Saturday, 18 September 2010

Confessions of an Islamophobe

Recently I did a Web search for “Islamophobia" and stumbled upon a moslem web site in Britain. I reproduce beneath some of its contents. Afterwards I write some diabolically Islamophobic remarks.  

“Confronting Islamophobia

 Complexities and tensions

“During the war in Iraq in 2003 a student at a secondary school in central England approached one of the staff. She was of Pakistani heritage, as was the member of staff. She was being teased, she told the teacher, by other students in the playground and on journeys to and from school. 'We killed hundreds of your lot yesterday … Saddam's your dad, you love him, don't you … we're getting our revenge for what you Pakis did to us on 11 September…' The teacher asked if she had told her form tutor. Yes, she had told her tutor, and her tutor had said: 'Never mind, it's not serious. It'll soon pass. You'll have to expect a bit of teasing at a time like this.”

“The story illustrates several different facets of the task of confronting Islamophobia within the education system. There is the need, most obviously and immediately, to give support and assistance to young people who are being targeted and attacked. Almost as immediately, students who engage in verbal abuse and banter, or in even worse and more hurtful behaviour, have to be challenged and stopped. Third, there is a range of skills, understandings and qualities required by teachers, and issues around the kinds of inservice training and professional development that should be provided. Fourth, there are issues to do with school ethos; the content of the curriculum; the procedures for dealing with unacceptable behaviour; and school leadership. This chapter considers principally the fourth of these clusters of topics. At the risk of over-simplification and of sloganising, the fourth cluster can be said to be about confronting institutional Islamophobia, as distinct from confronting the attitudes and behaviour of individual students and teachers.1
The story cited above evokes the complexities of everyday life in a school – the tensions between students, and between students and teachers, and within the teaching body. It evokes too the inexorable impact on such tensions of events in the wider world, both in the present and in the past. Often, teachers do not have sufficient knowledge and understanding to be totally confident that they are doing the right thing. Even when they can be reasonably confident, they are painfully aware of competing pressures on their energy, attentiveness and sense of priorities, and it's as if they seldom or never have sufficient time and space to think and reflect."

Igor Slamoff’s remarks:

How come you classify this incident as Islamophobic? I doesn't say anywhere that the girl was a Mohammedan. Why do you assume she was a Mohammedan? She might have been a Christian or belong to some other religious minority in Pakistan. An Ahmadi, perhaps. The Paki government states that the Ahmadis are not Moslems. The Ahmadis, on the contrary claim that they ARE Moslems! 

What is the likelihood that the girl belongs to one of the persecuted non-Islamic cults of Pakistan? Pakistan is 97% Moslem. So we can assume that the likelihood that the girl is not a Moslem is 3%.  But wait a moment. Since non-Moslems are persecuted in Pakistan, the proportion of non-Moslems among Paki emigrés  is probably much higher than 3%.

For example, Iraqi Christians make up only ten per cent of the Iraqi population. But more than half of Iraqi refugees are Christians. That would seem to imply that many Iraqi Christians have been forced to leave their homes by … by Iraqi Moslems, I suppose.

Consequently the likelihood that the girl is not a Moslem is much, MUCH higher than just 3%. For example, if we assume that the religious distribution of Paki émigrés is proportional to that of Iraqi émigrés, then the likelihood that the girls is not a Moslem rises to 15%. In any case it is by no means a negligible figure. Hence there can be no justification whatever for assuming that a Paki émigré is a Moslem. Thus the girl’s religion – if any – is undetermined. To assume that  she is a Moslem is therefore simply rubbish.

I would say more. To assume she is Moslem is clearly a deception. It seems to be designed to make it seem as though ALL Pakis were Moslems. To identify Pakistan with Islam. Clearly a propaganda gambit.

Getting back to the SO-CALLED Islamophobic incident, because I have seen no mention of the girl’s religion, there was no visible animus against Islam. There was mention of Pakis – as far as I know Paki refers to a country, not to a religion. The girl wasn't harassed because of her religion – whichever that might be, because it hasn't even been mentioned -- but because of her ethnicity or ancestry. So what the hell does Islam have to do with all this? How come Islam is barging into every possible issue? Why are issues of interethnic conflict spontaneously reformulated in religious terms? What's your game?

As a matter of fact I find certain expressions rather peculiar. I honestly don't know what to make of the following item 6 of the “8 basic traits of Islamophobia.”

“Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.” I see. So the situation is that Islam was criticising the West. This Islam chap, is he a foreign resident? I don't recall having seen anyone of that name mentioned until now.

Oh, so it's not an actual person, I see. Well, but actually, when criticism is made, generally it's made by a person, right? Or if it's a collectivity, the criticism is stated by some office holder of the group who can legitimately claim to speak in the group’s name. So what was the name of the Moslem organization official that uttered the criticism?

What, no organization? But then nobody is legitimated to speak on behalf of the group. If the group has no structure, if there are no collective decision-making process, no agreements within the group on how to act in given situations, then each member of the group must speak for himself. So it actually does not make any sense to say "Islam was criticising the West”, because Islam is an imperfectly structured entity and does not issue unified criticisms. At least since 1923, when Mustafa Kemal abolished the Caliphate.

