Islamophobia, Sikhophobia and Hinduphobia

In Britain there are substantial communities of Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. Isn’t it curious that Islamophobia exists but neither Sikhophobia nor Hinduphobia do? Perhaps this diagram goes some way to explaining the discrepancy:

To attempt to answer the question:

Option 1. Islamophobia

Is it Islamophobia which causes Muslims to commit the atrocities which we have become so used to over the last generation, or do the atrocities cause Islamophobia?

Which came first? As I remember, the word “Islamophobia” was never heard before the atrocities started.

Option 2. Racism

If these behaviours from Muslims are a response to racism on the part of the British people then why do we not see the same from Sikhs or Hindus who have similar pigmentation and ancestry to the Pakistanis who make up the majority of Muslims in Britain?

Option 3. Cultural Racism

These behaviours cannot be the result of cultural racism because there is no such thing. It is a bogus concept but its effects will be very real because it sits at the heart of the equally bogus definition of Islamophobia which has been produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Muslims:

     “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
      Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

Cultural racism is the “type of racism” referred to. See HERE for details.

Even if cultural racism did exist then the same objection as for option 2 would apply; why do we not see the same behaviours from Sikhs and Hindus?

Option 4. Islam

Bombings and death threats

“We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve…” (Koran 3:151).

“…I have been made victorious with terror” (Bukhari 4:52:220).

FGM

“Circumcision is obligatory for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (bazr) of the clitoris (not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband)” (Reliance of the Traveller section e.4.3).

Supremacism

“He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior over all religions…” (Koran 48:28).

See HERE for further details.

Victimhood

The more atrocities there are committed by Muslims the more we hear from other Muslims, and duped Kafirs, that Muslims are the real victims.

Why should that be? Consider the Arabic saying “Show a victim’s face and you will take over”. That is how Mohammed gained a foothold and then power in Medina, after all.

Rape gangs

The vulnerable girls of Northern England, and elsewhere, sadly suffered the concurrence of three phenomena, the contempt found in Islamic culture for both Kafirs and females, plus the paedophilic example of Mohammed, the “perfect man”.

Jew-hatred

”…humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah’s revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully” (Koran 2:61).

”…The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews” (Sahih Muslim 41:6985 (and part of Hamas’ charter)).

Integration

“O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them…” (Koran 5:51).

“Muslim communities are not like others in Britain and the country should accept they will never integrate” (Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission). See HERE for further details.

All things considered, I believe we have found our answer, don’t you?

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Parliamentarians duped over Islamophobia part 3

I don’t usually do box sets but there is just so much to say about the All Party Parliamentary Group on Muslims report Islamophobia Defined that it just keeps calling me back, fascinated by the brazenness of the attack on our freedom of expression.

In Part 1 I detailed the evolution of the term Islamophobia over the last 20 years from fear of Islam and Muslims to racism about Muslimness and noted the involvement in the inquiry of a sinister Islamist organisation called MEND.

In Part 2 I studied the contributions to the inquiry from various activists, sociologists and activist sociologists, and what “toilsome reading and a wearisome confused jumble” I found them to be (that was Thomas Carlyle on the Koran, by the way). I also noted the unavoidably subjective way in which the APPG definition would have to be interpreted by those attempting to apply it and, thus, the power it will put into their hands.

In this third, and hopefully final, part I want to examine more closely the concept of cultural racism, which is at the heart of the APPG’s definition of Islamophobia:

     “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
      Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

I also want to look at some of the practical implications of the definition and to bring to your attention various responses to it, both positive and negative.

Cultural racism examined.

Although the Group do not specify in their definition what “type of racism” they consider Islamophobia to be, it is clear from the text of the report that they mean cultural racism.

What is that? Craig Considine, very much an activist sociologist, explains here. He at least lays out the concept and its claimed link to Islamophobia clearly enough to engage with it, which is more than can be said for many of the contributors to the inquiry.

Claiming the Marxist sociologist Stuart Hall as his inspiration, Considine declares that:

     “Racism is no longer about race (skin color) but culture. People are Othered and
      discriminated against not (simply) because of the color of their skin (or other phenotypes)
      but because of their beliefs and practices associated with some imagined culture”.

This is the core of the concept but there is something obviously wrong about it. Cultural racism is actually two concepts presented as one. If racism is no longer about race then it is no longer racism. If it is about culture then it should properly be called something like culturism*, just as discrimination based on sex is sexism and discrimination based on age is ageism. Just because people are “othered and discriminated against” (assuming that they are) it does not mean that one form of discrimination is necessarily a disguised version of another, or even connected to it.

* NB It appears that there is a long established term for discrimination on the basis of culture, ethnocentrism, but I think I’ll stick with culturism because it’s snappier and because the link with culture is obvious.

So let us start from the position that what we have here is two possible forms of discrimination, racism and culturism, and then explore whether they can sensibly be fused together to form a new compound form.

I suggest that attitudes about culture may sometimes be genuinely independent of attitudes about race, something which I believe we can establish empirically with regard to Islam in Britain.

