lördag 6 augusti 2011

Is Islamophobia racist?

It is unfortunate that most Muslims in Europe have coloured skins because objectors to Islam are immediately branded as racists. Some Islamophobes might be. The majority possibly are. This makes liberals willing to defend what they would immediately condemn as intolerable and fascistic if Muslims were predominantly blond and blue-eyed.

Islam presents particular difficulties. Uniquely amongst world religions, was founded by a violent war lord with psychopathic tendencies. In the absence of any authority to decide one way or another, whether his revelations were of divine origin or the effects of mental illness must remain an unanswered question. And the grounding text of Islam, whatever its origins are, contains passages that amount to hate literature.

An Islamic society is not one that people brought up in contemporary liberal Western European societies would feel comfortable to live in. The widespread fear is that Islam will end up filling the gap left by Christianity. Whereas in the past Islam was spread by military conquest, demographics could now achieve the same affect. An additional factor is that the societies where this happened in the early years of Islamic expansion had much in common with the contemporary west. In his book The Great Heresies, Hilaire Belloc wrote a (longish) chapter on Islam under the title "The Great and Enduring Heresy of Muhammed" (see previous post). This is essential reading if the nature of Islam and the reasons for its success are to be understood. There is good cause to be afraid.

And so Islamophobia is not necessarily racist. If Muslims wish to be accepted in Europe, they need to look at their own beliefs in a critical way and be prepared to change when they do not like what they see. This needs to be pointed out in the nicest possible way, but firmly nevertheless. It does not give anyone an excuse for being racist.

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