The All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims worked to define the concept of ‘Islamophobia’. It did it in accordance with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and the followers of multiculturalism, with the involvement of Islamic organizations promoting sharia.
The document defines Islamophobia as “a type of racism directed at any expression of Muslim lifestyle or its perception.” First, to begin with, this definition uses the concept of racism in a manipulative way. Race is a biological category, out of human control. Meanwhile, Islam is not a race. It is a religion, and in its political version, it presents itself as a dangerous ideology. Practicing Islam is not determined biologically, but socially and culturally. Allowed to be criticized, Islam would have a real opportunity to correct its own doctrine and practice.
Furthermore, religion in a free society is, and should be, subject to criticism. There are elements of the “Muslim lifestyle” that should be condemned in the name of humanistic freedoms. I mean here for example the idea of polygamy, the problem of inequality between a woman and a man before the Koranic law, or finally the practice of issuing the death penalty for blasphemy or apostasy.
Thirdly, the definition captiously contains a cognitive postulate – Islam and Muslims can only be viewed positively. Recognizing this definition as binding (for now it remains only as a proposal) would be the crown achievement and the fulfillment of the dreams of Muslim fundamentalists and Muslim integrists. It would then allow them to introduce Koranic solutions and morally rebuke their critics as racists. “You disapprove of the practice of marrying little girls to adult men? You’re racist. After all, it’s part of the Muslim lifestyle!”
In addition, the proposed definition of Islamophobia is designed in effect to be a step towards its penalization, making any Islamophobic behavior be possibly punishable by law. For no decent person would ever side with racism…
Islamophobia, not Muslim isolationism, as main obstacle
Dominic Grieve from the Conservative Party, and the leader of the group, states already in the introduction of the document “Report on the inquiry into a working definition of Islamophobia / anti-Muslim hatred” that Islamophobia is the biggest obstacle for social cohesion in Great Britain.
This thesis, which in principle is not supported by any convincing arguments, becomes extremely convenient for Muslim activists, because in fact it exempts Muslims from making any real integration efforts. Not only that, it transfers the responsibility for integration to other actors of social life, at the same time casting them as biased xenophobes. The authors of the document indirectly admit that the multicultural society is not monolithic. However, they maintain the illusion that the path to a successful integration with Muslims is only possible when others overcome their Islamophobic attitude.
Thinking in these categories forms a paradox – the fight against “Islamophobia” in the proposed shape will eventually lead to an even further disintegration of the society, because it demands an unconditional acceptance of the imposed Muslim lifestyle, unavoidably stretching it also into areas that can not be accepted in a free, secular society.
In addition, the thesis completely ignores those actions of British Muslims that de facto undermine the liberal democracy like the movement of injecting Sharia courts into the legal system.
Finally, it remains silent about frequently reported hatred of Muslims against the infidels, Jews or homosexuals.
“Subtle” manifestations of Islamophobia
According to the authors of the definition, the majority of cases classified as “Islamophobic” are “subtle” and “never reported”. This document is supposed to change that. On the back pages of the document one can find addressed to all Muslims a form for reporting cases of Islamophobia. What criteria is the form based on and what can we learn from it? Does it explain how to separate the cases resulting from everyday disputes and quarrels from actions truly motivated by reluctance towards Muslims?
The authors do not find similar explanations useful. For them a sufficient and essentially the only criterion is the subjective feeling of being “discriminated against”. The final judgment of a dispute will thus be one-sidedly granted to a Muslim who will decide whether he/she feels a victim of Islamophobia.
The report actually lists examples of discriminatory behavior and among them we can find: throwing a firecracker into the Muslim family’s mailbox, harassing Muslim women for wearing a hijab, throwing an egg at or spitting on a Muslim. The above-mentioned cases of “subtle Islamophobia” look more like ordinary boorishness and rudeness, unfortunately familiar to all of us from everyday experience. Obviously, the examples listed in the report should be considered reprehensible, but it is not only Muslims who fall victim to similar insults.
Where is the report on Muslim hatred?
In an ideal world, one can easily imagine an existence of a “symmetrical” document in which the non-Muslims would talk about violence, aggression or ordinary boorishness that they had experienced on the part of Muslims. Most likely, however, such an initiative would meet with a fierce opposition from the above-mentioned authors pushing on everyone the definition “subtle Islamophobia”. The media, on top of that, would jump right in to write about fueling the atmosphere of hostility, etc.
