Friday, November 30, 2012

Two Vastly Different Explanations Re the Coinage of the Term "Islamophobia" (and Never the Twain Shall Meet)

First, the Ontario "Human Rights" Commissions':
In contemporary usage, the term “Islamophobia” dates from the 1990s. The British Runnymede Report of 1997, titled Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, defined Islamophobia as “the dread, hatred, hostility towards Islam and Muslims perpetrated by a series of closed views that imply and attribute negative and derogatory stereotypes and beliefs to Muslims” (Kalin, 2011, p. 8). After 9/11, the term was used in a 2002 report published by the European Monitoring Centre on Xenophobia and Racism (EUMC), documenting incidents of violence and discrimination against Muslims in Europe (Cesari, 2011, p. 21). Although contested, the word has come to refer to both anti-Muslim (group of people) and anti-Islam (the religion) sentiments. These may overlap with racism, xenophobia, anti-religious and anti-immigrant views as well (Cesari, 2011, p. 24). Islamophobia does not stem only from the events of 9/11, but is part of the pre-existing ways in which Muslims are perceived as “different” from the larger society.
Second, Discover the Networks':
The term “Islamophobia” was invented and promoted in the early 1990s by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad -- who was with that organization when the word was formally created, and who has since rejected IIIT's ideology -- now reveals the original intent behind the concept of Islamophobia: “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its very origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them.

This plan was an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood's "General Strategic Goal for North America," by which the organization aimed to wage "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions." To implement this plan, the Brotherhood enlisted the help of 29 likeminded "organizations of our friends" (one of which was IIIT), whose task would be to depict themselves as civil-rights groups speaking out on behalf of a Muslim American population that was allegedly besieged by outsiders who harbored an illogical, unfounded fear of them -- i.e., by a society replete with "Islamophobia."

Although the term was coined in the early 1990s, “Islamophobia” did not become the focus of an active Brotherhood campaign until after 9/11. Since that time, Islamist lobby organizations (including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR) and Muslim civil-rights activists have regularly accused the American people, American institutions, law-enforcement authorities, and the U.S. government of harboring a deep and potentially violent prejudice against Muslims. The accusers charge that as a result of this "Islamophobia," Muslims are disproportionately targeted by perpetrators of hate crimes and acts of discrimination.

But FBI data on hate crimes show that the foregoing accusers are wholly incorrect. The incidence of anti-Muslim abuses nationwide has actually declined since September 2001...
See what I mean about existing in alternate realities?

Update: Pat Condell has a few thoughts on the subject.

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