Why do we care about “Islamophobia”?


This cartoon offends millions of people, but I don’t have to worry that one of them will kill me for publishing it. This is not cultural relativism. The difference between my culture and Islam is not relative. It is absolute.

“Cultural relativism opens the way to only one thing: religious totalitarianism.”, says the new editor of Charlie Hebdo, Gérard Biard.

Not everyone agrees.

Since the murders in Paris, two types of apologists have tried to minimize them: for simplicity, I will use the deliberately offensive labels ‘anti-racists‘, and ‘truthers‘.

First, the anti-racists. Seventeen people were murdered by Islamic extremists, and a common anti-racist reaction was to blame “white supremacy” and “Islamophobia”.

To be fair, anti-racists do condemn the machine-gunning of cartoonists, but quickly move on to blame the West in general for having been uniquely imperialist for hundreds of years. More specifically, they chastise the Western cartoonists, journalists, bloggers and others, who stir up “Islamophobia” by practicing freedom of expression, by savagely criticizing and satirizing the repressive, misogynistic, homophobic and homicidal aspects of the Muslim religion.

Here’s Kim Petersen in Dissident Voice:

The Charlie Hebdo White Power Rally in Paris

And Richard Seymour in Jacobin Mag:

On Charlie Hebdo

Bullshit. Murdering cartoonists has nothing to do with white power. It is not justified in any way by, nor even connected to, American wars in the Middle East, Israeli crimes in Palestine, drones, or torture.

The Charlie Hebdo murders were carried out by religious people, whose religion says that insulting their prophet should be punished by death. They therefore punished some of those who insulted their prophet, by killing them.

The other kind of useful idiots for Muslim murderers are the ‘truthers’ – people who claim that what look like Muslim murders are actually being carried out by the Western security services, most probably Mossad. I admire Gilad Atzmon, but not on this occasion:

The title suggests the Charlie Hebdo massacre was “possibly” a false flag operation, but the article ends by saying “It is quite probable that this was another false flag operation. Who could be behind it?  Use your imagination…”

“Another” false flag operation implies that we have already established that many of the other alleged Islamic terror attacks were actually carried out by the CIA, MI5 and/or Mossad. Atzmon asks us to use our imagination. I prefer to use my reason.

P.S. June 7 – here is a much better article from Gilad Atzmon: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/6/6/french-comedian-to-receive-international-free-speech-award. I agree that Dieudonné deserves an award for free speech, but I don’t see why it is necessary to contrast him with the editors of Charlie Hebdo. Is it fair to say

“They paid a high price for insulting Islam but it was totally unexpected, since this is tolerated by the government, so it is hard to say that they showed courage in the face of repression”?

Given the murder of Theo van Gogh in 2004, the 2006 protests in Denmark (“Massacre those who insult Islam”), and the Toulouse killings of 2012, it must have been obvious that there was a danger of Islamic terrorists attacking Charlie Hebdo. The cartoonists were courageous, and they were not obliged to parody privilege as well as Islam.

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