If Hall and Considine are correct, that culturism is just a disguised form of racism, I think we would expect perceptions of particular groups not to differ markedly over time when judged either by culture or by race.

If I am correct, that culturism is a distinct phenomenon and that racism has been spuriously attached to it, then we shouldn’t be surprised to see perceptions of particular groups based on culture diverge significantly from earlier perceptions based on race.

I claim that Considine is wrong to ascribe negative perceptions of Islam and Muslims to a form of racism and I can demonstrate it. All I need is a subject group (Muslims) and a control group to compare over time.

In Britain we are fortunate in having not one but two control groups. There are three culturally (but not racially) distinct populations originating from the Indian subcontinent: Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims. The three groups all share similar pigmentation and ancestry, the same history of British colonialism and similar histories of immigration and settlement. But they do have radically differing cultures centred around three very different religions, the implications of which only started to dawn on the British people after the Ayatollah’s fatwa on Salman Rushdie in 1989.

The first two generations of post-war immigrants from the subcontinent were barely distinguished from each other by the native population. Going for an Indian (meal) was a very standard end to a Saturday night out with almost no awareness that the cooks and waiters might in fact be Pakistani and Muslim rather than Indian and Hindu. I remember, I was there. Any negative feeling there might have been toward them was uniform.

How things have changed. Today there are street organisations and even political parties devoted to stopping the increasing Islamisation of Britain while Sikhs and Hindus rub along with the natives just fine.

Why do Muslims today attract so much more hostility than Sikhs and Hindus? I did what any good social scientist would do and conducted a survey. I might add that academics in the field would do well to get out of the mosque and their Hate Studies departments, and spend some time in pubs and betting shops…it would give them a whole different slant on the issue.

It turned out that people are not at all concerned about Muslims’ pigmentation or their clothing or their “perceived Muslimness”. What really concerns them is that periodically some members of the Muslim community take it into their heads to blow us up or mow us down or chop our heads off, claiming religious sanction.

My respondents were also angered by the long standing rape on an industrial scale of vulnerable indigenous girls. At this point it may, or may not, be relevant to mention that APPG member Lord Ahmed (back row, third from the right) is currently awaiting trial, along with his two brothers, charged with historic sexual abuse of minors in – you guessed it – Rotherham.

This is not to say that anyone thought that all Muslims are jihadis or paedophiles, just that some are…enough to establish a pattern. Put it this way: if members of the W.I. (a much loved organisation primarily known for jam-making and nude calenders) started blowing up children at pop concerts, claiming parts of the W.I. constitution as justification, it would be disingenuous not to expect people to regard both the W.I. and W.I. members with suspicion or worse.

But my respondents were particularly infuriated that Muslim representatives routinely respond to these assaults on the host population by claiming that Muslims are the real victims. They give the impression of caring only about Muslims, with a pulled hijab or a nasty look carrying as much weight as someone’s child blown to bits. Perhaps this is not surprising when you consider that their god tells Muslims that they are “the best of peoples” and the rest of us are “the worst of creatures” who deserve to be tortured for eternity.

Sikhs and Hindus have not become associated with similar behaviours and attitudes and therefore do not excite similar animosity. Accordingly they do not need their own special words to deflect attention from, and avoid the consequences of, their own or their fellow religionists’ actions. The very act of attempting to play the victim and blame the very understandable hostility which exists towards Muslims on the indigenous population only intensifies the mutual resentment which drives the Muslim and non-Muslim populations ever further apart.

I therefore contend that the differing current levels of negativity towards Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims are wholly explained by their differing cultures, at the centre of which sit their respective religions, not at all by any residual racism.

Can Considine explain this puzzling discrepancy by means of cultural racism? Until such time as he does I claim that the hybrid concept of cultural racism, specifically in relation to Islam, is bogus, a mere mixing together of two unconnected concepts for the dishonest purpose of producing the race card where it is not relevant. That being so, the APPG’s definition of Islamophobia, which is based on it, must also be bogus.

If you disagree with this analysis and conclusion please explain why in the comments below, preferably without using the words “trope”, “essentialised”, “narrative”, “intersectional” or “orientalism”.

Other reasons to be sceptical about the application of cultural racism to Islamophobia.

Firstly, we only have to look at Wikipedia to find that there are academics who oppose the validity of the concept, but unfortunately none of them made it to the inquiry. The Group heard only one side of the story, repeatedly presented as fact by professor after professor, so it is perhaps not surprising that they swallowed it whole. Who selected such a one-sided presentation of views? Well, we do know that the secretariat contained a member of MEND and also an activist who loudly complained about Islamophobia on the part of the police after the horrors of Rotherham were exposed (see Part 1) so I think we know where to start looking.

If you read the contributions to the inquiry, accepting the speciousness of the central concept, it appears very much like a prolonged sales pitch to gullible buyers of the cloth so fine that only the most intelligent can see it. Some people have already noticed that the new definition is a perfect set of Emperor’s new clothes. Hopefully more will raise their voices when those in authority attempt to use it to curb our free speech, and it will become the laughing stock it deserves to be.

