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Monday, 23 August 2010

Amazing. Frume Sarah posts an essay about Islamophobia and now everyone is talking about it:

Islamophobia in America on Patt Morrison (Alex Cohen was sitting in for Patt)
European Islamophobia Finds a Home in the US over at All Things Considered
Mosque Planner Says Opposition Goes ‘Beyond Islamophobia’ in the Wall Street Journal
What Goes on Inside Your Neighborhood Mosque on Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan
How Fox Betrayed Petreaus at the New York Times

And then there is the Jewish media:

The New Anti-Semitism over at Tablet Magazine
Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and a “New” Jewish Cause at Zeek
And
a very good op-ed piece in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post takes my idea of Islamophobia a step further by depicted a situation where we, once again, are the named scapegoats of a not-so-hypothetical situation.

What is particularly frustrating is how easily people misread the point of these articles. A great deal of the comments obsess over the number of hate-crimes against Jews vs. the number of hate-crimes against Muslims. As if that ratio somehow disproves the concept of Islamophobia. This was the crux of Jonah Goldberg’s recent piece in the Los Angeles Times.

While I concur that there is no question that anti-Semitic attacks far outnumber anti-Muslim attacks, I assert that this isn’t a pissing contest. Must we remain the larger victim in order to “win?”

The vitriol against all things Muslim does nothing to bring peace. Not here. Not in Israel. Not anywhere. Be angry against those who have done something to deserve it. Otherwise, our time would be best used in seeking voice who, like us, call out for peace.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Monday, 23 August 2010 10:39 pm

    Let’s keep things in perspective. If we’re going to be screaming from the rooftops about this virulent, violent, hate-filled disease known as “Islamophobia” because people don’t like Islam and think it promotes violence, we should probably be screaming about the virulent-violent, hate-filled disease known as “anti-Semitism” which has killed more people than any amount of “Islamophobia” ever did. And the sad thing about anti-Semitism is that it is institutionalized by Islam. Jews are not safe living in Islamic countries…which is probably why there is only one Jew left in Afghanistan and a very small, persecuted group remaining in Yemen.

    I also find the word “Islamophobia” to be rather misleading. The user of such a label is trying to provoke a certain response namely: the person is irrational because there is nothing to fear about Islam, and they are exhibiting an irrational response to Islam by publicly speaking out against. Everything about the word “phobia” screams irrational.

    And when there have been 15,000 + deadly jihad attacks around the globe just since 9/11…I would think that perhaps it could be considered rational to have a healthy wariness of the Islamic belief system.

    But hey, what do I know? I’m just an Islamophobe and incapable of rational thinking.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Monday, 23 August 2010 10:52 pm

      I am unclear as to whether you are purposefully avoiding my point or just unable to consider it. I am in no way justifying either the ways in which we have been treated in modern Islamic countries or the number of violent attacks. This is more about language and the way in which we speak of the other. Contributing to the success, if you call it that, of Hitler’s campaign against European Jewry was hundreds of years of verbal denigration of one particular group of people. Stripping any sense of commonality and humanity from Jews made the next step so much easier.

      Your closing statement is very telling as I never stated nor implied that you are an Islamophobe or incapable of rational thinking. But I think you know that.

      • Tuesday, 24 August 2010 4:23 pm

        Ugh. I hate it when someone brings up Hitler in an attempt to influence people into thinking they’re helping to lead to the same kind of attrocities by criticizing Muslims.

        Hitler was a great friend to the Muslims, he had his own Nazi Muslim force, you know.

        The other issue at hand is the sheer volume of Muslims on this planet in comparison to Jews. When you take that into consideration along with the modern day statistics about Muslim-on-Jew violence (and Muslim-on-Christian violence) in comparison to everybody else-on-Muslim violence…well…sorry, I’m just not buying that whole Islamophobia whining.

        I never said you said that I’m an Islamophobe. I’m simply a self-professed one. 🙂 I just saved you the trouble of defining the term and then concluding that I fit it perfectly.

        Oh, and one more thing. A Jew doesn’t have a choice about being a Jew. He can choose not to practice Judaism, but he can’t choose to stop being a Jew. Being a Muslim is a choice, especially in the West.

        So this whole thing, comparing Islamophobia with anti-Semitism is really comparing apples to oranges.

  2. Tuesday, 24 August 2010 4:30 pm

    You wrote:

    “The vitriol against all things Muslim does nothing to bring peace. Not here. Not in Israel. Not anywhere. Be angry against those who have done something to deserve it. Otherwise, our time would be best used in seeking voice who, like us, call out for peace.”

    Since the jihad is of the Muslims’ making, I’m thinking peace is going to have to be initiated on that front first.

    Would you say that we shouldn’t be against the entire KKK movement just because only a few of its members have actually committed acts of violence?

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