UK: Imam says his congregation has been called rude names online and on the street


A Muslim rape gang – yet another – was just charged with 196 counts of rape, sex with a child, trafficking and false imprisonment, but let’s be frank: there are more serious crimes being committed these days in Britain, and the Yorkshire Evening Post has the skinny on some of the most outrageous of them. It seems that the imam at Makkah Mosque in Leeds, Qari Asim MBE (yes, MBE, just like the Beatles), who is also a “government adviser on Islamophobia,” claims that “hate speech” has “left scars” on members of his congregation. Yes, it’s true: the poor lambs have been called rude names on the street. You thought you had it bad.

The Post informs us that “Leeds City Council research shows that Muslim people are most likely to be targeted by religiously-motivated hate crime than any other community in the city.” That hate crime apparently includes not just insults on the street, but on the interwebs as well: “And online abuse can have an equally devastating impact on Muslims in Leeds, Imam Asim said, creating a sense of fear and dividing communities.”

Imam Asim solemnly informed the world that “I have personally experienced online abuse on a regular basis.” Even worse, “Many of my congregation members have experienced anti-Muslim hatred: being called ‘Bin Ladens’, ‘ISIS supporters’, told to ‘go back home’.” The noble Yorkshire Evening Post details the devastation this causes: “Such anti-Muslim abuse has left scars on people and created a sense of fear not only for the victims but also families and friends.”

There is no doubt about it whatsoever, and every decent person must say it loudly and without hesitation: it is very, very unkind of the people to call members of the Makkah Mosque rude names. It would be so nice if people didn’t do that. And yet there are a few lingering questions. People are rude to one another all the time. Many people have been called unkind things on the street and online. Yet most of the time, there are no articles in any newspapers about this. Why is the situation different in the case of the Makkah Mosque? Well, that’s obvious!, you will say. It’s because the Post includes another salient detail: Muslims in the United Kingdom are not just called rude names, but brutalized: “women have had scarves snatched in appalling attacks.”

Well, that may be, although many such claims have turned out to have been false, notably that of Yasmin Seweid, who got international headlines for falsely claiming that Trump supporters tore off her hijab in the New York subway. If this is really happening among the congregants of the Makkah Mosque, the perpetrators should be tried for assault in every case that such a prosecution is genuinely warranted.

But the Yorkshire Evening Post article also makes a point it did not intend to make. Qari Asam is trying to show how bad Muslims have it in Britain, and all he can come up with are unkind words and unsupported claims that women have had their hijabs snatched off. Contrast that with the stories of Islamic jihad activity that we post here regularly. Which is more serious? Yet which gets more establishment media attention?

The problem here is that the word “Islamophobia” is used not just to refer to attacks of innocent Muslims, which are never justified, but also to honest and accurate analysis of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence. Is Qari Asim trying to silence such analysis by conflating it with the rude things his congregants have been called? Are insults really comparable to beheadings, suicide bombings, and the like?

Yet all reporting on the latter is called “Islamophobia” as much as the insults are. Qari Asim has unwittingly demonstrated that Muslims are not actually suffering in Britain any more than anyone else who has ever been called a rude name on the street or online. But actual vigilante attacks against innocent Muslims are so thin on the ground that this will have to do, and in any case it serves to further the Leftist/Islamic war against the freedom of speech.

 Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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