Politicians praising Islam? Non-Muslims, seek shelter! And Muslims, too!
Dr. Koenraad Elst
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has launched the term “Islamophobia”, which was immediately adopted by the US, the EU, academic bodies like the American Academy of Religion, and then the media and the chattering classes in the West, in India and elsewhere. Its users translate it as “hatred of Islam” but it really means “fear of Islam”. It treats warnings against the threat Islam poses to rival convictions as well as to freedom and democracy as a psychic disease on a par with claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) or arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders). It is an excellent way to poison the debate by declaring your enemies insane. In reply, we will coin the term “Islamophilia”. Being more generous and open-minded than our opponents, we have not chosen a psychiatric term to designate them. Like francophilia, “love of everything French”, it is merely a descriptive term: love of Islam. We consider this love irrational, but do not include an intrinsic irrationality in the term chosen. Someone who whitewashes Islam or shields it from criticism is an “Islamophile”.
When George Bush spoke to the American people after the bomb attacks of 11 September 2001, he told them to assemble in their churches, their synagogues and their mosques. He made it a point to emphasize that the Muslim Americans too were part of the nation. The revenge invasion of Afghanistan that he was planning, would merely be a “war on terror”, not a war on Islam. Meanwhile, American politicians fell over each other to be seen visiting mosques or celebrating Iftar parties. No, this was not a war on Islam, eventhough American and British soldiers were killing Muslims in Afghanistan and later in Iraq by the thousands. Every next bombing in or invasion of Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, Mali and again Iraq would be accompanied by vows of: “Islam is the religion of peace”, “Islamic State (of Iraq and al-Sham) is not the true Islam”, nay, “IS are monsters, not Muslims”. George Bush, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy, François Hollande, all the killers or Muslim civilians (say, Afghan wedding parties) and of fighters for organizations explicitly invoking Islam, have praised Islam to the skies and refrained from criticizing Islam or giving any quarter to critics of Islam. When a Western politician starts praising Islam, Muslims had better seek shelter.
One of the striking things about these Islamophile leaders is their breath-taking pretentiousness. Whereas IS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a doctor of Islamic Studies, Islamophiles like Cameron with his pompous “monsters, not Muslims” statement are simply zeroes in Islamic theology and law. Al-Baghdadi can win hands down in any dispute before an Islamic court. Everything IS has become notorious for, from kidnappings and rapes through slave-takings to executions of dissidents and unbelievers, has been prefigured in Mohammed’s own conduct. The new Caliph knows that the cornerstone of Islamic law, recognized by every single Islamic jurisconsult or judge, is the Prophet’s precedent behaviour. What Cameron is saying, effectively comes down to asserting that “Mohammed was non-Muslim”, or even: “Mohammed was a monster”. Mind you, I have not said it, but the British Prime Minister has implied it.
The media, in their vast majority committed to shielding Islam from criticism, will connect the dots in a simplistic and thoroughly wrong manner. They report on the frequent killings of Muslims by Western soldiers and drones, and on the other they promote and highlight the thoroughly false notion of Islamophobia, so they pontificate that “Islamophobia has caused increasing international violence against Muslims”. On the contrary, Islamophilia is the professed conviction of the leaders who kill Muslims. By contrast, critics of Islam like Raimundus Lullus, Voltaire, the late Sita Ram Goel, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, including ex-Muslims like the late Anwar Sheikh, Taslima Nasrin, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, have never harmed a single Muslim. Even mass-murderer Anders Breivik, the darling and lonely trump card of the Islamophiles, strengthens our case: while not actively an Islam critic, he was at least a quoter of Islam critics (though he reckoned his own act would be used by the Islamophiles to discredit them by association, which he considered good as he wanted to eliminate the “illusion” of reasonable and democratic methods in favour of the violent option) and the killer of 77 people, but he had spurned the easy option of throwing a bomb into a full mosque and instead pointed his machine gun at juvenile multiculturalists of the Norwegian Labour Party. So, even his grisly case confirms that Islam critics don’t kill Muslims while Islamophiles do.
