What is Islamophia?

In this piece, I wanted to give a definition of Islamophobia from a pro-Islamic organisation to illustrate the point that is clearly made in the attached video.  The definition quoted below is from SETA’s European Islamophobia Report 2016. describes itself as independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan yet it is clearly a mouthpiece for the Turkish ruling party (which is well known for its liberal position in the world).  See Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research

“When talking about Islamophobia, we mean anti-Muslim racism. As Anti-Semitism Studies has shown, the etymological components of a word do not necessarily point to its complete meaning, nor how it is used. Such is also the case with Islamophobia Studies. Islamophobia has become a well-known term used in academia as much as in the public sphere. Criticism of Muslims or of the Islamic religion is not necessarily Islamophobic. Islamophobia is about a dominant group of people aiming at seizing, stabilising and widening their power by means of defining a scapegoat – real or invented – and excluding this scapegoat from the resources/rights/definition of a constructed ‘we’. Islamophobia operates by constructing a static ‘Muslim’ identity, which is attributed in negative terms and generalised for all Muslims. At the same time, Islamophobic images are fluid and vary in different contexts, because Islamophobia tells us more about the Islamophobe than it tells us about the Muslims/Islam”.5

The Muslim Council of Britain gives us this definition:

In our reporting, Islamophobia includes when someone or something is targeted, discriminated against or excluded in any way, due to their/its actual or perceived Muslim identity. It also includes prejudice that promotes fear against Muslims and Islam.

It is better to have the term described from a Muslim context as this is the definition that Muslim organisations are seeking to base their definition of what a hate crime is in Europe and the UK in order to eradicate any meaningful debate on Islam.  They have brought the two things together – Islamophobia = hate crime.  Therefore Islamophobia should be punished by law and eradicated from society.  Nothing more, or less, that the implementation of Sharia law when it comes to dissent or criticism of anything Islamic.

The attached video is an interview with Raheel Raza a Muslim reformer from Canada.  This interview is very interesting when it comes to the whole debate on Islamophobia, its origins, and usage today.  If only our politicians and other elite were as clear-headed in their thinking.

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Lived and worked in Muslim-majority countries for over 12 years while working in the international development sector as a senior director/manager. This included South East Asia, East, and West Africa (including the Horn of Africa), the Middle East and Afghanistan. Main interests in life is the study of Political Islam and how this has interacted with non-Islamic civilisations, especially Judeo-Christian civilisations, in history and currently.

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