The result of avoiding criticizing Islam translates into the following reality – every situation that involves Muslims where their behavior does not comply with the rules of social coexistence is immediately scrutinized through the prism of maximum suspicions of possibility of racist motivations. What creates an imbalance is that the same is not done when a Muslim, for instance, behaves aggressively towards others, although Sharia law explicitly discriminates against unbelievers, despises them even and dictates a disadvantaged position in society for non-Muslims.
A Briton assaulting a Muslim will be called an “Islamophobe”; a Muslim assaulting a non-Muslim is simply acting out on their trauma of Islamophobia. The concept of “Islamophobia” thus becomes an extremely powerful weapon in everyday disputes and in the forceful process of injecting sharia law into public life. It broadens discrimination instead of curbing it since it actually gives Muslims a preferential treatment.
Departure from the general rule, that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, race or religion, plays into the hands of the supporters of political Islam. Koranic law does not respect religious freedoms, it discriminates against women and punishes by death for abandoning Islam. Hence, if one accepts the universal categories, one will quickly notice that it is often Muslims themselves who question the very notion of freedom and human rights! To remedy this dilemma we should always revert back to the universal truths that the existing laws are to be applied to everyone and protect everyone equally and without exception.
Sharia law supporters promote the concept of “Islamophobia”
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was directly involved in the works on the discussed document. Since 1997, the organization has been tirelessly seeking ways of establishing Sharia law in the UK. Its board is known to be strongly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood and its activists promote the development of parallel jurisdiction, striving to ensure that the tribunals adjudicating under the Koranic law replace the existing secular justice system step by step.
The criticism of the MCB is even voiced by some Muslim groups who accuse the organization of inhibiting the process of modernizing Islam and usurping the role of the representative of the entire community of the followers of Allah. Their activists have reportedly carried out campaigns aimed at anti-terrorism and anti-extremist programs initiated by the government. The Muslim Council of Britain criticized, among other things, the questionnaire conducted by the education authorities, that was to check whether Muslim girls wear hijabs of their own will or are forced to do so.
Along these lines, the MCB, on the one hand, introduces Sharia measures that contradict democratic standards, while simultaneously, it is seeking to limit the freedom of speech and silence any information about any uncomfortable facts.
It was the MCB that protested against the publication of the study “What do the British Muslims really think?” (2016). The results of this opinion poll showed that many Muslims do not share the values of the liberal British society.
Here are some details from this research:
- “one out of three British Muslims (34%) would notify the police if they thought that their close one had become associated with jihadists.
- 23% of British Muslims are of the opinion that sharia law should replace British law in places with a large Muslim population.
- 52% of Muslim respondents said they thought homosexuality should be outlawed.
- 39% think that women should always be obedient to their husbands. “
According to the “new” definition of Islamophobia, conducting a similar study today could be read as a form of racism, since Muslim lifestyle can only be judged by Muslims themselves and should not be criticized. Proponents of sharia expansion need the concept of Islamophobia to close their critics’ mouths and to discredit them morally. At the same time, by propagating the Koranic law, they reject the existing universal criteria – the prohibition of discrimination as such. One can not advocate for liberal democracy while postulating Sharia expansion.
It is also worth adding that one of the members of the parliamentary team was Lord Nazir Ahmed, whose connections with the Muslim Brotherhood are well documented. The authors of the document based their thesis mainly on reports on Islamophobia, prepared by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, which associates over 50 Muslim countries. Many of these countries have been violating human rights for years while actively supporting the fight against Islamophobia, trying to make it a crime in Western countries.
It is difficult to find a starker reminder of hypocrisy – the one who himself discriminates fights against discrimination. Countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Qatar care only for the fate of Muslims in Western societies. It is “Kali’s morality”* on display in its pure form.
*Kali’s morality – a humorous term coined by a Polish Nobel Prize-winning novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz, describing a primitive form of moral relativism “if I steal from you it is morally good, but if you steal from me it is morally bad”.
Polish original: Islamofobia jako narzędzie zwolenników szariatu