FrontPageMagazine.com, October 25, 2005
An Islamist group named Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to bring the world under Islamic law and advocates suicide attacks against Israelis. Facing proscription in Great Britain, it opened a clandestine front operation at British universities called "Stop Islamophobia," the Sunday Times has revealed.
Stop what, you ask?
Coined in Great Britain a decade ago, the neologism Islamophobia was launched in 1996 by a self-proclaimed "Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia." The word literally means "undue fear of Islam" but it is used to mean "prejudice against Muslims" and joins over 500 other phobias spanning virtually every aspect of life.
The term presents several problems, however. First, what exactly constitutes an "undue fear of Islam" when Muslims acting in the name of Islam today make up the premier source of worldwide aggression, both verbal and physical, versus non-Muslims and Muslims alike? What, one wonders, is the proper amount of fear?
Second, while prejudice against Muslims certainly exists, "Islamophobia" deceptively conflates two distinct phenomena: fear of Islam and fear of radical Islam. I personally experience this problem: despite writing again and again against radical Islam the ideology, not Islam the religion, I have been made the runner-up for a mock "Islamophobia Award" in Great Britain, deemed America's "leading Islamophobe," and even called an "Islamophobe Incarnate." (What I really am is an "Islamism-ophobe.")
Third, promoters of the "Islamophobia" concept habitually exaggerate the problem:
· Law enforcement: British Muslims are said to suffer from persistent police discrimination but an actual review of the statistics by Kenan Malik makes mincemeat of this "Islamophobia myth."
· Historical: The term anti-Semitism was originally used against Arabs living in Spain, Nasr also stated in his speech, and was not directed at Jews until after World War II. Nonsense: anti-Semitism dates back only to 1879, when it was coined by Wilhelm Marr, and has always referred specifically to hatred of Jews.
Muslims should dispense with this discredited term and instead engage in some earnest introspection. Rather than blame the potential victim for fearing his would-be executioner, they would do better to ponder how Islamists have transformed their faith into an ideology celebrating murder (Al-Qaeda: "You love life, we love death") and develop strategies to redeem their religion by combating this morbid totalitarianism (http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=19946).