Friday, October 20, 2017

Farzana Hassan Tells the M-103 Committee to Ditch the Term "Islamophobia"

Hassan stated her case plainly--"Islamophobia" is too vague and loaded a term, and must be chucked:
A common dictionary meaning of anti-semitism is “hostility to or prejudice against Jews”. Islamophobia, on the other hand, also includes criticism of Islam as a religion. The common dictionary meaning is “intense dislike or fear of Islam, esp. as a political force; hostility or prejudice towards Muslims.”
While I could state my case without interruption for the ten minutes allotted, I felt the committee was reluctant to ask me any further questions, as I would have reinforced a viewpoint that countered the Liberal Party’s position. 
My only questions were from Conservative MP Scott Reid. 
I had recommended erasing Islamophobia from the motion, because in my view it is a vaguely defined term; I asked why the House would not agree to a more specific term to investigate anti-Muslim sentiment. Mr Reid's response was to ask if Islamophobia defined strictly as “hatred toward Muslims” would work. 
I responded that would not be adequate at all, and that any redefinition of the word by the House would fall on deaf ears. 
Besides, not every individual would be aware of this very narrow definition of Islamophobia. Words have their own lives among the people who speak them. As far as the general public is concerned, the vagueness would remain as few would be aware of the term as redefined by the House of Commons. Not everyone is aware of government proceedings or taps into government documents as a resource. 
Islamophobia will continue to have disturbingly wide connotations for people who subscribe to an obscurantist view of Islam and cannot tolerate any criticism.
Alas, the Liberals are too stupid and too heavily invested in the cult/culture/ideology of victimhood to do the right thing and scrap the sucker.

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