Letter: “Islamophobia” Does Not Equal Antisemitism

Dear Letter to the Editor;

Bruce Ticker is correct to condemn Democratic Representative Ilan Omar’s hypocrisy in which she cries “islamophobia” to obfuscate her foundational antisemitism. (“Omar’s Words For Boebert…of Hypocrisy“, BJN 12/9/21). In fact as esteemed British author, journalist and public commentator Melanie Phillips makes clear islamophobia is not the Muslim equivalent of antisemitism.

She writes:

“The stifling effect of the islamophobia-equals- antisemitism trope….means few appreciate that the concept of islamophobia is fundamentally anti-Jew”. 

She continues:

“That’s because Islamophobia, like much Muslim discourse, is based on an appropriation and inversion of Jewish experience and precepts… The Islamists invented “Islamophobia” because they wanted to gain what they (wrongly) thought were the benefits to the Jews of antisemitism — protection from criticism. That’s why they claim an equivalence between the two. But the great difference is that anti-Semitism is true prejudice because the Jews are innocent of the grotesque misdeeds attributed to them.. By contact, while many Muslims are decent people who wouldn’t harm a fly, Islam is an all too real historic source of oppression, fanatical violence and colonialist wars…

“The Jews are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national kingdom, hundreds of years before Islam was even founded.. Yet Muslims say (preposterously) that they are the indigenous people of the land….

“Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab lands; yet Muslims claim Israel is ethnically cleansing the Palestinians, a ludicrous assertion given that the Arab population in the disputed territories and Gaza has increased more than fourfold since 1948…

“Anti-Jewish appropriation and inversion are fundamental to Islam. One reason why the existence of Israel as a Jewish state is anathema is that Islam teaches that the real, authentic Jews are…the Muslims. Thus, Osama bin Laden declared in his Letter to the American People: ‘It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed…If the followers of Moses have been promised a right in Palestine in the Torah,.. then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this’…

“All espousing the Palestinian cause go along with this surreal appropriation and inversion agenda.” (The Jewish Press, “the dangerous drive to correlate islamophobia with antisemitism”, 7/2/2019.)

Richard Sherman
Margate, Florida

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