Secondly, When do we ever hear of cultural racism being applied to Muslims rather than non-Muslims? Islam is absolutely built on discrimination against, and othering of, non-Muslims. No one “others” like Allah. Just read his book and see how he encourages his followers to view Jews, Christians and any other unbelievers. Not surprisingly, these attitudes are acted out wherever non-Muslims, or even the wrong kind of Muslims, find themselves in proximity to those who take Allah’s words seriously.

Consider all those Muslim activists and their sociologist supporters contributing to the inquiry. When do any of them protest at the obvious “cultural racism” practised by Muslims upon Copts in Egypt, Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, Protestants in Nigeria, Catholics in Sri Lanka, Jews anywhere and Kafir girls in Northern England? The answer is never. “Cultural racism” serves solely to boost the effectiveness of “Islamophobia”, and the APPG, in their innocence or otherwise, have given it their blessing.

Implications for Free Speech.

The report claims that the definition of Islamophobia has become more robust. This is not so. It has actually become flakier, but at the same time more controlling.

The group tell us that:

      “the aim of establishing a working definition of Islamophobia has neither been motivated by,
      nor is intended to curtail, free speech or criticism of Islam as a religion…”

but is only aimed at:

      “the victimisation of Muslims through the targeting of expressions of Muslimness”.

It turns out though that Muslimness covers so much that we had thought of merely as religious issues, or questions of fact, that there is very little left that we can say about Islam or Muslims that will not fall foul of the APPG’s strictures.

On pages 56 and 57 of the report there appears a list of things we may not say, for instance,

That Muslim identity has a unique propensity for terrorism
That there is a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims
That there is a threat of of a ‘Muslim takeover’
That Muslims invent or exaggerate Islamophobia
That Muslims are more loyal to the Ummah or to their countries of origin, than to the interests of their own nations.
That Muslims should be expected to take loyalty tests
That Muhammed was a paedophile
That Muslims spread Islam by the sword and subjugated minority groups under their control
That Muslims are ‘sex groomers’, inherently violent or incapable of living harmoniously in plural societies

I would say that there is good factual evidence for most of these assertions (what else would you call a 53 year old man who had sex with a 9 year old girl?) But facticity here is trumped by the religious sensibilities of Muslims.

That presents us with a remarkable juxtaposition. In British law the truth of a statement is a defence against slander whereas in Islamic law it is not because slander is only “what someone may not wish to hear”. Is it not ironic, and shameful, that British lawyers (well represented in the APPG group) should propose giving Muslims the benefit of Sharia level protection against criticism while non-Muslims will have to do what we have always done, to counter criticism with facts and argument?

No doubt the non-Muslim lawyers in the group had no clue about slander in Sharia, but I suspect that the Muslim ones likely did.

Reactions from the usual suspects.

When I wrote Part 1 three local Councils had adopted the APPG definition. As we see here there are now four. The Greater London Authority under Sadiq Khan (who appears to prioritise seeking out hate speech over sorting out the bloodbath that London has become) has also recently adopted it, with Khan calling on the Government to do likewise. Three national political parties have done the same.

Here are the 60 odd Muslim organisations which naturally think it a jolly good idea. One of them is particularly interesting. MAB, the Muslim Association of Britain, is, according to a British Government report, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot. In this press release about the definition they make clear what they see as the next click of the ratchet of sharia compliance:

“Alluding to only racial and cultural aspects of Islam, rather than the religious and symbolic elements, is problematic and must be developed through an ongoing broad and extensive discussion”.

The “racial and cultural aspects of Islam” are taken care of by the de facto Sharia slander law referred to above. To protect the “religious and symbolic elements” would also require a full blown de facto Sharia blasphemy law. Take note what some of those among us actually plan for our future!

Here is another interesting MAB press release congratulating the NUS (representing 7 million students) on adopting the APPG definition and Zamzam Ibrahim on being elected as President.

It has emerged that Ms Ibrahim once posted online that she wanted to see “an Islamic takeover”.

What…one of those things the APPG want us not to mention because it would be a racist attack on Muslimness? Yes, the same. Naturally it was taken out of context and she was only a mixed up teenager and she no longer holds those sorts of views. Well, that’s a relief but one has to wonder where did they come from in the first place…her parents perhaps, or the mosque or the community? Or maybe straight from Allah who declared in his best seller, the Koran, “He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion”.

But the news is not all bad.

The Government have so far refused to have anything to do with it.

The National Secular Society and Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam have called the APPG definition unworkable.

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (under whose leadership the original Runnymede definition was produced), has written that:

     “despite the undoubted good intentions of the MPs and peers who wrote the definition, they
      appear to understand neither the concept of racism nor the meaning of Islamophobia”

and that:

     “the definition reduces the lives of British Muslims to the status of perpetual victims and pawns
      in some wider battle”.

Here anti-extremism Czar Sarah Khan points out that an increasing amount of hatred towards Muslims comes from other Muslims. She wishes for the definition of Islamophobia to be enlarged to include such hostility however the examples she gives only show her confusion over the matter.

