Letter: Islamophobia DOES NOT Equal Antisemitism

Dear Letter to the Editor:

Many people especially in academia and politics propound the calumny that antisemitism and islamophobia are two sides of the same coin. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

The German journalist, Wilhelm Marr in 1879 created the term “antisemitism” to celebrate his hatred of Jews.

On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood, the creator of Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Islamic State, in the late 20th century created the term “islamophobia” to prevent  critical discussion of Islam….. Exactly what Columbia University by not succumbing to islamophobia allowed on March 21 when it courageously permitted Mohab Hassan Yousef, author of “Son of Hamas,” to speak.

For example under the weapon of Islamophobia, one cannot discuss the fact that Muslims celebrate the fact that Mohammad was a mass murderer of Jews and a serial misogynist of Jews: in 627, according to the Koran, in Medina Mohammad directed the decapitation of 600-900 unarmed Jewish men and kidnapped and sexually enslaved 1000 Jewish girls and women. Sounds remarkably similar to October 7th. Even mentioning this Koranic fact is today viewed  by many as “islamophobic”.

As Professor Richard Landes in his brilliant treatise ” ‘Can The Whole World’ Be Wrong” describes:

“Islamophobia is a term systematically used to silence criticism of Islam.

“Islamophobia as it is defined (let’s take the work of Hatem Bazian) constitutes an elaborate structure for silencing any voice that warns about Caliphators. Using both Saidian rhetoric and the apologetic doctrine adopted by multiple US administrations that Islam is peace and anything violent is not Islam, Bazian and his cohorts attacked any effort to link Jihadi violence with Islam.

But denunciation was not sufficient for Bazian: Islamophobia should be criminalized, banned. Despite extensive data indicating that Jews are much more likely to be victims of hate crimes than are Muslims (and most often at the hands of Muslims), both in the USA and Europe, advocates insisted than banning “islamophobia” would preserve peace. Muslim states that systematically oppress their own religious minorities with increasing ferocity, insist that Islamophobia be banned in the name of tolerance and peace.

The contrast then, between the virulence of Muslim discourse about Jews and other kuffar on the one hand, and hypersensitivity to criticism of Muslims, actually reverses the rapports de force. In fact, most Zionists are willing to tolerate and even encourage remarkable levels of criticism before they hit the limits of what they find offensive and jew-hating. — i.e. comparisons with Nazis, accusations of organ-stealing, of targeting children, of committing (a very slow) genocide. On the contrary, self-appointed spokespeople for Muslims find the slightest criticism unacceptable. Most of these “spokespeople” are covert triumphalists, doing the work of jihadis in blinding their targets (Western kuffar) to the danger they face. In Bazian’s case, he not only fully supports of Hamas suicide terror as “resistance,” and may have cited approvingly the genocidal apocalyptic Hadith of “the rocks and the trees,” but he also calls for an intifada in the United States.

“In combining anti-Zionism with anti-Islamophobia, these militants rearticulate the secular “replacement theology” whereby Israelis (the new Nazis) embody evil and anything one does (“resistance”) or says (“calls to genocide”) in opposite to Israel are legitimate. By these lights, attacking Israel as essentially racist — “apartheid” — and genocidal is fine. By contrast, even pointing to the historical generalization — rendered all the more accurate and pertinent by the developments set in motion by the “Arab Spring” — that Muslim societies “trend toward despotism and away from progress” or that some (how many?) Muslims in the West support jihadi terror and want to impose Sharia on their own host countries is pure, ugly, racist islamophobia.”

Can ‘The Whole World’ Be Wrong? Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism and Global Jihad“, Richard Landes, 2022, pp 124-125.

It is unfortunate that the clear and perverse meaning of islamophobia is often denied to promote progressive diatribes against the Jews and the only Jewish country on earth while preventing critical discussion about Islam.

Richard Sherman
Margate, FL

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