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Morgenthau: Islamists and Islamophobes – Strange Bedfellows

September 12, 2011

At its core, 9/11 was a human tragedy. It also had serious political consequences. Islamism and Islamphobia took their place on centre stage.

Islamists, and Islamophobes alike stand for hatred. Working together, they are a major threat to Western liberalism.

Working together? Could these groups be further apart!

It seems that Islamists and Islamophobes are politically opposed. Yet, they are the greatest of allies.

Islamists are excused because of the flourishing of Islamophobia. In turn, Islamophobes based their fear on the flourishing of Islamism.

Islamism is a contemporary segment of Islam. It seeks a reconstituted caliphate, ultra-conservative interpretations of Islamic law, and de-westernization.

Some Islamists believe persuasion will bring about these goals. While other Islamists see terrorism as a more expedient route.

Violent Islamists have targeted civilians throughout the world. 9/11 was followed by terrorist attacks/attempts throughout the Western world. More then that, Islamists kill their own people. Twelve Muslims die a day at the hands of violent Islamists.

Beyond terrorism, the basic ideology of Islamists is one of hatred. Women, queers, and racial minorities are all victims of Islamist ideology.

Thus, Islamism, is a major security threat to the Western world in addition to a overwhelming political threat to the Islamic world.

Clearly, such a vile beast should be thoroughly opposed? Yet, apologists for Islamism flourish.

When former NDP MPP Marilyn Churley was asked “do we face an issue with Islamic fundamentalism” she gave the simple response of “no.”

When Prime Minister Harper singled out Islamism as the greatest security threat to Canada- he was roundly condemned. Nycole Turmel dismissed the comment as “divisive.” The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada asked “How can Mr. Harper associate Islam with radicalism and fanaticism?”

The Norwegian terrorist attack was similarly taken as an opportunity to apologize for Islamism. The attack on a Labour party youth convention was carried out by a Christian. My newsfeed was filled with the suggestion that this somehow minimized the threat of Islamism.

What motivates these apologists? They are motivated by Islamphobes. Apologists for Islamism are reacting to the rise of Islamophobia. They are so afraid of joining this wave of intolerance that they refuse to criticize even a small segment of the Islamic faith.

Islamophobia purports that it is not just a small segment of Islam that is perverted. Rather, they claim the whole religion is demonic.

Figures like Gert Wilders explicitly make no distinction between Islamism and the larger faith. Recently, a progressive Dutch Muslim MP called for an end to Islamic Extremism. Wilders replied “What we need is a fatwa to end Islam.”

Islamphobes have crusaded to ban the Hijab, minarets, and even student prayer groups.

Islamphobes see the horrible ways in which the Koran can be interpreted. They refuse to acknowledge the peaceful ways in which the Koran can be interpreted. They refuse to see that any religious text can be a voice for hatred, or for love. They refuse to see that fundamentalists are the same in every faith. Just as, they refuse to see that moderates are the same in every faith.

What motivates Islamphobia? Islamophobes want to oppose Islamism. Yet, they fail to make a distinction between the extremist segment, and the larger faith.

It is the apologists for Islamism that have blurred this distinction. They refuse to criticize the extremist segment of Islamic society. As such, they create an illusion that there are no segments.

Apologists for Islamist and Islamphobes are thus the greatest of allies. If they are to be undermined, both must be condemned.

Do you want to end Islamophobia? Stand up to Islamism.

Do you want to end Islamism? Stand up to Islamophobia.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sami permalink
    September 12, 2011 7:09 pm

    very nice article and critique , however, as I always say its not the religion that is corrupt , its the people that missuse it…

  2. September 14, 2011 7:15 pm

    I dont know if Said Hassan Nasrallah is really a good example of an Islamist. I mean, the most extreme ones are Wahabbis and Salafists, and Hezbollah (the Party of God) may be Islam mixed with Politics but they generally keep things in the context of Lebanon’s relatively liberal political culture.

    Also the statement “Do you want to end Islamism? Stand up to Islamophobia.” means less here with the example of Nasrallah. Hezbollah formed to end the occupation of their lands from Israel. Technically the Sheeba Farms are still occupied by Israel. A more accurate statement could read: “Do you want to end Hezbollah type groups? Stop Israeli occupation and war-crimes.”

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