We must protect Muslims from hate.

This should not be a controversial statement. In the same way, we must protect Christians, Hindus, Budhists, Jews, Sikhs, Atheists, Druids and any other human being from hate. Whether you are an adherent to one of the aforementioned religions or an adherent to nothing at all, as a member of the Human Race it is programmed within us to know that hate is a destructive force that causes untold harm around the world, and also harms the person who allows themselves to hate others.

With such a simple objective, protecting people from hate, how has the APPG report on “Islamophobia” got things so wrong when it asserts:

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

In singling out Muslims for particular protection – through defining the term “Islamophobia” – this report is an ill-conceived, fatally flawed and misguided effort that will fuel division in British Society.

In the Foreword, written by Wes Streeting and Anna Soubry (no less), it is stated that  “Islamophobia is rooted in racism” and through the report it states that Islamophobia is accountable for everything from Muslims being rejected from good universities[1] to impacting their life chances in employment, housing, healthcare and the criminal justice system and impacting their overall quality of life – that’s quite a charge sheet to lay at the door of “Islamophobia”!

Suggesting that fear of Islam is racist will fuel division in society.

Blaming “Islamophobia” for such a wide range of perceived injustices against British Muslims, while other groups (e.g. the working class, Sikhs,…) may perceive themselves to have been disadvantaged, will fuel division in society.

According to the Ipsos Mori report quoted, the vast majority of Muslims (94%) feel perfectly able to practice their religion freely in Britain[2] that might be taken to indicate there is not a problem with “Islamophobia”.  The report doesn’t give us comparative statistics for minority religions or in fact for Christianity. With arrests of Christian Street Preachers – speaking about the love of Jesus – becoming more common, I wonder what percent of Christians would say they feel able to practice their religion freely?

The very existence of a report looking for a definition of “Islamophobia” positions fear of Islam as a “phobia”, an irrational fear. This fails to recognise the genuine fears some people feel about Islam and positions them as “irrational”, stoking frustration amongst many people with legitimate concerns.

Suggesting fear of Islam is a phobia and irrational will fuel division in society.

The report fails to distinguish between fear of Islam from hatred of Muslims and, in conflating these two things makes it impossible to criticize Islam without fear of reprisals. Suppressing criticism through fear further fuels frustration amongst people with legitimate concerns.

Conflating fear of Islam with antipathy towards Muslims will fuel division in society.

Much like the relentless efforts of the media and politicians to deny that recent acts of terror or grooming and gang rape have anything to do with Islam (despite the perpetrators claiming Islam and Allah to be their inspiration), the report accuses British Society at large of imbibing “a panoply of falsehoods or misrepresentations and, consequentially, (having) discriminatory outlooks to the detriment of social harmony and social inclusion”.

The fact this report is invoking “social harmony” is a total disgrace when even the BBC’s Home Affairs editor explained that fear of being called racist and the (misguided) quest for “social cohesion” had led to a conspiracy of silence to cover up the grooming and gang rape scandal and suffering of thousands of young girls over decades; a scandal that shames our political, media and legal systems.

Flawed efforts to preserve social cohesion by lying to the public have delayed recognition of the source and nature of the grooming and gang rape scandal, prolonged the suffering of victims and continue, today, to prevent effective measures from being taken to protect vulnerable young girls and stop these heinous crimes.

Denial of the truth damages social cohesion and fuels division in society.

The report gives examples of two Muslims in Newcastle insulted at the time of the Newcastle grooming and gang rape scadal and shamefully reduces the Newcastle scandal to a “Child sex case” involving “Asian men from the Newcastle area”. In fact, Operation Sanctuary identified 17 men and one woman who received sentences totaling 180 years; the horrific abuse of 700 vulnerable white girls and young women (some as young as 13)[3]; 60 taxi drivers suspected of sexual exploitation; 550 people being reported to the immigration service for deportation.[4]

The report perpetuates the idiotic denial of the racial dimension of the grooming and gang rape scandal describing those convicted in the Newcastle grooming case as “Asian men from the Newcastle area”. They were not Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or Siamese. Those convicted were predominantly from Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian or Turkish communities; communities with a strong Islamic influence.

