Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Irked By a "Tip"

I was doing my utmost to try to ignore Jonathan Kay's thoughts about his participation in an evening of smoke and mirrors peace sponsored by ICNA (not a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate per se, but identified by the Bros as a "like-minded" group) and the University of Toronto Muslim Student Association (which is a MuBro offshoot). However, something really irked me. It was partly his utter cluelessness re Islamophobia, a term invented for very specific political purposes by the MuBros (Kay claims that "Islamophobia is a very real phenomenon" which "in Canada largely is confined to a small cadre of hyper-conservative culture warriors"). But, really, I have become used to Kay's discomfort with the purportedly "hyper-conservative," which emerged in the wake of his book Among the Truthers, and could have ignored that dig. No, what really bugged me was this--Kay's advice for the assembled hyper-aggrieved (hyper-aggrieved due to the pervasive "Islamophobia" of Canada in general and the media in particular):
When the discussion turned to what strategies should be adopted by Muslim groups seeing to fight Islamophobia, my number-one tip was: Avoid the subject of Israel. Never mention it. If the goal of your group is to promote the reputation of Islam in general terms in Canadian society, pretend the Middle East doesn’t exist. I say this for a few reasons. First: It’s a deeply divisive subject that tends to raise tempers on both sides of the debate. On this score, I told a story about a disastrous National Post editorial board meeting with the Canadian Arab Federation, in which the entire discussion was hijacked by the visitors’ toxic attitudes toward the Jewish state. It’s one of those subjects that sucks all the extra oxygen out of the room. And at the end of the day, you never really end up changing anyone’s mind. Second, the more you talk about Israel, the greater the chance that a member of your organization will say something truly nutty about Jews or Zionists — or perhaps say something flattering about Hamas or Hezbollah. And, again, when that happens, it’s all anybody comes away from the table talking about. Just look at what happened to the Canadian Islamic Congress after Mohamed Elmasry went on Michael Coren’s TV show in 2004 and agreed to the proposition that “everyone in Israel, irrespective of gender, over the age of 18 is a valid [military] target.”
The bolds, by the way, are Kay's. His "advice," such as it is, can be boiled down as follows: Hey, Muslims, Ix-nay on the Ionism-Zay. That way all you anti-Islamophobes won't tip your hand that you're actually die-hard Zionophobes.

Now, that's truly nutty.

Update: Looks like "hyper-conservative culture warrior" Kathy Shaidle was irked, too.

1 comment:

munimula said...

Hyper-conservatives? I guess that's what someone the left has decided, is a conservative, calls real conservatives.