I just couldn’t let this pass.
I came across this earlier today, a four point boiler plate ‘academic’ vaporing (originally in Spanish) on ”islamofauxbia”. It constitutes purified simplistic drivel supporting a radical leftist (Muslim Brotherhood) narrative, but unfortunately, simplistic drivel is what the ruling mediocrity are feeding upon these days.
NOTE: I parsed (Fisked) the paper in order to provide an example on how the left promotes a bowdlerized view of a dangerous ideology, in order to protect a pet project by demonizing those with legitimate concerns. In fact, it’s flat out lies laced with ambiguities and disingenuous blatherings. Feel free to leave your own observations in the comment section.
Islamophobia: Some Commonplaces
çngeles Ram’rez, anthropologist, activist and co-author of
La alteridad imaginada. El p‡nicomoral y la construcci—n de lo musulm‡n en Espa–a y Francia
Originally published in Spanish in Diagonal (//www.diagonalperiodico.net/tags-autores/angeles-ramirez)Translated by Pamela J. Lalonde
Just as male chauvinism does not only consist of women being killed by their partners and contemporary racism is not solely defined by attacks on minorities, Islamophobia cannot be reduced to violence against mosques or Muslims.
[TT: I wonder if the Spanish leftist anthropologist (and islamo-apologist) would condemn attacks on neo-nazi/fascist headquarters as examples of ”xenophobia”, or just the criminal activity of upset people taking the law into their own hands?]
To invoke an old analogy: only the Nazis implemented the extermination of the Jewish population in Europe as a state policy, but the idea that the Jewish race was a foreign and corrupt one that was exploiting the Germans and deserved to be excluded was widely shared by the German population of the time. The idea determined the action. In the case of Islam, while only a few right-wingers may be out on the streets spearheading the violent opposition to a mosque opening, for example, that action is premised by stereotypes about Islam, assumptions that are shared by most people, regardless of political affiliation: the religion is linked to violence; Muslims are potential fanatics; Islam deprives women of rights. This is Islamophobia, understood as racism against Muslims.
[TT: A classic example of the mixing of apples and oranges. Jews in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe during WW II) were deemed negatively, ostracized, then hunted down and eventually murdered, regardless of their political, social status and religious affiliation. Muslim apostates, Muslim secularists or those who just do not follow their belief system in its entirety (Islam 101) are not deemed a threat.
Their numbers however, and the ability of a small cadre of Islam 101’ers to turn huge portions of relatively secularized Muslims into public sharia abiding Muslims, is indeed a worry, with serious historical ramifications. Jews/Judaism is not a proselytizing faith, Islam however, is, and with a manifest destiny attached to it. This is something that Angelis Rameriz is completely ignorant about, or just being a hardened ideologue.
Islam is in fact highly anti-female, very fanatical when taken to its most basic level and is highly dangerous to the non-Muslim. One only needs to take a look around the M.E., Maghreb and elsewhere in the world to see that is the case.]
The right and extreme right, the usual leaders of Islamophobic public discourse, drag the left into it. The left, in turn, fears the resulting loss of votes if the electorate perceives a half-hearted response to an issue that media propaganda is increasingly representing as the true spectre haunting Europe:Islam. Islamophobia is based on four commonplaces. This text counters each one of them.
[TT: ”The Left” that she is referring to, are those who take a traditional dim view on all religions, and view (correctly) that Islam is being much more of a significant problem than the Baptists, Mormons, Hindus and Buddhists. They have rejected the meme that Islam is a religion of piece, and want to secure their hard won freedoms and rights from an ever increasing threat from the followers of that ideology.]
1. “Muslims are…”
There are around 1,570 million Muslims in the world (Pew Research, 2009),distributed among 200 countries and, like the Christian population, extremely heterogeneous from a national and ethnic point of view (only 20% are Arab).Internally, there is significant diversity, not only the major split between Sunnis and Shiites, but also other divisions that correspond to various cultural, jurisprudential, doctrinal and religious traditions, such as those that differentiate Tunisian (10 million adherents) from Chinese Islam (20 million). The heterogeneity of real Muslims clashes with and overrides Islamophobic reductionisms, which claim that the entire Muslim population shares a set of negative characteristics. In short, the object of Islamophobia is quite poorly defined, given the heterogeneity of Muslims. This is the argument to invalidate the first of the bases of Islamophobia.
[TT: German national socialism, Italian fascism, Spanish fascism, Japanese imperial shintosim (which had strong fascistic properties) Islamic canonical Jew hatred (Mufti of J’lem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini) were very diverse, but all contained shared destructive elements. The moment these groups dropped those elements which were very central to their way of being, (Islam never has dropped it) the danger ceased. Jack asses like spuedo scientists in the anthropology departments throughout the West, like Rameriz, are just unable to conceptualize these simple truths.]
2. “Islam leads to violence. Muslims blindly follow religious precepts.”
After the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, only the mayor of the mid-sized city of Badalona (Spain) openly referred to Islam’s purported predisposition to kill, but many people share the opinion that Islam is bellicose. This idea is unsubstantiated. The Quran and the other sacred texts are loose ethical codes that can either advocate brotherhood or the exact opposite according to how they are interpreted. By analogy, the Bible contains a number of incitements to violence, but it is not commonly claimed that Christianity is intrinsically violent.
[TT: There are plenty of scholars of Islamic history and of Islamic texts that prove Islam is intrinsically anti-non-Muslim, especially anti-Jew and at times when opportunity presents itself, (like today) very very violent towards the non-Muslim. The koran is an open ended book (prescriptive) of incitement and murder of the Jew and the non-Muslim and towards anyone who falls astray from core Islamic beliefs. Hence the 1400 year Sunni-Shiite feud.