Failure to properly recognise the nature of the perpetrators, the scale and true horror of the abuse suffered by young white girls increases division in society.

The report fails to recognise the religious aspects of the grooming and gang rape scandal despite testimony from a victim explaining that she was told:

“Muslim girls are good and pure because they dress modestly, covering down to their ankles and wrists, and covering their crotch area. They stay virgins until marriage. They are our girls.

“White girls and non-Muslim girls are bad because you dress like slags. You show the curves of your bodies (showing the gap between your thighs means you’re asking for it) and therefore you’re immoral. White girls sleep with hundreds of men. You are the other girls. You are worthless and you deserve to be gang-raped.”

…explaining that her perpetrator quoted scriptures from the Quran to her as he beat her.[5]

The report continues the well established tradition of disproportionate reporting – chosing to highlight the tragic murders of three Muslims on British soil since 2013 (that it attributes to Islamophobia) without comparing it with the atrocities carried out in the name of Islam across the world[6]

The media and government’s disproportionate emphasis and concern for the followers of Islam will increase division in society.

Failure to recognise any religious dimension to grooming gang crimes will fuel division in society.

The report emphasizes its support for freedom of speech including the right to criticize religion, including Islam, and states that it has been assured by theologians that Islam has a long history of debate, discussion and dissenting opinions! (were they Islamic theologians?) What they don’t detail is what happens to people with a dissenting opinion in any country where Islam holds sway – the reality is not pretty, in fact, it is often fatal.

Muhammad’s example has informed generations of his followers in how to react to those who ask questions about Islam. In Muhammad’s official biography by Ibn Ishaq it is narrated: according to Sa’id b. Jubayr a number of Jews came to Muhammad and said: “Now Muhammad, Allah created creation but who created Allah?”. Rather than engage in this interesting question Muhammad “was so angry that his colour changed and he rushed at them…” to attack them.

Claiming Islam is open to criticism and debate is beyond absurd.

The report recognizes and celebrates the liberal and tolerant nature of Britain but does not examine whether Britain should tolerate something that is totalitarian and intolerant to its core.

Tolerating something that is intolerant will result in the destruction of Britain’s tolerant society.

The report describes the views of 1 in 2 Britons who believe there to be a “fundamental clash” between Islam and British Society as “startling”[7] rather than recognizing it as rational or asking what may lie behind these views.

Failure to recognise the validity of the views of half of the population – who see Islam as clashing with British Society – will fuel division in society.

The report associates the UK Independence Party with “anti-Muslim bigotry” whereas the UK Independence is in fact the only mainstream political party that has spoken out about the challenges Islam’s sacred texts present for Western liberal democracies.

Branding anyone who criticises Islam as an “anti-Muslim bigot” is childish, dishonest and stifles genuine debate, further fuelling division in society.

Most importantly, the report does not ask why people might be fearful of Islam. Rightly or wrongly, informed or ignorant, there are many reasons why people fear Islam including.

  • The teachings in Islam’s sacred texts that declare anyone who is not a Muslim to be an enemy who must be fought until they submit to Islam.
  • The fact that the people committing terrorist acts declare themselves to be faithful Muslims acting in the name of Allah.
  • The human rights record of countries where Islam dominates
  • The views of British Muslims, e.g. that 50% would not go to the police if they knew of someone who involved with ISIS.
  • The homophobia and misogyny embedded in Islam’s teachings
  • The advance of Islamic Law, Sharia, our governments refusal to address the inequality this brings to women and its incompatibility with British life – leading to the UK being sanctioned by the Council of Europe resolution 2253 (2019)

[1] Foreword, page 8

[2] Foreword page 9

[3] Guardian, 23rd Feb 2018

[4] BBC Website, 8th May 2018

[5] Independent, 18th March 2018

[6] www.thereligionofpeace.com

[7] Page 15

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