|This 'cartoon' is from the most liberal of Liberal newspaper in UK. And this was before Sept 11 2001! The side notes were inserted by 'Disgusted, Leicester' aka the Spouse and AsH|
It's a phobia that was fanned and fed by hate-mongers from the low-caste British National Party (BNP) and the followers of Le Pen, to the high-caste academics and literati like Malise Ruthven, Bernard Lewis, Mark Cohen, Henri Bernard-Levy and Rushdie and Naipaul and countless others. If you want to be loved by the West, all you have to do is to write about nasty Islam and fanatical Muslims. And that is also a good route for wannabe Muslim writers, both male and especially female. Or if you want to boost a flagging career, you can capture the headlines with "England is 'cesspit' breeding Islamists, says Solinka".http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/02/soyinka-england-cesspit-islamists?CM
Technically 'phobia' connotes exaggerated fear, something that is illogical and unexplainable as in agoraphobia, claustrophobia and arachnophobia. However, the word 'phobia' does not get near to capturing the bigotry and the ferocity of the anti-Islam agenda that exists in "Islamophobia". Indeed, "Islamophobia" is neither illogical, nor inexplicable, nor irrational.
It did not begin with 9/11 . You have to go as far back as the Crusades, through the triumphant victory of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain in the 15th century, to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire which had once been described as 'the barbarians at the gates'. The machinations of Christianist Western policy during and after the First World War were inspired by the agenda of fully destroying a Muslim Empire already on its last legs. The realization of the Zionist dream of Israel, the betrayal and the corruption of the Arab States, and the bloodbath in the Middle East today all have their beginnings in that history - a history we were never taught in school or University.
The two maps above illustrate the diminishing size and power of the Ottoman Empire.
You can also locate this bigotry in innocent children's story books. This is just one of many.
|Please DO NOT click on this image.|
The above text is taken from "Stories of Robin Hood" told to the Children by H.E. Marshall. This is about Richard the Lion Heart a well known hero of the Crusades. I quote " But Richard did not stay in England. Far, far over the seas there is a country called Palestine. .......... it had fallen into the hands of the heathen. It seemed to Christian people in those days that it would be a terrible sin to allow wicked heathen to live in the Holy Land. So they gathered together great armies of brave men from every country in the world and sent them to try to win it back. Many brave deeds were done, many terrible battles fought, but still the heathen kept possession."Note: The heathens are of course, the Muslims. I cannot find the date for this book but I reckon it was probably from the 1920s or the 1930s.
And so, this attitude towards Islam and Muslims is not just a "phobia" or an irrational fear. It is a deliberate policy of Demonisation. The transmission of bigotry and prejudice has been sanctified in Western universities as 'objective scholarship' - what used to be described as Orientalism.
In The Observer of August 1990 Dr Shabbir Akhtar, education officer for the Bradford Racial Equality Council and author of 'A Faith for All Seasons' had this to say:
It is no coincidence that those who teach Islam in western universities are either Jews and Christians, simplistic Muslims ignorant of (and hence incapable of) challenging Western traditions of thought or else Third World champagne socialists passionately trying to 'cauterise' Islam from their minds and souls.
The intellectual bullies have had the whole playground to themselves. But that was only because it was the Muslim child's first day at school.
Well, it's 20 years hence and Muslim children since then have been seduced into becoming Westernized or Arabified.
Muslims cannot turn the other cheek. By our default, youngsters blow their bodies up for the cause. So we should be harnessing our intellectual muscle to find other ways of seeking our goals. To find other ways of giving our youngsters hope and dignity.
When will our universities and academics get to grips with the problem - and I'm thinking of Malaysia here. When will we think of countering this demonisation with a few well-resourced Departments of Occidentalism and Critical Studies. Have we, as thinking Muslims, even considered such a remedial step?
Remember the old saying, 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'? Most times, I feel that way because of creeping physical debilitation of old age.
But our ummah today, especially in my homeland, seem to be afflicted with the disease of THE SPIRIT IS WEAK AND THE FLESH IS UNWILLING.