Dr Konrad Pędziwiatr from Cracov University of Economics compiled a report on islamophobia. The report was commissioned by a Turkish NGO, considered a think tank of the Islamist AKP, whose association with the Erdogan regime is well documented.
The report contains false information, a lot of manipulation, as well as methodological errors.
The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (in Turkish – SETA) is headquartered is in Ankara. The organisation with which dr Pędziwiatr cooperates, has justified for example the policy of political cleansing by the Turkish president after failed coup in 2016, which resulted in loss of employment for more than 100,000 people and tens of thousands people being imprisoned.
Lies, manipulation, half-truths.
The actions of Konrad Pędziwiatr are thus part of a well-known strategy, in that the „Islamophobe” label is most likely to be used by those who are eager to use it religion for political purposes. The problem is not only that Pędziwiatr stigmatizes those with whom he does not agree, but also that he lies, manipulates and reaches for half-truths.
So called report
The document is called a report but it is not. Turkish publishers have disassociated themselves from its content, assuring that the authors who write about particular country carry the sole responsibility. It is difficult therefore to view an individual’s opinion as a collection of facts, analysed in accordance with the best methodological standards.
Pędziwiatr compiles a statement of Grzegorz Lindenberg (co-creator and a journalist for Euroislam.pl) with information on support for violence against refugees. The reader may have the impression that dr Lindenberg – cited in this context as saying „What we have said [website Euroislam] about Islam and the Muslims has become part of the mainstream” and accused of promoting a stereotypical vision of Muslims – advocates in some way violence.
In the meantime, the studies referred to by Pędziwiatr, describe only coercion of the state – not by the citizens – in accordance with the law in force. The clever combination of these two pieces of information was complemented by the author’s omission of our statement – „Our no for the barbarism”, in which on June 22, 2016 we condemned unequivocally and bluntly any acts of violence.
„Many articles authored by the liberal Muslims transpire to the Polish public opinion thanks to our efforts. This, Pędziwiatr does not want to see because it cannot be placed in the stereotype of the ”Islamophobe”.”
The reason for our expose was the taking off the hijab of a student on a tram in Lódź. In mentioned article we appealed: „If you are witnessing such violence do not stay passive, like the passengers of the tram, react in every possible way. Verbally, physically, taking photographs of the attacker and making them available to the police. We should not be passive in facing the threat of islamisation of Europe but equally we shouldn’t be passive in the face of violence towards people, only because they proscribe to their religion – Muslim and any other”.
It is worth pointing out that both our statement and report of dr Pędziwiatr refers to the same period – year 2016. At this point we can see a manipulation by selection and presentation of this information
Support for Islamic reformers as a proof of Islamophobia
Konrad Pędziwiatr accused us of solidifying the typical view of Islam and at the same time he does not mention that we regularly publish the information regarding the work of Muslim reformers and dissidents. Many articles authored by the liberal Muslims transpire to the Polish public opinion thanks to our efforts. This, Pędziwiatr does not want to see because it cannot be placed in the stereotype of the „Islamophobe” which carefully constructs.
Author of the report claims that we connect all forms of Muslim public religiosity with „totalitarian movement hostile to democracy”. Expressis verbis we write something completely different. Here’s a quote from our website: „We hold, similarly to the Muslim scholar and professor of international relations Bassam Tibi, that Islamism, alongside its ‚moderate’ form that attempts to act through the institutions, is a movement of a totalitarian character and is hostile to democracy. All ideas related to the implementation of sharia law as a national law or the one functioning in parallel… we regard as a threat. Similarly, we regard the Islamists preaching ideas that undermine the foundations of contemporary liberal democracy, such as the right to freedom of expression, secularisation, equality of sexes, freedom of religion and the right to change it.”
In the same place we say that we „support freedom of practicing religion of Islam by the Muslims as long as it does not breach the aforementioned principles”.
It is interesting that Konrad Pędziwiatr claims that he is in possession of the print screen of our website from December 15th 2015, which is supposedly an evidence of the fact that we have views that we, in reality, do not hold. At this point I would recommend to all those interested in our statements defending the construction of the Mosque by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association. Is dr Pędziwiatr silent about them because of his ignorance or perhaps the ill will? It is difficult to determine.
Accusations without evidence
Pędziwiatr writes also that Piotr Ślusarczyk PhD, at University of Wrocław has preached Islamophobia but at the same time he does not substantiate his arguments with any evidence or specific quotation. He writes about the exposé he has not heard.
The publication of Konrad Pędziwiatr breaches, in our opinion, scientific reliability and damages our reputation. In Polish language the word „Islamist” initially referred to the scholar of Islam. Currently this word means more often – „supporter of political Islam”. When reading the fruit of labour of Konrad Pędziwiatr one can have impression that those two meanings have become intertwined.
The Polish original Jak dr Pędziwiatr tropił “islamofobię”