Amena Saleem is Media and Communications Officer at Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) – a radical anti-Israel organisation in the news recently after a British bank closed the accounts of 20 groups linked to PSC amid fears they may be funding terrorism.
Saleem, who has used her column at Electronic Intifada and social media sites like Facebook to charge Israel with intentionally killing children, recently has been advancing propaganda suggesting that Israeli security personnel have been “summarily executing” innocent Palestinian teens.
“Hate crimes.” “Hate speech.” Discrimination. Bigotry. Racism. “Islalmophobia.” The lexicon of pro-Islam and pro-“Syrian” immigration is large and loathsome.
For an extended discussion of the term’s origin, see Robert Spencer’s August 2012 Jihad Watch column, “Did the Muslim Brotherhood Invent the term ‘Islamophobia’?” Spencer’s argument about the term’s origins is at odds with the account given by Discover the Networks.
Whatever its true origins, the term Islamophobia is a pejorative term used to describe a state of mind. That state of mind is not necessarily irrational but the term is intended to smear anyone who has or has expressed a rational and wholly justified fear of Islam and even of Muslims in general (the most humble-looking, innocuous-looking ones often turn out to be the slashers, the shooters, the killers and wannabe killers; observe the knifing jihad in Israel). Islamophobia may or may not result in action taken by the “phobist.” The term has become synonymous with “hate speech” and racism. If you are an Islamophobe, then you are automatically a racist and a bigot and a vehicle of hate who ought to be gagged and fined and made to perform community service. Michael Sturzenberger is only the latest Austrian to be charged and found guilty of “hate speech.”
The Brotherhood has certainly seized and run with the term in order to intimidate critics of jihad and Islamic supremacism into silence, but it looks as if the term “Islamophobia” is much older than Claire Berlinski claims.
Cheradenine Zakalwe here traces it to the 1990s, and it is possible, also, that the term goes back even farther than the 1990s sources that Zakalwe quotes. According to the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, “At the end of the 1970s, Iranian fundamentalists invented the term ‘Islamophobia’ formed in analogy to ‘xenophobia’. The aim of this word was to declare Islam inviolate. Whoever crosses this border is deemed a racist. This term, which is worthy of totalitarian propaganda, is deliberately unspecific about whether it refers to a religion, a belief system or its faithful adherents around the world.”
Whether it comes from the 1970s or 1990s, it is clear that Claire Berlinski was quite careless here, and her contention that the Ikhwan invented “Islamophobia” simply ludicrous. I have indeed repeated this claim in the past, as I did not previously have any reason to doubt its accuracy, but I will not be repeating it again. With Leftists and Islamic supremacists always poised to pounce on any inaccuracy (and perceived inaccuracy, and anything they can twist to look like an inaccuracy), it is imperative for counter-jihad writers to be far more scrupulous and careful than this.
Shachar Rabinovitch is 13. She lives in Israel. As you can see, she loves horses. When her school asked her to write a term paper, she decided to write about her favorite animal. And because she’s a diligent and serious student, she went online and searched for an expert who could help her with her paper. She found Dr. Marsha Ann Levine, a lecturer in Cambridge University whose areas of research include “Palaeopathology and the origins and evolution of horse husbandry.”Shachar Rabinovitch (Image courtesy of Shamir Rabinovitch)
In her imperfect English, Rabinovitch wrote Dr. Levine, identified herself as an Israeli schoolgirl, and asked four basic questions about the evolution of different horse breeds and their interaction with humans. Then, in a sweet touch, she added: “I know you are a very important person and I’ve read your article about horses (Domestication, Breed Diversification and Early History of the Horse) and I love horses very much and it will be an honor if you will answer my question.”
Dr. Levine’s response wasn’t late in coming. Here it is in full:
Dear Shachar Rabinovich, I’ll answer your questions when there is peace and justice for Palestinians in Palestine. I am a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. I support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people. Maybe your family has the same views as I do, but I doubt it. So, I suggest that you look at this link. Yours Sincerely, Dr. Marsha Levine