Islamophobia – problem or invention?

Melanie Phillips says equating 'Islamophobia with antisemitism is 'obscene'.

Melanie Phillips says equating ‘Islamophobia with antisemitism is ‘obscene’.

Yesterday the Conservative Party launched what the BBC describes as ‘their long awaited inquiry into Islamophobia allegations within the party’.

Two days before, the Jewish Chronicle ran an article by Melanie Phillips. She said comparing ‘Islamophobia’ with antisemitism was ‘obscene’.


Naturally, Tory peer Sayeeda, Baroness Warsi, criticised the Tories, arguing they are ‘trying to whitewash past problems.’

Meanwhile, the Jewish Chronicle was forced to defend itself from criticism by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, of all people. They said the publication of the Phillips piece was ‘an error’. They went on: “Anti-Muslim prejudice is very real and it is on the rise. Our community must stand as allies to all facing racism.”

But Islam is not a race, it’s an ideology. As the Guardian put it: Melanie Phillips said ‘the entire concept of Islamophobia was “profoundly anti-Jew” and had been invented to mimic antisemitism, adding: “To equate it with the dehumanising, insane and essentially murderous outpourings of Jew-hatred is obscene”.’

‘Denial, dismissal and deceit’

Sayeeda, Baroness Warsi wants Tory 'Islamophobia' probe to go further.

Sayeeda, Baroness Warsi wants Tory ‘Islamophobia’ probe to go further.

Baroness Warsi criticised the appointment of Prof Swaran Singh as chairman of the Tory probe. She said the Sikh Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry believes ‘that institutional racism simply doesn’t exist’.

“That gives an indication of where the inquiry will end up,” she said.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the appointment of Professor Singh was “at risk of being seen in the same light as the Conservative Party’s customary approach to Islamophobia, that of denial, dismissal and deceit”.

Islamophobia ‘invented by Muslim Brotherhood’

However, Melanie Phillips contends ‘Islamophobia’ was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood as a tit-for-tat response to antisemitism. A ‘phobia’ is an irrational fear or hatred. For example, ‘claustrophobia’ is an irrational fear of enclosed spaces. From the secularist side, homosexual activists invented the term ‘homophobia’ for the same reason. Their intention was to stifle debate and cast their opponents as deranged. Neither ideology, that of Islam nor that of Secularism, can ever be immune from criticism.

Melanie Phillips writes: ‘So “Islamophobia” appropriates to itself the unique attribute of antisemitism — that it is deranged — in order falsely to label any adverse comment about the Islamic world as a form of mental disorder.

‘The concept of “Islamophobia” is thus profoundly anti-Jew. To equate it with the dehumanising, insane and essentially murderous outpourings of Jew-hatred is obscene.’

Anti-Jewish violence

Police images of two boys accused of antisemitic abuse and violence against a rabbi in North London. Images stitched together by Press Association

Police images of two boys accused of antisemitic abuse and violence against a rabbi in North London. Images stitched together by Press Association

A criminal event yesterday could not have better timed to illustrate Melanie Phillips’ point. Two boys were arrested after shouting antisemitic abuse at a rabbi and then beating him up. The attack happened last month in Clapton, North London.

The unnamed religious leader was set upon by two attackers shortly before 10pm on 29th November. They shouted ‘F**k Jews’, ‘Dirty Jew’ and ‘Kill the Jews’ as he walked in Amhurst Park.

Police released CCTV images. Despite the two wearing hoodies, a relative recognised the boys, aged 14 and 15. They handed themselves in to police on Tuesday 17th December. The two are due to appear at Stratford Youth Court on 7th January 2020.

Repeatedly punched

According to Jewish News, Jewish neighbourhood patrol group Shomrim said the rabbi had left the Bobov Synagogue in Egerton Road after a wedding. He was walking along Clapton Common when he was assaulted.

‘The two attackers repeatedly punched him, threw him to the ground and carried on beating him, only stopping when a member of the public intervened.’

Shomrim said the rabbi sits in a Judaic court as a judge. He was left “collapsed on the pavement, bleeding and dazed, where he lay for several minutes”.

Fellow rabbi Herschel Gluck said the victim was left “bruised and traumatised” by his ordeal.

It is quite plain from the CCTV images that the boys in question are not members of a white supremacist group. They have learned their anti-Jewish hatred from another source.

Islamophobia and Identity Politics

Antisemitism is not just an academic matter. Nor is it confined to pro-Palestinian Labour Party MPs and Momentum types. It is real, it is racist, and it finds expression in actual personal abuse and violence.

To equate it with Boris Johnson’s colourful descriptions of Muslim full-face coverings possibly requires a masters degree in identity politics.  Yes, it exists!

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  1. Yes, anti-Semitism is real and a grave threat to the Jewish community. This Anti-Defamation League survey this year shows that anti-Semitism is some five times higher in the Muslim community than the general population.

    “ADL Global Survey of 18 Countries Finds Hardcore Anti-Semitic Attitudes Remain Pervasive”

    Further this ruling by the ECHR on sharia is a damning indictment of Islam-sharia as a belief system:

    ECHR Judgement Summary: “sharia law is incompatible with democracy and human rights”

    Noting that the Welfare Party had pledged to set up a regime based on sharia law, the Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention. It considered that “sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it”. According to the Court, it was difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverged from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervened in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

    Source: “Annual Report 2003 of the European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe”

  2. The rise of the far left under Corbyn has a lot to answer for.
    You cannot possibly be a true discerning spirit filled believer and even think about voting for the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
    Thank God that good triumphed over evil on December the 12th when the British people voted against this antisemitic party.

  3. Phobia never used to be an irrational fear, but just a fear. It’s from the Greek, and I’ll quote this dictionary entry because it pins it down better.

    “irrational fear, horror, aversion,” 1786, perhaps on model of similar use in French, abstracted from compounds in -phobia, from Greek -phobia, from phobos “fear, panic fear, terror, outward show of fear; object of fear or terror,” originally “flight” (still the only sense in Homer), but it became the common word for “fear” via the notion of “panic, fright” (compare phobein “put to flight, frighten”), from PIE root *bhegw- “to run” (source also of Lithuanian bėgu, bėgti “to flee;” Old Church Slavonic begu “flight,” bezati “to flee, run;” Old Norse bekkr “a stream”). Psychological sense attested by 1895.

    If one were to use the old definition then we have a sensible word. You can imagine during the times of Knights Templar and other who had to deal with huge Islamic armies rapidly advancing and outnumbering them. Fear would most certainly relate to the idea of running for it (flight). It’s why some parts of London are almost totally Middle Eastern. There is a great deal of fear amongst our people. They fear being outnumbered.

    Actually in reading some extremely old writing which I think went back over 1200 years in our history I got the distinct impression that back then, when some of the country were Christian and some were pagan, that the common view was if you met a man who was “god-fearing” you could relax, and know you would be safe. Meet the other kind and you could get a knife in your back if you were unlucky. You would essentially fear those who did not fear god. It’s different today because all those from our culture have been brought up in a culture that was built from Christianity, so we all practising some of it unknowingly. Going way back in time though this was not so, and murder would be common.

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