,( one of many recent atrocities apparently carried out in the name of Islam) you might refrain from using the term Islamophobla and concentrate more on understanding why people may be slightly nervous of that particular religion?
Interesting post. I think it would help all sides of the debate if this word was extinguished - or at least not thrown up at every opportunity.
What do you think the chances are?
Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.