Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Islamophobia and Anti-semitism - what is, and isn't, bigotry?

There's currently a great deal of talk about Islamophobia and anti-semitism in the UK press. You won't be surprised to hear me say I am very firmly against both forms of prejudice. However, I suspect many would consider me guilty of one or other. I suspect many Muslims or Muslim-supporters would consider me Islamophobic because, say, I consider the religion of Islam one root cause of much contemporary terrorism. On the other hand, I don't doubt some Jews or Israeli-supporters would consider me anti-semitic because, say, I think the attacks on Gaza were disproportionate and unjustified, or because I am broadly sympathetic to non-violent methods of Palestinian resistance, such as their BDS campaign - Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. It may well be that I am just mistaken about what is and isn't Islamophobic/anti-semitic, and I genuinely want to be guilty of neither, so I thought I would arrange various claims according to whether I consider them Islamophobic or not and anti-semitic or not, to get your feedback.

Continues at CFI here...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen, I am only briefly passing through (though I do enjoy your blog when I occasionally visit). If you are trying to get to grips with Islam, especially on the issue of violence, Asma Afsaruddin and David Cook seem to be the academics to go for when it comes to this issue. I would also strongly recommend Neal Robinson (on anything to do with the Qur'an), Jonathan AC Brown (on hadith) and Khaled Abou El-Fadl (on Sharia). Shahab Ahmed's monumental, groundbreaking study 'What is Islam?' is another essential read. I'm actually wading through these authors myself right now but I don't think it's premature to recommend them, as you will discover for yourself if you do some follow-up Googling. My perception of Islam has already been changed by what I have encountered so far. Specifically on Islamaphobia, Arun Kundnani's 'The Muslims are Coming!' is a good place to start.