Islamophobia Essay - 7344 Words
The result is a society polarised between those who see themselves as victims of Islam and those who see themselves as victims of Islamophobia. Take for instance the case currently being brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress against the journalist Mark Steyn for an article he wrote in MacLean's Magazine. The CIC reported both the journalist and the magazine to the Human Rights Commission claiming that the article - an excerpt from Steyn's new book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It - was 'flagrantly Islamophobic' and subjected 'Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt'.
There’s No Such Thing as Islamophobia | City Journal
As with many other recent reports on Islamophobia, it payed to scratch beneath the surface of the rhetoric. According to the authors, they had picked a random week to assess press coverage. It just so happened that this was the week in which the British government published its report on the 7/7 bombings of the London underground. Not surprisingly, there was a huge amount of press coverage, and not surprisingly most of it was 'negative'; even the Mayor of London, I think, would have found it difficult to be positive about four British-born Muslims who had blown up themselves and 52 others a year earlier.
The real problem is neither Islam nor Islamophobia but an obsession with Islam and a desire from all sides to play the victim. On the one side, many Muslim leaders view Western societies as institutionally Islamophobic and all Muslims as living under siege. On the other the likes of Steyn, Amis and Wilders absurdly view the West as living under the lash of Islam and seek collective revenge on all Muslims. We certainly need to challenge the iniquities of Islam and refuse to bow to Muslim blackmail that certain debates are off-limits. But equally we need to keep the problem of Islam in perspective and not pretend that it is the root cause of every social ill. And we need to insist that notions of free speech and equal rights apply to all. Otherwise we will end up with a society in which an obsession with Islam distorts the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims, and in which this obsession becomes a means of undermining free speech and basic liberties.