8th February 2016
Racism, Muslims, Islam and Islamism. Question Is That A?
In this back-to-front world of unquestioned cultural relativism something irritates me about the approach of many to “Islamism”, particularly from many on the political “Left”. It’s the confused mismatch between a free-thinking liberal understanding of “racism” per se and being “anti-Muslim”, “anti-Islam” and “anti-Islamism”.
The premise that is accepted and repeated by racism accusers is that criticising anything to do with Islam or its followers is “racist”. It is not. As this website notes Muslims are not “a race”.
OK, I hear you say, I get that racism bit, but what about being “anti-Muslim” or “anti-Islam”? Surely that’s… well, not quite British?
That is, or has been, historically true. For decades we in Britain have prided ourselves on our inclusivity, tolerance and multiculturalism. All of that worked well while there was a level playing field and while the majority did not feel they were being dictated to by a minority.
But liberal democracies have an unfortunate inbuilt tendency to eat themselves from the inside. Many today, particularly on the Left, would rather leap to the defence of those whose followers (or some of) would stone them for being raped or hang them for being gay than sound so-called illiberal or non-inclusive or questioning of Islam or its associated ‘ism’.
That is not to say that all Muslims go along with this aspect of Islam (also known as shariah). Shariah law is at the root of all that impacts negatively on the behaviour of any miscreant Muslim.
But if you think the majority of the world’s Muslims disagree with imposing shariah, you are probably, sadly, wrong. Even in Russia the support among Muslims for making shariah the official law of the land is eye-opening and shocking.
RACISM OR ANTI-ISLAMISM?
To most balanced people there is and should be no inherent conflict: racism is bad, anti-Islamism is good. But you’ll find it easy to find “racist” yellers at every turn while they also insist Islamism has little if not nothing to do with Islam the religion. Somehow the two lines of thinking have converged into one. And, as we all know, to be a racist is not a nice thing, while to be an Islamist is obviously understandable(!) and probably as progressive as being a “liberal democrat”.
Via the thinking man’s pub, twitter, I am often described as racist or anti-Muslim or anti-Islam because I am determinedly anti-Islamism. Some who so insist seem reasonably intelligent too; all the more depressing.
So let’s get this straight (sigh):
- I have Muslim friends, yes, friends not just acquaintances. They are all well-integrated people although we seldom discuss politics;
- I have issues with Islam because of its inability and/or unwillingness to stop the violence perpetrated under its name. Other issues too, due to its inability/unwillingness to re-interpret its Holy Books;
- I am “anti-Islamism“. This should be everyone’s position. “Islamism” is not (just) a religious leaning. It is a religious AND political credo which has as its aim to subjugate or destroy ALL others. It is not the same as being “Islamic”.
ISLAMISM or ISLAMIC?
Many years ago the contrived convergence between racism and being anti-Islam(ism) was set out and accepted almost unquestioningly by social media and the rest. Their reasons for doing so were perhaps understandable but no less unbalanced for being well-intentioned. It’s much easier to shoot the messenger than actually consider his arguments. The thinking goes – we have Muslim friends and colleagues, and they’re OK, so we’re OK with them. Anyway – Muslims are mostly non-Caucasian so it must be racism.
This was always a false argument even before recent Islamism-inspired violence, but only slowly are some beginning to accept this.
Moderate Muslims such as Maajid Nawaz have long fought against the fundamentals within Islamic nostrums. I used the word Islamic there, rather than Islamist, because as the above polls show this thinking regarding following and swallowing Shariah is not confined to those of the “ism” tendency.
There has been much written on Islamism, including this in language that all can understand.
It seems to many who abhor this particular “ism” that the problem for Muslim reformists is that it is written in Holy Books and widely accepted than no-one (no man of course, women don’t count) is likely to survive long if he dares question the concepts established 1400 years ago.
So, please don’t blindly regurgitate “racism” or “Islamophobia” if you refuse to recognise the difference between Islamic and Islamism. Enlightenment was meant to have brought enlightened thinking, not determined self-destruction.
By Blair Supporter