Which is worse: Jihad terror or “Islamophobia”?
by Robert Spencer
“Which is the more serious problem today: Islamic extremism or anti-Islamic bigotry?”
This is the question Reason magazine’s Cathy Young asks in a new piece on “Islamophobia.” Young long ago demonstrated that she had no understanding of the nature or magnitude of the jihad threat, and tended to blame those who were calling attention to it rather than the real perpetrators. So it is no surprise that she would now be fronting for the manipulative Muslim Brotherhood coinage of “Islamophobia,” which is designed to guilt-trip people into being afraid to resist jihad, but in a new piece, “Young: Islam navigates shoals of extremism,” published last week in Newsday, she rises to a whole new level of Useful Idiocy.
So which really is worse? Well, let’s see. All genuine bigotry is absolutely unacceptable, but in fact, Muslims are rarely its victims. FBI statistics show that there is no “Islamophobia.” Contrary to media emphases and preoccupations, many “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have been faked by Muslims, and Jews are eight times more likely than Muslims to be the victims of hate attacks.
And as for “Islamic extremism,” recent jihad plotters include Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; Nidal Hasan, the successful Fort Hood jihad mass-murderer; Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber.
All of them and many others invoked the Qur’an and Sunnah to explain and justify their deeds. But as far as Cathy Young is concerned, it is hard to tell whether they represent a greater threat than a virtually non-existent anti-Muslim bigotry.
Many American Muslims stress the importance of combating not only anti-Muslim bigotry but extremism in Muslim ranks. The modernization of Islam is an essential priority for the world. Right-wing Islamophobes such as bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are hostile to this effort, insisting that Islam is beyond reform and any talk of moderation is a deceptive smoke screen.
Which American Muslims “stress the importance of combating not only anti-Muslim bigotry but extremism in Muslim ranks”? The main Muslim advocacy groups in the U.S., such as Hamas-linked CAIR, focus exclusively on painting resistance to jihad and Islamic supremacism as “anti-Muslim bigotry,” and never do a single thing to fight “extremism in Muslim ranks.” I have no idea who Cathy Young might mean, outside of Jasser and Manji, both of whose Islam is wholly eccentric and non-traditional, and Young doesn’t say.
What is “right-wing” about fighting for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and equality of rights for all people before the law? Again, Young doesn’t say, but that she considers people fighting for freedom to be her enemies is telling, as is her use of the Muslim Brotherhood neologism “Islamophobia.”
Are there deceptive moderates? Of course. Hamas-linked CAIR portrays itself as moderate. So do Boy Reza Aslan and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Does this mean that any and every attempt to reform Islam is insincere and deceptive, and should be met with hostility? Of course not, and I have never suggested such a thing. But as I have said many times, a genuine reform in Islam would acknowledge what needs to be reformed, not deny its existence, and violence and supremacism are deeply entrenched within mainstream Islam. Young is equating realism about the prospects of Islamic reform with “Islamophobia” -- very well, then: I ask her to produce evidence of this genuine reform of which she speaks. But she won’t, because she can’t.
Cathy Young is nothing special. She is just another herd thinker, thinking all of today’s conventional thoughts. The problem is that she is offering false hope that will lull people into further complacency about the jihad, and damaging the efforts of those who are trying to protect the freedoms she enjoys. If anyone remembers her at all, history will judge her and her ilk with extreme harshness.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.