Sunday, 2 July 2017

Islamophobia Still Not As Socially Rejected as Anti-Semitism

Owen Jones wrote this back in 2012 but 5 years on Islamophobia has spiralled further out of control. Owen described Islamophobia as the most widespread and acceptable forms of bigotry. Theresa May and the Conservative government must invest time and resources in battling Islamophobia both on and offline.

45 per cent of Britons agreed that "there are too many Muslims" in Britain. Imagine if nearly half the population admitted to believing that "there are too many Jews" in Britain: how loud would our alarm be?

Owen Jones back then thought Islamophobia was at pandemic levels. How can we find a word to describe the levels of Islamphobia in today's climate where Muslims are being run over outside mosques (Finsbury Islamophobic terror attack) and of suspected Islamophobic acid attacks.

A tide of Islamophobia has swept Europe for many years, and – shamefully – all too few have taken a stand.
Even many who regard themselves as "progressives" have either remained silent or even indulged anti-Muslim prejudice. It's time for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to join forces against the most widespread – and most acceptable – form of bigotry of our times.
Think I'm exaggerating? Consider that the far-right's main target of choice is no longer Jews or black people: it's Muslims. The BNP portrays itself as a crusade against the "Islamification" of Britain; in the 2010 election, it launched a "Campaign Against Islam". Its leader, Nick Griffin, describes Islam as "wicked" and a "cancer", and has blamed Muslims for problems such as drugs and rape. The English Defence League stages frequent – and often intimidating – street rallies protesting against Muslims.

But those who take a stand against Islamophobia are often demanded to qualify it with a condemnation of extremism. When is this ever asked of other stands against prejudice? When we condemn anti-Semitic hate, must we criticise repressive Israeli policies in the same breath? It would be absurd – they are completely separate issues, and indeed millions of Jews across the world oppose the actions of Israel's government.

..Anti-Muslim hate is a European pandemic. I'm proud to stand with Mehdi Hasan and other Muslims facing Islamophobia. But – I implore, I beg fellow non-Muslims – stand with them too, before this hatred spirals further out of control. [Source]