Monday, February 15, 2016

'Antisemite!', "Islamophobe!'

Interesting article here on a schoolboy interviewed by the police about terrorism because he wore a 'Free Palestine' badge.

Wear 'Free Palestine' badge = likely terrorist supporter. Pro-BDS = antisemitic. This is obviously ridiculous. Which is not to deny there are anti-semites amongst such people, of course. Similarly, some think those pointing to at least *some* significant Western responsibility for rise of Islamic terrorism = Islamism (or at least support or apologetics for it).

On the other side, suggest there's a significant problem re Islamism in the UK (and I do think that, in fact) and you will likely be deemed Islamophobic. You will also be labelled Islamophobic if you defend the right to free speech of someone like Maryam Namazie. Or if you believe Islam is a root cause of terrorist violence (which I do).

In each case, there's an attempt to stifle and silence dissent with a shaming accusation of bigotry. For of course, the one thing us lefty liberals can't bear to be accused of is bigotry. 'Anti-semite!', 'Islamophobe!' Gets us every time. We start self-censoring for fear of being thought bigoted.


Christoph Dollis said...

This is a great article about the dishonest shaming tactics people wield as weapons to stop others from speaking out, often against evil and destructive things.

Yeah, that won't work on me.

Steven Carr said...

I can understand why the police interviewed that young Muslim.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing Muslims can do to prevent themselves from being radicalised if somebody decides to radicalise them.

We must save them from being radicalised, as they apparently (we are told) can do nothing to save themselves from that fate.

Paul P. Mealing said...

In regard to Steven's comment, a few years ago I read Ed Husain's The Islamist. As this review in The Guardian points out, this is probably as close as you'll get to understanding this issue. Basically, it becomes an ingroup-outgroup dynamic, where the teenager's (includes some girls now as well as boys) only social contact is with peers with extremist views.

I live in another country where there is a lot of hysteria about Islam by people who have no contact with it. In our current period in history, Islamic extremists are responsible for the worst atrocities witnessed on all forms of media, including against school children and women. One should be careful not to alienate Muslims who are actually on the same side as us. 'Us', in this context, being secular humanists.

Regards, Paul.