In the UK, Baroness Warsi, better known as PM Cameron's pet Muslim, delivered a speech lambasting Britons as racists for in any way associating terrorism with Islam. If you have been guilty of trying to distinguish between moderate and radical Muslims, that too is now forbidden. According to Baroness Sayeeda Hussein Warsi, trying to distinguish between head-chopping and non-head-chopping Muslims only helps "fuel intolerance and misunderstanding". Which may or may not be better than Mohammed Asha and Bilal Abdulla, a British doctor and engineer, who filled up their Jeep Cherokee full of fuel canisters and tried to drive it into Glasgow International Airport.
Islamophobia is the last acceptable form of bigotry. Actually the last acceptable form of bigotry appears to be Anglophobia, along with solid doses of anti-Semitism. In poll after poll, native Britons have been shown to be the most positively disposed toward Muslims in all of Europe, and British Muslims have been shown to be the most anti-Western in all of Europe. Clearly there's a problem here, and it isn't that mythical scourge of Islamophobia.
In a 2006 poll, 63 percent of Britons viewed Muslims favorably. Less than a third said that they thought of Muslims as violent. On the other hand, 67 percent of British Muslims viewed Westerns as selfish, 62 percent saw them as arrogant. British Muslims rated Westerners far lower than German Muslims, French Muslims or Spanish Muslims did. And 68 percent of British Muslims view Jews negatively, suggesting that anti-Semitism is still the last acceptable form of bigotry. And that rather than being the "New Jews" as some Muslim leaders like to claim, the Jews are still the Old Jews. And maybe the Britons are the New Jews of Londonistan.
You might put this down to the resentments of an oppressed Islamoproliteriat, but most Muslims polled also believed they were fairly treated. Above the numbers for French and German Muslims. Yet British Muslims are also far more 'immoderate' (if one may dare use the word in the presence of Baroness Hussein) than other European Muslims. It almost seems as if Muslim bigotry against the natives increases proportionally with how well they are treated. That might help explain why younger Muslims are actually more radicalized or 'immoderate' than their parents who immigrated to the UK.
According to Warsi, Islamophobia has passed the "dinner table test", that apparently being the test where people dare to express an opinion around their own dinner table without being shipped off to stand trial before the European Court of Justice. But is it really the dinner tables of England that we ought to be concerned with, rather than its army of prayer rugs.
In an environment where 40 percent of UK Muslims want Sharia law, 10 percent support the 7/7 bombers and 13 percent admire Al Qaeda, 40 percent believe that 9/11 was a Jewish/American conspiracy, 62 percent do not believe in protecting free speech, 68 support the arrest and prosecution of writers and cartoonists who insult Islam and 36 percent support the death penalty for Muslims who leave Islam-- -- is it really time for another lecture on Islamophobia?
Shouldn't Baroness Warsi be donning a hefty burqa (which she assures us in no way represses women and is actually incredibly liberating in the sense that shackles make one feel incredibly free and being blindfolded helps you get in touch with the world inside your own head) and trot off to the grimiest mosques in Manchester to tell them all about the evils of Anglophobia?
That won't be happening of course, and not only because Baroness Warsi is a rich man's daughter who lost an election, but was nevertheless appointed a life peer, the Tory party co-chairman and made a minister without portfolio, represents UK Muslims about as well as I do. She has been told before by some of that immoderate crowd we're forbidden to refer to foe fear of "fueling misunderstanding and intolerance", that she will be stoned if she goes there. All her gay bashing still couldn't win her Muslim votes. And her current Briton bashing won't either. Warsi is a token Tory Muslim, a jumped up immigration lawyer who represents nothing so much as the palpable fear of even British conservatives before the onslaught.
The very word is the tipoff. Islamophobia. There's a difference between bigotry and fear. Bigotry is directed at people you have power over. Fear is the relationship you have with those who have power over you. No one is afraid of people who eat different foods, listen to odd music or non-violently worship a strange religion. They might be hated, but not feared. On the other hand being afraid of those who think they have an Allah given right to murder your children in cold blood-- is not entirely unreasonable.
No one rides the underground, worried about Hindu or Sikh suicide bombers. Because there is no such thing in the UK. But when 10 percent of UK Muslims think the chaps who blew themselves up there are role models, then Islamophobia is as unreasonable as being afraid of spending the night in a locked room with 10 men, 7 of whom hate you, 4 of whom want to force you to be their legal inferior and 1 of whom wants to kill you. Except that locked room is now England.
Islamophobia hasn't passed the dinner-table test, rather the prayer rug test. Muslims have openly cultivated an attitude of violence and intimidation as a means of gaining power and advancement. Some like Baroness Warsi are the beneficiaries of this process. And the Baroness Hussein knows that she is where she is, because of Islamophobia. Because her bosses are afraid of the rough men in the vicinity of the East London Mosque who keep grinning and miming hitting the detonator button. And more so they are fearfully afraid of what will happen if all their pathetic gestures of appeasement fail, and they will actually be forced to confront a problem with no overtly acceptable solution.
The British government has banned American preacher Terry Jones from entry, but has Jones called for a single murder, the way that numerous Muslim preachers in the UK have? Has he distributed tapes justifying the mass murder of people who are not members of his faith, the sort of tapes that can be found commonly in Muslim bookstores? Yet if Terry Jones' name were Anjem Choudary, he'd have a warm place from which to preach the overthrow of England. And scream vile hatred at returning soldiers. Jones' only crime is being critical of the Koran while trying to visit a country where 68 percent of Muslims believe that such criticism should be punishable under the law.
That may also be why Peter and Hazelmary Bull, a Christian couple, were dragged into court and forced to pay thousands of pounds to two gay men whom they refused to rent a single room to-- while Baroness Warsi's attempt to fish for Muslim votes with homophobic leaflets got her rewarded with a plum political spot that she has done absolutely nothing to deserve.
great deal of outrage when Israeli President Shimon Peres suggested that there might be some anti-semitism in England, but the country is obligated to listen to Baroness Warsi denounce it as Islamophobic. Yet while an English judge legalized the Kristalnacht vandalism of Jewish factories and stores, I don't recall any legal ruling that permitted Muslim stores and factories to be treated the same way.
The problem is indeed Islamophobia, but not the way Sayeeda Hussein Warsi thinks. It's not the Islamophobia of the dinner table, but of Number 10 Downing Street which is at issue here. Warsi gets used as Cameron's stalking horse, delivering a speech that panders to Muslims, which he carefully disassociates himself from. But the problem remains. And the problem is Muslim Anglophobia reacting with the Islamophobia of the political class. Bigotry meets appeasement. Terrorism meets pathetic silence.
The British teenager of tomorrow is named Mohammed, and he takes his inspiration not from the Magna Carta, but the Koran. His hero is not Winston Churchill or Oliver Cromwell, but that bloody butcher of men and raper of women and little girls, the Islamic prophet Mohammed. When he plays video games, he imagines that the men he's killing are the soldiers returning home from fighting against teenagers just like him Iraq or Afghanistan. Sooner or later, he dreams of being to do the same thing. He thinks of British girls as whores, of English culture as corrupt and worthless, and feels he owes no obedience to its laws or its government. The word 'Islamophobia' makes him chuckle. He likes the idea that the natives are afraid of him. "They should be," he thinks. They should be indeed.