Jalal Uddin was killed in Rochdale by an ISIS supporter who believed that Uddin’s practice of an Islamic form of faith healing was blasphemy, and therefore apostasy. Kahn rightly points out that this is takfir, the act of a Muslim declaring another Muslim not a Muslim, and therefore a Kafir. She also cites Muslim persecution of Ahmadiyyah Muslims (who are not allowed to call themselves Muslims in their native Pakistan).

In both cases Muslims are not being attacked for their “perceived Muslimness” but their “perceived non-Muslimness”. Therefore the hostility Kahn identifies does not constitute Islamophobia but merely another category of Kafirphobia alongside the Judeophobia, Christophobia and Polytheophobia which appear so frequently in the Koran and among the Ummah.

Various journalists, and even the occasional blogger, have pointed out the definition’s shortcomings.

But the most surprising, and welcome, ray of sanity in all this came all the way from Indonesia and from an astonishing source. Yahya Cholil Staquf is apparently the head of the largest Muslim organisation in the world, the Nahdlatul Ulama with 90 million members. He recently wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph entitled “To prevent another Christchurch, Islam must confront the attacks in its name that have radicalised the West”. It is behind a paywall but a filleted version can be found here.

In a display of shockingly unIslamic self-reflection he suggests that hostility to Islam and Muslims may have something to do with Islamic teachings and Muslim actions. This is what he has to say about the APPG definition:

     “There is a desperate need for honest discussion of these matters. This is why it worries me to
      see Western political and intellectual elites weaponise the term “Islamophobia,” to short-circuit
      analysis of a complex phenomenon that threatens all humanity. For example, it is factually
      incorrect and counter-productive to define Islamophobia as “rooted in racism,” as proposed by
      the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims. In reality, it is the spread of Islamist
      extremism and terror that primarily contributes to the rise of Islamophobia throughout the
      non-Muslim world.”

If only the members of the APPG had such clarity of vision.

Parliamentarians duped over Islamophobia part 2

In Nov 2018 the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG) published their report Islamophobia Defined. This was the definition they came up with:

     “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness
      or perceived Muslimness.”

There are many shortcomings both in the definition itself and the process of arriving at it, as pointed out in Part 1. This post will look in more detail at two aspects (my highlighting in bold type throughout):

1. The confused and confusing relation between religion (but only one religion) and race.

2. The unavoidably subjective distinctions which will have to be made by those in a position to apply the definition in practice, between free speech and “a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness”.

1. Religion and Race

In chapter 2 of the report we see how definitions of Islamophobia evolved from the original Runnymede Trust definition of 1997:

     ”…a useful shorthand way of referring to dread or hatred of Islam – and, therefore, to fear or
      dislike all or most Muslims.”

to their 2017 update in which they baldly stated that:

     “Islamophobia is anti-Muslim racism.”

In 2018, as we have seen, the APPG declared that:

     “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism….”

At the start of chapter 3 the group say this of their contributors:

     “The contributors – academics, activists, NGOs, think tanks, experts and practitioners – tend to
      agree that the term Islamophobia is the most appropriate one, as it encompasses a variety of
      manifestations and practices that can comfortably be localised within what is generally
      understood as anti-Muslim racism.”

I contend that Islamophobia certainly is not generally understood as anti-Muslim racism but only by Muslim activists and certain academics within the field. Here is a small but very representative selection of their contributions to the inquiry:

On p29 Dr Imran Awan and Dr Irene Zempi say Islamophobia is:

     ”…motivated by institutional, ideological, political and religious hostility that transcends
      into structural and cultural racism
which targets the symbols and markers of a being a
      Muslim.”

On p30 Akeela Ahmed MBE points out:

     ”…the ‘structural nature of Islamophobia’ – which concerns “every aspect of a British Muslim
      person’s life” such as education, employment and representation in the Criminal Justice System
      – and the ‘intersectional nature of Islamophobia’ – which concerns its intersection with
      racism and sexism – would not to be captured if we were to understand and define
      Islamophobia solely as religious hate crime.”

On p39 Dr Omar Khan of the Runnymede Trust explains that:

     “Islamophobia is positioned within a social and cultural space that homogenises Muslims and
      places them at disadvantage vis-à-vis society, on the basis of their belonging to a specific group
      perceived to carry certain characteristics. The process is known as ‘racialisation’ and, as
      Massoumi, Miller, Mills, and Aked argue: “Racialisation describes process by which certain groups
      become signified as ‘races’ within specific social contexts. European colonisation relied on
      pseudo-scientific theories of races to categorise people into different racial hierarchies, today we
      rely on more culturalist explanations. Muslim appearances, behaviours and assumed
      practices are taken as a sign of inferiority – this is the process of racialisation. If ‘race’ is a
      fiction created when certain ethnic heritage or cultural practices attach to social
      advantage or disadvantage, it is hard to see religious identity as ontologically distinct from
      ‘race’. For good reason then, racialisation is increasingly used to explain Islamophobia as a
      form of racism.”

On p41 Professor Kallis declares that:

     “Race is not about phenotype, race exists first and foremost in the eyes of the racist. Race
      is a group that is defined by the person that makes a generalisation.”

and
      “It is the racist who creates the race”.

