“Islamophobia”: An Insidious Term

Prejudice and bigotry against Muslims certainly exist, but, writes Jeffrey Tayler, the term “Islamophobia” both obscures Islamic realities and serves as a cudgel to silence discussion about Islam itself. Indeed, those who decry “Islamophobia” often direct their ire at reformers who are themselves Muslim:

Those who deploy the . . . term “Islamophobia” to silence critics of the faith hold, in essence, that Muslims deserve to be approached as a race apart—not as equals, not as individual adults capable of rational choice, but as lifelong members of an immutable, sacrosanct community, whose (often highly illiberal) views must not be questioned, whose traditions (including the veiling of women) must not be challenged, and whose scripturally inspired violence must be explained away as the inevitable outcome of Western “interventionism” in the Middle East or racism and “marginalization” in Western countries.

Fail to exhibit due respect for Islam—not Muslims as people, Islam—and you risk being excoriated, by certain progressives, as an “Islamophobe,” as a fomenter of hatred for an underprivileged minority . . . and, most illogically, as a racist. Islam, however, is not a race, but a religion. . . .

No better evidence of this strain of illogical, muddled intolerance of free expression exists than the suspicion and ire that regressive leftists reserve for former Muslims and Muslim reformers working to modernize their religion. In a moving 2015 . . . address, Sarah Haider, who is of Pakistani origin, recounts being called everything from “Jim Crow” to “House Arab” to native informant by American liberals for having abandoned Islam—by, that is, the very folk who should support women, regardless of their skin color, in their struggle for equality and freedom from sexist violence and chauvinism.

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More about: Islamophobia, Moderate Islam, Racism, Religion & Holidays

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror