The Telegraph reported on September 15 that “hard line groups are ‘weaponising’ Islamophobia and ‘cynically’ using human rights to promote their ideology, the Government’s new counter-extremism tsar has warned. Sara Khan said that Islamist groups accuse their critics of being anti-Muslim, in an attempt to undermine ‘legitimate debate’ about extremism.” As a victim of this effort, I can confirm.
Khan added: “Groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, for example – who traditionally rally against what they perceive to be western human rights – increasingly and cynically use human rights to promote Islamist ideology.”
According to the Telegraph, Khan lamented that “the ‘use and abuse’ of the language of human rights is ‘perhaps the most concerning’ tactic employed by fundamentalist groups.”
Ironically, just two days after that, UK Prime Minister Theresa May boasted of banning Pamela Geller and me from the country because of our “Islamophobia.” May, like Hizb ut-Tahrir, uses charges of “Islamophobia” as a weapon. Charges of “Islamophobia” are meant to intimidate people into fearing to oppose jihad terror and Sharia oppression.
Speaking at a United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner, according to Gov.uk, May boasted:
…I acted to keep those who peddle hatred and extremism out of our country. I kicked out Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.
I stopped Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Pastor Terry Jones – because Islamophobia comes from the same wellspring of hatred.
And I stopped people like Dieudonne coming to Britain. Because nothing excuses antisemitism – not comedy, not satire, not even irony.
Antisemitism is just hatred. And it is just wrong….
So as far as May is concerned, Pamela Geller and I are the “Islamophobic” equivalents of Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. May expects her audience to be familiar with Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, and for good reason, since both are notorious in Britain, although n neither lives there now. Abu Hamza is in solitary confinement in a super-max U.S. for, among other things, conspiring to set up a training camp for jihad terrorists in Bly, Oregon. Abu Qatada was convicted of plotting the jihad massacre of Americans and Israelis in Jordan, to which he has returned.
Now have I plotted to fly a jetliner into Big Ben, or blow myself up in a crowd of Britons? No, I’ve never plotted, called for, or approved of any kind of terrorist or vigilante violence against anyone. And thus May’s speaking of me as the flip side of Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada is beyond outrageous: it’s so ridiculous that it should lead any competent member of the British Parliament to question not only her fitness to remain in office, but her sanity.
“Islamophobia,” she says, of which I am guilty and thus barred from the U.K., “comes from the same wellspring of hatred” as anti-Semitism. And so she is boasting to a Jewish group about banning me, a wholehearted supporter of Israel, and Pamela Geller, a Jewish woman, from Britain, and then claiming that she is against anti-Semitism. Pull my other leg.
May’s implication is that “anti-Muslim rhetoric” — that is, public discussion of the jihad threat and what can be done about it — leads inexorably to the demonization of Muslims and ultimately to genocide. This is ridiculous, overheated rhetoric that only hinders the prospects of any genuine discussion of the salient issues, and that is probably the goal all along. The purpose of May’s equivalence of “Islamophobia” with anti-Semitism is designed to intimidate people into thinking that criticism of Islamic jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others leads to the concentration camps, and thus there must be no criticism of these things. The unstated assumption is that if one group was unjustly accused of plotting subversion and violence, and was viciously persecuted and massacred on the basis of those false accusations, then any group accused of plotting subversion and violence must be innocent, and any such accusation must be in service of preparing for their subversion and massacre.
This is simply a method to foreclose on any criticism of jihad terror and Sharia oppression. By equating me with jihad terrorists, May is essentially saying that opposing jihad terror is as bad as plotting jihad terror. And that is exactly how May is acting now in her shabby little police state: British authorities are hounding and persecuting foes of jihad terror, while jihad preachers roam free and act with impunity. How will Britain look in five years, or ten, as this continues?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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