What this boils down to is the claim that A looks like B therefore A is B (or a kind of B). This is plain bad logic to anyone but academics who beguile themselves with ten dollar words. If a person disparages groups because of their culture rather than their race then their attitude should properly be called something like “culturism”*, not “racism” or the hybrid “cultural racism”. One can see why people seeking enhanced victim status on account of one form of discrimination might want to link it to the gold standard of discriminations, racism, but it only works if you can persuade enough people to believe something which is simply not true.

* NB It appears that there is a long established term for discrimination on the basis of culture, ethnocentrism, but I think I’ll stick with culturism because it’s snappier and because the link with culture is obvious.

To spread the idea wider, is discrimination against gay people racist? Why not? To paraphrase one of the statements above:

     “Gay appearances, behaviours and assumed practices are taken as a sign of inferiority
      – this is the process of racialisation. If ‘race’ is a fiction created when certain ethnic
      heritage or cultural practices attach to social advantage or disadvantage, it is hard to see
      sexual identity as ontologically distinct from ‘race’. For good reason then, racialisation
      is increasingly used to explain homophobia as a form of racism.”

It works just as well, or badly, doesn’t it?

Here is another aspect to all this. No other racially heterogeneous group attempts to claim that discrimination against themselves is racist, not even other religions. When Christians are persecuted in Nigeria, Egypt or Pakistan – or derided in Britain – they never make this claim. The fact that Muslims do makes one suspect something less than straightforward is going on. The phobes among us will see this inquiry as merely another example of what Muslims do best, claiming victim status in order to gain special treatment and therefore political advantage, summed up in the Arabic saying “Show a victim’s face and you will take over”. It is exactly what Mohammed did in Medina when he fled there as a “refugee”, after all. The extraordinary thing is how the APPG members lapped it up, although perhaps not quite so extraordinary when you consider that the majority of them are Muslims themselves.

Also, Muslims should be careful what they ascribe to others because it can be turned back on them and their religion. For instance, it is surely beyond doubt that Allah is a hateful religious bigot. How else can you describe a being who refers to those who don’t believe in him as “the vilest of creatures” and who boasts throughout the Koran of the hideous tortures they will suffer once he gets his hands on them? Clearly, according to this new concept of “cultural racism”, he must now also be a racist.

Which brings us on to:

2. The unavoidably subjective distinctions which will have to be made by those in a position to apply the definition in practice, between free speech and “a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness”.

On p11 of the Executive summary the APPG tell us:

     “…the aim of establishing a working definition of Islamophobia has neither been motivated by,
      nor is intended to curtail, free speech or criticism of Islam as a religion. Evidence read
      and heard by the group clearly delineated between the desirability of criticism, debate and free
      discussion of Islam as a religion – by Muslims and non-Muslim participants in the inquiry
      – and the victimisation of Muslims through the targeting of expressions of Muslimness to deny or
      impair their fundamental freedoms and human rights.”

So that’s okay then, I can criticise Islam, presumably including its god, as long as I do not target Muslims’ expressions of Muslimness.

Except that on p35 they endorse these views from two of their contributors:

      “Ali and Witham further their concern about the boundaries between Islamophobia and free
      speech by arguing that “there is no ‘good faith’ criticism of Islam”. Central in their argument is
      the concept of inseparability of race and religion, whereby an attack on the religion cannot
      be separated from an attack on the race
because both concepts are constructs adopted “as a
      means of categorising colonial subjects”. As such, the recourse to the notion of free speech
      and a supposed right to criticise Islam results in nothing more than another subtle form of
      anti-Muslim racism, whereby the criticism humiliates, marginalises, and stigmatises
      Muslims.
One, real life example of this concerns the issue of ‘grooming gangs’: “Participants
      reported being told that ‘Mohammed is a paedophile’, for instance. This comment does
      not,in a strictly grammatical sense, have the victim themselves as subject, but is rather an
      example of the ‘criticism of Islam’ as it is actually articulated and experienced. Yet, clearly,
      it is aimed at (and can achieve) harm to individual Muslims, and is not rooted in any
      meaningful theological debate but rather in a racist attempt to ‘other’ Muslims in general
,
      associating them with the crime our society sees as most abhorrent of all.”

and on p57 of the Conclusion they describe calling Mohammed a paedophile (along with several other arguably factual statements about Islam and Muslims) as a “symbol associated with classic Islamophobia”.

I maintain that the characters of both Allah and Mohammed are central to the theological debate about the truth or falsity of the religion of Islam. In my view Allah’s all too human character flaws make him an unlikely candidate for the position of Creator of the Universe. Likewise Mohammed’s rap sheet, including much more than paedophilia, is an indication of his untrustworthiness as the sole witness to the supposed Creator’s revelation.

But the APPG appear to regard making such claims as unavoidably directed at Muslims and therefore Islamophobic. I wonder what criticisms I can make of Islam that are not trumped by concern for the sensibilities of Muslims.

At best, the verdict on such criticisms will depend on the judgment of the individuals in authority armed with this definition. If it becomes officially accepted, and some councils have already accepted it, your fate, if you dare to express an opinion about Islam, will depend on the subjective interpretation of any social workers, teachers, policemen, employers etc you have dealings with.