 Actually, the way it sounds when you say “Islam criticizes the West”, it sounds as if Islam were, well, you know, sort of a … a monolithic bloc. Hm, I think I read that expression “monolithic bloc” just a short while ago. Where did I read it?

Oh, here it is: “Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc.” Let me see, who is this seeing Islam as a monolith? Oh. Seeing Islam as a monolith is one of the traits of Islamophobia. Not just ONE of the traits, it's the very first Islamophobic trait mentioned!

So Islamophobes see Islam as a monolithic bloc. I wonder if this web site is run by Islamophobes! That would really be a crying shame, because a Moslem community organization run by Islamophobes sounds like a very tense setup. If you know what I mean.

Of course, if the Moslem community dislikes being led by Islamophobes, then they can just elect some non-Islamophobic officials the next time they have elections. Well, they have to have elections because in democratic countries all organizations must be democratically organized. And that means regular elections. Now why would Moslems choose to be led by Islamophobes? Something fishy here.

Of course perhaps eventually the demands of certain Islamic groups may be satisfied, namely that Islamic law be instituted, either just for the Moslem community or the UK as a whole. Not very likely, at least not right away.

But if Sharia were imposed, I'm not sure that there would be any general guarantee of internal democracy within civil organizations. Sharia as such makes  no mention of democracy. Or human rights, for that matter. So under Shariah these Mohammedans   might actually be forced to accept Islamophobic leadership.

But of course that wouldn't happen, because I strongly presume that under Shariah  Islamophobia would be considered equivalent to “waging war against  Allah and his Prophet”. A capital crime. So those Islamophobes who run this Mohammedan site would be promptly executed. By stoning, perhaps. Or else by another Mohammedan favorite: slitting their throats. I believe this technique is highly recommended by the Koran. Or am I thinking of chopping their heads off with a scimitar? Hmm. I really must consult the catalogue of Islamic methods of execution.

Another peculiar thing I found in the recommended measures to combat Islamophobia. , “Students who engage in verbal abuse and banter, or in even worse and more hurtful behaviour, have to be challenged and stopped.” Curriculum changes, punitive sanctions for miscreants, training of teaching staff, yes, yes,  all sounds quite reasonable.

But something seems to be missing. How about encouraging more empathy and dialogue? Perhaps training in how to defuse conflicts. I don't see any of that. All the solutions proposed are administrative  and bureaucratic. Miscreants are to be “challenged and stopped.” And then what? How about some discussing with the  kids general issues of dealing with social conflict, dialogue with alien ethnic groups?

The closest they get to suggesting that students be taught to engage in dialogue with outsiders, and all that, is “changes in the curriculum”. Hmm, I wonder what kinds of changes they have in mind. Sounds terribly mysterious. They certainly keep their cards close to their chests. Cagey.


Just by reading one or two pages of a Mohammedan community site in Britain I encountered five or six anomalies or internal contradictions, bizarre turns of phrase, needlessly vague formulations, and to top it off a rigidly bureaucratic approach that does not empower individuals but solves everything through administrative procedures.  No mention of dialogue, individual decision-making, learning to cope with conflict, harmony, empathy or non-violence.

I perceive a persistent recurrence of these Kafkaesque situations in connection with some Mohammedan institutions. There is a clear sense that not all is what it seems. Somebody appears to be implementing an unspoken agenda that constantly generates ungrammatical or nonsensical statements. That is, statements that make no sense in terms of regular  English. But perhaps make perfect sense if the words they use are actually code words that mean something else instead.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven. Perhaps it isn’t just paranoia when I sense that  Moslem community leadership is building a state within a state, creating an “Islamic” space where Western law and customs do not apply.

This has recurred so often that I am really moved to drop the whole program of trying to reach a compromise with Islam. I am  persuaded that there can be no give and take with Islam on a basis of mutual trust and bona fides. Mohammedan political structures  are essentially seditious. Islam instinctively seeks to undermine and then dominate whatever milieu it inhabits. Any concession leads only to even more-outrageous demands.

The insidious, i.e. disloyal, deceptive, mendacious and opportunist streak in Islam is a mile wide. Islamic elitism implies that agreements with outsiders can be broken at will.

What is the purpose of continuing to try to be friendly with and get along with a world view that clashes so brutally with our culture, constantly demands new rights, has a murky, neither-fish-nor-fowl character that makes it act at times like a labor union, at times like a political party, an army, a pirate crew, a mutual back-scratching association?  Oh, yes, and they claim that all lands that were once controlled by Mohammedan are Mohammedan forevermore. This vile, scheming attitude that characterises Islam, its combination of overweening arrogance and smugness on the one hand with crude, simple-minded patterns of thought on the other, its formulaic approaches, its overkill of ritual and its completely atrophied ethical code that has no internal logic but is merely a catalogue of what the boss  man said, all this will one day drive me to despair.  

Really, what’s the point? At the same time they’re pursuing their agenda of world conquest, practically as a reflex motion. And lying to you every time they get a chance.  This is hopeless.

I favor dialogue with Islam. A  dialogue like the one conducted at 3 a.m. by a police sergeant through a bullhorn with a gang of kidnappers. That kind of dialogue.

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