Islamophobia – What Is Really Wrong With It

Aug 29, 2017 by

by Benjamin David, Conatus News:

Accepting the notion of ‘Islamophobia’ means the end of legitimate criticism of Islam. We cannot allow de facto blasphemy to destroy our liberal values.

Much has been made of the controversy surrounding East London Mosque’s complaints against the Council of Ex-Muslims (CEMB) for being “Islamophobic” at this year’s London Pride march. Of course, a slew of articles have dispelled the claim that CEMB’s slogans, such as the one featuring the contumacious yet amusing statement ‘Allah Is Gay!’, is somehow an attack on Muslims. Accusations of Islamophobia are, unfortunately not isolated to CEMB. Indeed, most recently Richard Dawkins hit the headlines after the radio station on which he was scheduled to appear (in order to talk about his recent book and the usual vistas of anti-theism) cancelled his appearance, citing his supposed Islamophobia as unendurable for its listeners.

Arguably, the most well-known case of claims of Islamophobia in recent years have been levelled towards Charlie Hebdo. Indeed, in 2006 Islamic organisations under French hate speech laws unsuccessfully sued Charlie Hebdo over the newspaper’s re-publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of Muhammad. The newspaper received even more controversy after a 2011 issue re-titled Charia Hebdo (French for Sharia Weekly), featured a cartoon of Muhammad, whose depiction is forbidden in some interpretations of Islam. The newspaper’s office was fire-bombed and its website hacked as a result. In 2012, the newspaper received unprecedented ire from various Muslim communities after it published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad, including nude caricatures. Slathers of claims were levelled towards the newspaper, warning that by publishing Muhammad in racially clichéd form, adopting all sorts of scandalous positions, they would only be feeding the widespread discrimination towards Muslims. Moreover, the claim was made that such satire is  another attack on Muslims – a group of people already victimised due to the West’s longstanding incursions in “Muslim lands”. As we know, Charlie Hebdo would eventually pay with their lives for having the nerve to depict their prophet and satirise their religion.

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