At worst, despite the APPG’s protestations about free speech, we could find ourselves subject to official sanctions, and their enforcers, against any criticism of Islam. There is a word for such an arrangement…Sharia.

Parliamentarians duped over Islamophobia part 1

I have long thought that Islamophobia is a word in search of a thing, merely a thought-paralysing device to discourage people from criticising or even investigating Islam. That being so this is an apt definition:

     “Islamophobia is the state of knowing more than one should about Islam”.

The word should have died of embarrassment long ago, but it hasn’t. In fact it has gone from strength to strength and now the great and good of the land have taken the trouble to produce a new substantive definition:

     “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
      Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

It appeared in the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG) Nov 2018 report
Islamophobia Defined.

One important question not addressed in it is why does Islam need its own special word when Hinduism and Sikhism do not?

Since the major populations in Britain of adherents of the three faiths originate from the same region (India/Pakistan) would it not be reasonable to ask whether the undoubted ill feeling which exists towards Islam and Muslims, but not towards Hinduism and Hindus or Sikhism and Sikhs, has something to do with Islam and Muslims?

Another question is if Islamophobia really exists and deserves examining then why not its obvious counterpart Kafirphobia?

Considering the many hateful sentiments about non-Muslims expressed by Mohammed himself in the Koran, and how seriously devout Muslims take his example, perhaps it might have been worth considering the possibility that prejudice is far from a one way street. For one example, in 2012 Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the APPG himself, blamed a Jewish conspiracy for a driving conviction in Britain. For another, here is the account of the racism encountered in the Muslim community of Glasgow by a half Scottish half Pakistani girl, and the racism she did not encounter after she left and lived among indigenous Glaswegians.

The really shocking thing about the report though is that after publication it soon became clear that it had been heavily influenced, even largely taken over, by Islamist activists and their allies seeking always to put Muslims in the position of victims of a hostile British society. As we shall see, the parliamentarians of the APPG were either duped or complicit in the process.

But to start at the beginning:

The APPG introduce themselves (p4)

     “The Group was established to highlight the aspirations and challenges facing British
      Muslims; to celebrate the contributions of Muslim communities to Britain and to
      investigate prejudice, discrimination and hatred against Muslims in the UK.”

So they declare their position at the outset. The existence of prejudice and hatred against Muslims is accepted uncritically with no thought given to the possibility of prejudice and hatred on the part of Muslims against non-Muslims. Some people are of the opinion that the former is largely a response to the latter.

Executive Summary (p9)

The group reassure us that:

     “…the aim of establishing a working definition of Islamophobia has neither been
      motivated by, nor is intended to curtail, free speech or criticism of Islam as a religion.
      Evidence read and heard by the group clearly delineated between the desirability of
      criticism, debate and free discussion of Islam as a religion – by Muslims and
      non-Muslim participants in the inquiry – and the victimisation of Muslims through the
      targeting of expressions of Muslimness to deny or impair their fundamental freedoms
      and human rights.”

Here we run straight into a major problem with the APPG’s definition, the concept of Muslimness. The problem of defining one abstraction, Islamophobia, is solved by referring it to another, novel, abstraction. But Muslimness is defined nowhere in the report, only supposed examples of it are given such as skin colour, clothing, dietary rules and the “radical otherness of so-called Muslim practices” including FGM, forced marriage, veiling, electoral fraud, the imposition of shariah law and child sexual exploitation (p46).

This is a sorry list which does nothing to clarify matters. Where are the main objections to Islam, its supremacism and jihad? Clearly a new consultation process and report will be necessary sometime in the future to define Muslimness.

Even if we accept a common-sense idea of Muslimness, like those we use for Englishness or Jewishness – adequate for everyday but not for legal or educational purposes – there is still the massive problem of Islamic duality. Islam comes in two distinct forms, the Islam of Mecca and the Islam of Medina, shown graphically here.

In Mecca Mohammed, while not exactly friendly to non-Muslims, left the violent retribution for unbelief up to Allah. In Medina he became a political and military figure who took matters into his own hands and imposed Allah’s will on his neighbours by warfare. Both were expressions of Muslimness in their time and both find their supporters today. Most people couldn’t care less what Muslims eat or wear but do care about jihad which they see on their streets every few weeks in some new atrocity or other. So, can the APPG tell us, is jihad an expression of Muslimness or not? To do that they would need to go deeply into the theology of Islam and even then would not be able to agree, echoing the arguments raging within and without Islam around the globe.

Chapter 2 Arriving At A Working Definition (p23)

Chapter 2 takes us through the evolving definitions of Islamophobia from the famous 1997 version of the Runnymede Trust through to the APPG one.

Before we visit some of them I have to ask, do MP’s use terms like “intersectional” or “essentialist tropes” or “othering” or “Orientalism” which are scattered throughout the heart of the report, chapters 2 and 3? No they do not. These terms are almost exclusively used by postmodernist whatever-studies zealots and professional Islamophobia hunters such as Dr Chris Allen of Leicester University’s Center for Hate Studies.

