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Islamists and Islamophobia

This is a guest post by by Amjad Khan

It seems that entryist Islamist groups like the MCB and MAB are focusing all their energies on exposing incidents of ‘Islamophobia’ nowadays. They have helped to fund an outfit called the EMRC (European Muslim Research Centre) which masquerades as a research centre but in truth does little more than political advocacy for Islamist groups and individuals. Together they are working on a 10 year (that’s right 10 year) project called ‘Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies’. MAB is arranging seminars up and down the country to expose the rise of ‘Islamophobia’ in the UK. So what is this all about?

Firstly, I don’t like the word ‘Islamophobia’. It seems to imply that one is not allowed to dislike a set of beliefs. I would argue that everyone has the right to dislike Islam, just as they have the right to dislike Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Humanism or any other set of beliefs. Anti-Muslim sentiment or hate crime on that other-hand is different since that concerns a group of people who should not be judged solely on their race, religion, gender or any other identifier. This distinction is important because we need to distinguish those who are critical of faiths or faith practises and those who are just bigots and don’t like certain religious and ethnic groups.

Secondly, we must bear in mind that Islamists are political animals in nature and hence they wouldn’t invest time, energy and resources into an initiative that didn’t have their political interests at heart. So what are their political interests?

Islamists, since setting up in the west, have been trying very hard to achieve two goals. Firstly, to mainstream their Islamist outlook amongst Muslim communities. Secondly, to become the representatives of Muslims in the west and thus gatekeepers for Muslim communities. This latter objective allows them to monopolise engagement with government officials and access public funds to further their Islamist goals. That is why prior to the obsession with Islamophobia, they were focused on trying to set up so-called ‘umbrella’ groups that in turn sought to present a unified ‘Muslim’ perspective on political and social issues to government. This would almost always be nothing more than the Islamist perspective.

Their attempts to monopolise the ‘Muslim voice’ have now failed spectacularly. Especially, since they tried to make the bizarre claim that they were best placed to deal with Islamist extremism, a claim that is now almost universally ridiculed by those who work in counter-terrorism. So by creating a campaign to highlight ‘Islamophobia’, Islamists hope to create a counter-Islamophobia industry that would attract resources and governmental support. This would also allow them to present themselves as ‘defenders of the faith’ to Muslims and important partners in the Muslim community to government, thereby re-establishing their name and re-gaining the prestige they lost.

What makes this even more problematic is their definition of ‘Islamophobia’. They apply this label to anyone who criticises Islamism and Islamist groups. Hence, this serves yet another purpose, i.e. silencing of criticism of what is nothing more than an Islamist political lobby group.

Anti-Muslim hate crime is no doubt a real issue and needs to be tackled, just as other forms of hate-crime do. But do we really need Islamists and their lackeys doing that for us? Individuals that are full of homophobia, anti-Semitism and hatred for moderate Muslims. One could argue that Islamists themselves are largely responsible for the rise in tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims in the UK. They have been promoting hate literature since the 80s, encouraging rebellious identity politics amongst young Muslims and seeking to defend the actions of extremist groups abroad.

So this isn’t really about defending the rights of Muslims or helping victims of hate crime, it is merely the latest cynical political ploy by Islamist to establish themselves in the hearts and minds of Muslims in the west and promote their message of hate, division and eternal conflict.