A term originally coined by the Muslim Brotherhood as part of a campaign to advance its totalitarian cause by stigmatizing and silencing those who oppose them. In their new pamphlet, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, Horowitz and Spencer have created what amounts to a biography of this malign concept. Their work shows how the term “Islamophobia” originated with the Muslim Brotherhood, is connected to violent protests over cartoons about Mohammed, the growing number of blasphemy laws in Europe, resolutions against this “form of racism” in the UN, and prosecutions of notable opponents of Islamic terror such as Oriana Fallaci and Geert Wilders. They show, too, how what began as a political strategy by the Muslim Brotherhood has now spread to American higher education and has, like political correctness and other such mad experiments cultured in the campus laboratory, the potential to break out into the larger political culture.
The celebrated novelist Salman Rushdie (himself subjected to a death sentence for, in effect, being an “Islamophobe”) and his fellow writers have it exactly right in their manifesto “Together Facing the New Totalitarianism,” when they say, “We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’, a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatization of those who believe in it.” Or as the satirist Andrew Klavan has defined it — “Islamophobia: the irrational fear of having your head chopped off.” There is indeed a threat from Muslim fanatics who are not few in number, and it is in the interest of those fanatics to label those who oppose them hostile to all Muslims and thus to deflect attention from their malign intentions. Several of the authors of the Think Progress attack on Spencer and Horowitz and their colleagues are supporters and apologists for Hamas, Hizbollah and other Muslim terrorist organizations.
There are two kinds of Islamophobes: (1) the “bad” kind who doesn’t care if innocent people, Muslim or non-Muslim, are victimized, and (2) the “good” kind who is honest enough to call a problem a problem, even when the whole world wishes to ignore and deny its existence.
The problem with most analyses of Islamophobia is that they tend to condemn under the same rubric of bias and bigotry any analysis of how jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims. The jihad threat is real, and growing worldwide, as the evidence of over 35,000 jihad attacks worldwide since 9/11 shows. Nonetheless, “Islamophobia” has become, for all intents and purposes, a larger threat than jihad terror, although accused “Islamophobes” have never left as much havoc in their wake as jihadis have. And “Islamophobia” endangers us all in other ways as well.
In December 2015 in San Bernardino, when the Islamic jihadist couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered fourteen people at a Christmas party, a friend of one of their neighbors recalled that the neighbor had told him about suspicious activity at the couple’s home. “Sounds like she didn’t do anything about it,” the friend remembered. “She didn’t want to do any kind of racial profiling. She’s like, ‘I didn’t call it in … maybe it was just me thinking something that’s not there.’”
“She didn’t want to do any kind of racial profiling.” For years she had been force-fed the notion that to be suspicious of Muslims was “bigotry” and “racial profiling” – “Islamophobia” – and so she didn’t alert police to the strange activity at the home of Farook and Malik.
Fourteen people were dead so that politically correct niceties could be preserved, and no one incurred any charges of “racism.”
This wasn’t a singular incident. The fear of “Islamophobia” charges has overridden, or threatened to override, concern about jihad terrorism for years.
Yet let us review the ways in which Islamic jihad and Sharia pose a danger to various groups who typically consider themselves liberal:
- Islam is a threat to women, because Islamic teachings allow for the beating of women “from whom you fear disobedience,” as well as the downgrading of a woman’s testimony and inheritance rights. The Qur’an sanctions polygamy, child marriage, and even the sexual enslavement of captive non-Muslim women. These are not just teachings that “Islamophobes” have discovered in dusty corners of the Islamic holy book that no Muslim today takes seriously; women face all kinds of oppression throughout the Islamic world that the oppressors directly justify by reference to Islam.
- Islam is a threat to gays, because it mandates a death penalty for homosexuals that is not, unlike the one in the Old Testament, essentially a dead letter today: states that enforce the fullness of Islamic law today, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, routinely put gays to death, and as the Islamic State’s short-lived caliphate in Iraq and Syria demonstrated anew, whenever Islamic hardliners determine to implement the fullness of Islamic law, this death penalty reappears.
- Islam is a threat to Jews, because in all too many Islamic teachings and traditions, Jews are the villains of the piece. The Qur’an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the well-being of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. In line with this, Jews are threatened in Europe to an extent they have not been since the days of Hitler. And it’s getting worse by the day.
- Islam is a threat to Christians, for it mandates that they must either convert to Islam, submit to Islamic hegemony, and be killed – the same triple choice offered to the Jews. The Christian communities of the Middle East, some of which dated back to the time of Christ, were decimated, as jihad groups targeted Christians wholesale as symbols of the hated U.S. and West.
- Islam is a threat to secular liberals, because although noting the fact will get one dismissed as a “far-right” “Islamophobe,” Islam really does have doctrines mandating the conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims, and the major Muslim organizations in the United States really do behave as if they would like nothing better than the weakening and ultimate downfall of the U.S. government and free society, by opposing virtually all counterterror initiatives; polarizing American society by claiming falsely that Muslims are the victims of large-scale persecution and harassment in the U.S.; and stigmatizing all those who call attention to the jihad threat and the devastation wrought in Europe by mass Muslim migration as “racists” and “hatemongers.”
- Islam is a threat to secular Muslims, because many have come to the West as a refuge from Sharia, and now the oppression they left behind in their home countries has followed them to their new homes. Islam in all its traditional and classic formulations mandates a death penalty for someone who is sane, adult and leaves Islam voluntarily. This discourages apostasy, obviously, but it also makes for untold numbers of silent apostates who live outwardly as Muslims while dissenting inwardly. Islamic hardliners target these people, when they find them, no less than they target open apostates.
This is the case I make in my new book Confessions of an Islamophobe, the book to give to liberals who suspect that concern about jihad terror may be just… “Islamophobia.” Get your copy here.