Saturday, February 18, 2017

An Unseemly Sight: Rex Murphy Sits on the Fence Re "Islamphobia"

Rex really blows it with this one. Here's the letter that, jet-lagged as I am, I dashed off in response:
The usually astute and redoubtable Rex Murphy lets us down when he relativizes both sides in the "Islamphobia" debate, accusing all participants of the sin of "virtue signaling"--a function, I think, of his misconstruing the meaning of the word itself.

I would encourage him to seek out its origin, which as it happens is not a matter of a difference of opinion, some believing it betokens a hatred of Muslims, others claiming it's a fraud being perpetrated by Islamists. According to a 2011 article on the subject in The New Republic:
At the end of the 1970s, Iranian fundamentalists invented the term "Islamophobia" formed in analogy to "xenophobia". The aim of this word was to declare Islam inviolate. Whoever crosses this border is deemed a racist.
Given that, I suppose one could describe it as "virtue signaling": the Ayatollah Khomenei signaling the "virtues" of messianic Shia supremacism--a line of thinking that currently threatens America and Israel, along with every Arab nation--to his followers and the rest of the world.

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