This applies even to India: Jawaharlal Nehru presided over the state that was forced to wage war with Pakistan over Kashmir in 1947-8, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Behari Vajpayee faced down Pakistani invasion in 1965 c.q. 1999, and Indira Gandhi waged the Bangladesh war in 1971, killing many Pakistani Muslims in the process; yet none of them can be quoted as ever criticizing Islam, while some if not all of them have actually praised Islam. For none of the Western or Indian leaders concerned, it can credibly be argued that they didn’t mean what they said in favour of Islam. All of them had to operate in and were groomed by a climate of Islamophilia. Both the so-called “secularists” in India and the multiculturalists in the West combat and criminalize any sign of Islam criticism. Even the “Hindu nationalist” party BJP, to which Vajpayee belonged, has never criticized Islam. Those numerous secularists who allege that the BJP hates islam are welcome to quote a statement of that tendency from the BJP party paper; I at least have never seen one.
Every single medium considers itself an objective vantage-point from which to evaluate all the other media. So, they all say that “the media” except themselves are anti-Islamic and spread a negative view of Islam. This is another make-believe: the media not anti-Islamic by any means, they shield Islam from criticism as much as they can and they impose on all inconvenient facts about Islamic movements the best possible spin. Yet it is true that nonetheless, the media do spread a negative view of Islam in spite of themselves, viz. in their raw reporting. What impact does a newspaper editorial in praise of Islam have, when the next page reports on kidnappings and forced conversions by Boko Haram or slave-takings and beheadings by the Caliphate? The public knows by now that “haram” and “caliphate” are Islamic terms. It can read for itself that the first thing Boko Haram did with the kidnapped girls was to forcibly convert them to Islam; clearly they are not “monsters without religion”. So the negative influence of the media on the public’s perception of Islam is not due to media bias, on the contrary, it is only due to reality peeping through in the news reports.
The Islamophile leaders do not just happen to kill Muslims, both fighters and civilians (“collateral damage”), they do so specifically for Islamophile reasons. According to US Foreign Secretary John Kerry, one of the reasons for sending bomber airplanes to Iraq to fight IS, is to eliminate the “distortion of Islam”. In reality, the Islamic State is giving a truthful picture of what Islamic doctrine stands for. It emulates the Prophet’s behaviour, a model for all Muslims. Not just the “fanatics” but all deliberate Muslims sanctify the Prophet as the “perfect man”. So, no distortion there. Yet, Islamophiles propagate the notion that “IS is not the true Islam”. They like to drown the fish by claiming that there are many schools of Islam; but none can show us an Islamic school where it is taught that “Mohammed was wrong”.
Publicity-conscious Muslims have even tried to support them by issuing a statement condemning IS. Here at last was proof from the horse’s mouth that the real Islam is a religion of peace after all; or is something wrong with this idyllic picture? Caliph al-Baghdadi will have no trouble repudiating this statement in a court of Islamic law nor in the court of reason. For instance, among the reasons cited why IS does not live up to the standards of real Islam, is its practice of slavery. But it is easy to show that Mohammed took and sold slaves, and that Mohammed took a captive Jewish woman into his harem after massacring her male family members. IS’s practice of enslaving non-Muslims, selling them or using them for sexual gratification is nothing but an emulation of Mohammed’s model behaviour, by definition valid in Islamic law. What the Muslim spokesmen are saying, or at least what they want the silly Islamophiles to believe, is that Mohammed himself was a bad Muslim, a “monster”. The abolition of slavery was imposed from outside on the Muslim world, principally by Britain, and was not abolished in the Arabic heartland of Islam until 1962 The peculiar institution was only reluctantly done away with in Muslim society, and the Caliphate is merely reviving an institution intrinsic to Islam – as the authors of this statement fully well know. But they have no second thoughts about fooling the non-Muslim Islamophile, especially because these are only eager to be duped.
The situation now is that pious Muslims (not “monsters” but pious Muslims) are being killed by the bombers of Islamophile President Barack Obama and his equally Islamophile allies. Thus, Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem, who sent six bomber aircraft to Iraq, also parroted the line that “IS terrorists have nothing to do with Islam”: the same combination of Islamophilia by conviction with Muslim-killing in reality. Also among the victims are the Yezidi women being used as sex slaves, the Assyrians and Yezidis who formally converted to Islam to save their lives, as well as numerous cases of the fabled “moderate Muslim” among the civilians of the region. Islamophiles have a lot of blood on their hands.