The Jewish Torah on the other hand, stories dealing with certain peoples, is descriptive, a historical record telling of Children of Israel. In no way does it command future generations of Jews to seek out the unbeliever and slay them wherever they’re found.]
Furthermore, the idea that the Quran is essential to the lives of Muslim men and women has its origin in colonialism and the Orientalist industry. The concept of the Muslim fanatic clinging to his atavistic customs fed colonial fantasies and domination: the colonialists were fighting a monster that had to be domesticated. This is racism. The relationships between Muslims and their religion are diverse, precisely because of the heterogeneity of interpretations and traditions. Moreover, many people counted among Muslims do not even practice the religion.
[TT: Here Rameriz sets up strawmen in order to strike them down. No one I know of insists that all Muslims follow the koran and other islamic texts to the letter, as Islam expert Robert Spencer tells us repeatedly, all faiths have followers with different levels of religiosity and fervor. Here her (Rameriz) leftist credentials come out like the unfurling of a flag.
Most European forays abroad during the medieval period and in the early 1500’s (and from that time forward) were due to Islamic expansionism (imperialism). If Muslims needed to be domesticated, it was due to their clinging to a violent, supremacist ideology. The Turkish empire was forged upon the proper reading of Islamic texts, conquering new lands for Islam and submitting the unbelievers to the sharia. Being a Spaniard, Rameriz has a stark historical deficit to remedy, Andalus is still a rallying cry for every Islamic supremacist (jihadi) alive today.]
3: “Islam violates the rights of women”.
Muslim doctrinal sources contain statements that can be interpreted and used to oppress women. This is not specific to Islam, however; the same holds true for the Bible and the dominant tradition of the Church Fathers, which is strongly misogynistic and patriarchal.
[TT: More mixing of apples with oranges. Islamic misogyny is codified into Islamic law with clear koranic references as to how women (wives, concubines and slaves) are to be treated. That is what we point to, as well to living examples from around the world, wherever Islam is the dominant force.]
In many Muslim countries, Islam is wielded and instrumentalized to legislate against the rights of people, especially women(e.g., polygamy, repudiation, dress codes). It is no coincidence that these countries have significant democratic and civil rights deficits, which is part of the problem.
[TT: That’s a fact, but what law undergirds (highly influences) the system of jurisprudence of these Muslim countries? The Sharia. The very reason why these countries fail to have a true working, pluralistic, democratic society is that they’re Islam corrupted. Being a student of history is a wonderful thing. George W Bush’s ”democracy project for the M.E. was not the first attempt, the San Remo conference after WW I, was, with all the mandates doled out to the victorious powers to midwife democratic rule to the region in the once Turkish Empire controlled Levant and Maghreb. Only Israel could achieve a real democracy, the Islam corrupted Muslims could not.]
Other non-Muslim dictatorships, like the fascist dictatorship of Franco, also used religion as a basis for political legitimacy and the source for a model of womanhood with legal consequences. In Ireland and Nicaragua, the power of the Church has resulted in the prohibition of abortion. And countries like Thailand and Mexico do not even need religion to maintain a climate of violence and harassment of women. Islam does not, then, create patriarchal systems; rather, it provides a specific language and form of legitimacy, as do other religions and/or gender ideologies in non-Muslim states and societies.
[TT: Islam codifies patriarchal systems into law, as well as other highly detrimental traits, traditions and customs, therein lies the major difference.
4. “Muslim women are forced to wear headscarves; therefore this must be banned in Europe in order to free them from this oppression”.
Leftist militants and feminists often advocate a ban on Islamic attire in Europe reproducing in reverse the prohibitions that they criticize as oppressive claiming that this frees Muslim women. Oddly, it is from a progressive position that they accept the state’s right to ordain how women should dress, purporting to “emancipate” them by taking away their civil rights. Even if a society does not share the religious or social background that leads a woman to adopt the headscarf, this does not empower the state to ban them. Wearing a headscarf or niqab is not a crime and does not increase the likelihood that a woman will commit a crime or belong to a terrorist network.
[TT: There is a good reason as to why totalitarian (nominally secular Muslim regimes in the M.E. banned the wearing of the scarves in public spaces outside the mosque an private homes. They knew, as well as those of us who have become educated on the subject, that Islam is in fact a political ideology. The introduction of the headscarf into the public square is in fact a political act, as much as the sight of groups of Muslim men praying (commandeering) the streets of Europe.
This anthropologist (most likely a leftist feminist) couldn’t care less that many women and girls are in fact forced into wearing these garments, even to the point of being beaten. That some or even many choose to freely wear them, doesn’t take away from the fact that many do not choose to freely wear them, nor from the fact that it’s a political act of intimidation of those who are still clinging to their secular ways.]
When clothing is criminalized,the women who wear it (almost always working class immigrants) are stigmatized and on more than one occasion, this stigmatization manifests itself in serious legal problems. Ultimately, Islamophobia is no more than contemporary racism with a strong classist and sexist component, legitimized socially because it is whitewashed by the discourse about the fight for women’s rights, secularism and anti-terrorism. Let’s prove these arguments wrong and do away with the ”I am an Islamophobe! so what?” position that Brigitte Vasallo wrote about in a previous issue of this journal. Let’s put an end to this impunity once and for all.
[TT: As someone more interested in maintaining our civil classical liberal society and hard won freedoms, I am more interested in those who are pressured and stigmatized by their communities because of their failure to conform to Islamic norms, with many of these cases ending in violence.The claim of ”islamofauxbia” being a race based, is as nonsensical as claiming anti-Christian rhetoric being ”race based”. Real, justified, fear of Islam, based upon the historical record and present day empirical evidence, is a healthy response to the basic self survival impulse everyone of us have. Only hardcore ideologues like Rameriz fail to understand that.]