This made me wonder, did the APPG members actually write those chapters or did they outsource them to someone “more suitable”? That is how they read both in the language used and the contributors chosen. We will see later how my suspicions were confirmed.

Here is a selection, from the report, of past definitions, starting with the Runnymede Trust one from their Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All (1997):

     ”…a useful shorthand way of referring to dread or hatred of Islam – and, therefore, to fear
      or dislike all or most Muslims.”

A fairly modest start, confining itself just to Islam and Muslims.

The Council of Europe report, Islamophobia and its consequences on Young People (2005) added racism, discrimination and human rights to the mix:

     ”…the fear of or prejudiced viewpoint towards Islam, Muslims and matters pertaining to
      them…[taking] the shape of daily forms of racism and discrimination or more violent
      forms, Islamophobia is a violation of human rights.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2007) added baseless hostility, unequal treatment, victimhood and exclusion:

     ”…a baseless hostility and fear vis-à-vis Islam, and as a result, a fear of, and aversion
      towards, all Muslims or the majority of them. [Islamophobia] also refers to the practical
      consequences of this hostility in terms of discrimination, prejudices, and unequal
      treatment of which Muslims (individuals and communities) are victims and their exclusion
      from major political and social spheres”.

The 2008 report from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Observatory on Islamophobia went with most of the above plus intolerance and stereotyping:

     ”…an irrational or very powerful fear or dislike of Islam and the feeling as if the Muslims
      are under siege and attack. Islamophobia however goes much beyond this and
      incorporates racial hatred, intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. The
      phenomenon of Islamophobia in its essence is a religion-based resentment.”

The writer of Chapter 2 commented:

      “This definition introduces the intersectional nature of Islamophobia by incorporating
      ‘racial hatred’ as a defining feature of anti-Muslim hostility.”

From our point of view it is worth noting that in 1990 the OIC produced the Cairo Declaration which effectively reduces Human Rights to Sharia Rights (see Article 24, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah”). It is well known that Sharia epitomises intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and religion-based resentment…but only of non-Muslims so that’s ok.

In 2017 The Runnymede Trust revisited the issue with their “Islamophobia: Still A Challenge for Us All” report and baldly stated:

     “Islamophobia is anti-Muslim racism.”

And, to remind ourselves, in 2018 the APPG added the novel term Muslimness:

     “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of
      Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

How has something about Islam and Muslims morphed into something about racism and Muslimness? Why does this definition make no mention of either Islam or fear of any kind, let alone the irrational kind, that the word “phobia” usually refers to?

What we have here is definition inflation, and it is possible because the word has no real meaning beyond what the definer wishes it to mean. The stripes on a tiger are limited by reality. The stripes on a unicorn are limited only by the imagination of the believer in unicorns. One thing we can be sure of is that this is not the end of the story. No doubt some Hate Studies scholar or Islamist activist will be tacking something new and unpleasant onto it within a year or two. How about fascism? No one likes fascism do they? Be my guest. I don’t even ask for a credit.

Here is one last point about the definition. Islamophobia “is a type of racism”. That’s a bit vague isn’t it? What type of racism do they mean? In fact they are talking about cultural racism. It crops up throughout the report like essentialist tropes but I suspect the APPG are a bit coy about presenting such an obvious oxymoron to the general public. They might start wondering whether the Emperor is fully clothed.

In the wonderful world of postmodernism, where words can mean whatever you want them to mean, the term makes perfect sense. Most ordinary people think racism has to involve race but that is just because they are too thick to appreciate the higher understanding. Here you go…all explained on p41:

     ”Race is not about phenotype, race exists first and foremost in the eyes of the racist.
      Race is a group that is defined by the person that makes a generalisation.”

That is why thinking poorly of scholars of Islamophobia is racist.

Chapter 3 Our Findings (p27)

I will refrain from going into the contents of chapter 3 in detail. It is there in the link above for those with a taste for the intellectual equivalent of bog snorkelling. Suffice it to say that it consists of wall to wall grievance-airing by Muslim activist groups and their academic supporters. The only counterview comes in the form of a quote by Douglas Murray, an example of what not to think, to the effect that “the fear of Islam is not irrational but in fact, ‘supremely rational’, because Islam can be both violent and extremist”.

At this point I asked myself, who set the agenda here, who selected the contributors and actually wrote the report, in particular chapters 2 and 3? Checking the Acknowledgements section I found that the group gave thanks to the secretariat with particular mention of Dr Antonio Perra. Who he? This article shows him to be one of those hard left academics who hate everything about Britain, a clear Britophobe in fact.

Not only that but he was until recently a member of MEND, a group described by the Henry Jackson Society as Islamists posing as civil Libertarians. He is just the kind of person who adds fuel to my Islamophobic fantasy of an alliance between the Left and Islam designed to undermine Western civilisation.

Andrew Gilligan adds details both about Dr Perra and about a particular member of the secretariat:

     “One of the APPG’s secretariat, Muhbeen Hussain, is from Rotherham, where in 2015 he
      organised the local Muslim community to boycott the police for their ‘Islamophobic’
      behaviour after the child-sex grooming scandal.”

