Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Islamophobia: A Word Created by Fascists and Used by Cowards to Manipulate Morons.

I must confess myself mystified by some of the reporting and garment rending with regard to the Finsbury Park mosque attack on Sunday night. This had nothing to do with Islam, of course it didn't. But neither did it have anything to do with the far right. It wasn't really terrorism either. It was one damaged and pathetic man who became angry and bitter and decided, apropos of recent events, to take his anger out on Muslims. He could just as easily have taken it out on another group that might have attracted his ire. If someone had spilt his pint whilst wearing a Chelsea shirt he would probably have headed down the Kings Road.

Of course the politicians rushed to the scene to dole out their usual bromides and platitudes, including a lachrymose Chauncey desperate for someone to hug and the chance to emote some more. How he is enjoying the opportunity to engage in his touchy feely brand of asinine gesture politics. What a pity that he has no answers other than looking tearful and threatening land grabs. It's very noticeable that he went straight to this scene within hours to dish out his honest straightforward bollocks, but just talked in generalities about the other attacks without bothering to go and see them.

The reaction to this latest attack was ridiculously over the top. I suppose it was felt they had to react to this attack the same way as we all reacted to the attacks in Manchester and the 2 in London. Equality of grieving and outrage was strictly enforced.

But it is not really clear that this was an act of terrorism at all. This was a spur of the moment attack by a loser who imagined he was getting vengeance. In reality he was just using it as an excuse. Of course the same was true of the losers who perpetrated the other attacks too. But they had made their intent clear prior to their attacks and indeed had done considerable planning. They had been radicalised and had become extremists. He was just a drunk whose life had gone wrong. This is not to diminish what he did or at least what he tried to do.

Muslims have been expressing fear about how they can go on worshipping and going to their mosques in the light of this and other hate crimes. Well you go on the same way that everyone goes on. You don't let them win. You go on because to do otherwise is to let them win. You go on because there are more of us than them and life goes on. Keep calm and carry on. Here is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that this was an attack on freedom, freedom to observe a religion in this case as opposed to freedom to go out and have a drink or freedom to walk along a bridge, or freedom to attend a pop concert. Freedom comes in many forms. That's why it's called freedom.

And this was not Islamophobia. It was a hatred of Muslims. The two are not the same. Islam is a religion. It is an idea. It happens to be an idea with which I have a number of problems in addition to my problems with other major religions from which Islam is an offshoot and a rather poor imitation. But they are ultimately as bad as each other, albeit only one is currently inspiring credulous people to commit brutal and atavistic murder. I am very anti Islam. I am not anti Muslim. There is a distinction here that needs to be made.

Muslims are not a race. They are people who follow a religion, albeit in very different ways. It is a form of fascism to try and invent something called Islamophobia. This was not a crime of Islamophobia, it was a hate crime against Muslims, all Muslims regardless of what they believe and how fervently they do so. The unthinking cretins who label this Islamophobia undermine our freedom. They may not do so in a murderous way, but it is just as dangerous. Freedom is about being able to criticise and to debate. And yes that means religions too. Labelling things as Islamophobic is the same as trying to shut down criticism, in much the same way that other religions have tried to do throughout our history. We gained the right to be critical of those religions, to do so openly and then to stop believing in them at all. The same is urgently necessary for Islam.

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