At this point I thought it no longer necessary to engage with the report on its own terms. It is clearly discredited by its associations. We now know who set the agenda but who put Perra and Hussain in place? Could it have been Baroness Warsi who has always got along fine with MEND? Just asking.

The APPG group have clearly been duped at best by a determined and underhand attempt to portray British Muslims as eternal victims of their host country, thereby driving a wedge between the two. That is an Islamist goal and the APPG have aided it with their nonsensical new definition of Islamophobia.

A merry Christmas, one and all

The festive season has officially kicked off with the now traditional attack on a Christmas Market, this time in Strasbourg. Allah will be pleased, and remember all you other lone wolves….there are only 13 slaughtering days to Christmas.

For the rest of us, why not set the tone with this new style Christmas tree, made of Berlin Wall quality concrete and deployed at reputable Christmas Markets across Germany? Guaranteed not to shed needles, it will last for years and should stop a fully loaded eight wheeler:

When it comes to choosing presents that show you really care, what could be better than this stylish yet practical range of accessories for that trip to Oxford Street for the New Year sales? A military grade stab vest, an acid proof visor and an anti-slash scarf discreetly reinforced with carbon fibre wire:

          

Here’s my present list. What’s yours?

For those who haven’t noticed what is happening all around them – a bomb at the end of their street. Nothing messy, just enough to wake them up:

…and for those who know there’s a problem but read nothing, say nothing and do nothing – this item of casual wear:

For those who do their damnedest to rouse Britain to action while maintaining all the while that it is finished – a dead horse and a big stick. Be gentle, I think I saw an ear twitch:

                          

For those Guardian feminists who go on about the toxic masculinity of Western men while ignoring the source of the world’s greatest misogyny – an empowering hijab. Get used to it, they may not be optional forever:

For you who believes in the caring, sharing Mohammed of the Covenant with the Monks of Mt Sinai – the cache of government bonds I have discovered in your name. I’ll just need a small deposit to cover the administrative fees:

For academics who believe that there is such a thing as racism without race, that Islamism started in the 1920’s, that Muslims are blowing us up because of ontological insecurity, and who don’t understand that Islamophobia is a word in search of a thing – tenure at the University of Laputa. May they never descend to bother us again:

For those who appreciate the fine art of seeing what you want to see, and not seeing what you don’t want to see – this hagiography by Karen Armstrong, who refers to Safiyah as merely a war widow (with explanatory subtitle):

For Palestinian children – a cute toy AK-47 inscribed with the message “This machine kills Jooooooz”, and for ISIS children a fluffy teddy bear to practise on (knife included):

          

For our deluded Pope – a book by one of his priests who isn’t:

For those whose default reacton is “We’re just as bad” – a nos quoque kit with one line explanations of the Crusades, the Inquisition, Leviticus, the Ku Klux Klan, the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Westboro Baptist Church, Timothy McVeigh and the British Empire. Handy in any discussion with racists and fascists:

      

For Moderate Muslims – a Moderate Koran. With all the vicious stuff taken out….more of a pamphlet really:

And for Allah – a son and heir, and an invisible friend. It must have been tough growing up with no family. If only he had brothers and sisters, he would have had to learn to share (in his case, the universe):


courtesy Fun with Muhammad

World’s 100 greatest bloodbaths…but no Jihad

In his book Atrocitology (aka The Big Bad Book of Horrible Things in other editions) Matthew White lists the 100 bloodiest episodes of human history. Although not a professional historian his list, with accompanying information and classifications, has been welcomed by many academics. Steven Pinker referenced it in his The Better Angels of Our Nature to argue that humankind is getting less violent.

Top of White’s list is World War II with 55,000,000 deaths. The 8th century An Lushan Revolt in China comes 4th with 36,000,000. Pinker took into account the relative world population in earlier times by giving mid 20th century equivalents. The weighted death tolls moved the An Lushan Revolt up to 1st place with 429,000,000 while World War II dropped to 9th place.

As another example, White places the Middle East Slave Trade (7th-19th centuries) in 9th place with 19,000,000 deaths and the Atlantic Slave Trade (15th-19th centuries) in 10th place with 18,000,000. After applying Pinker’s weighting the Middle East Slave Trade moved up to 3rd place with 132,000,000 and the Atlantic Slave Trade moved up to 8th place with 83,000,000.

Atrocitology is a fascinating read but there is one thing missing…the real number 1, which doesn’t appear in the top 100 at all! I know, it’s a shock. Let me try and approach the matter obliquely.

Number 30 on White’s list is the Crusades with 3,000,000 deaths. Several campaigns were launched over a period of 200 years yet he classifies them as an analytically and functionally coherent group; not a sequence of distinct events but a succession of waves of new recruits fighting the same long war. That seems a reasonable view because the Crusades were started as a response to a call to war issued in 1095 by a religious leader, Pope Urban II, and they had in common the religiously motivated aim of taking control of a particular piece of real estate, the Holy Land, from their Muslim rulers.

Here is a map of all the battles fought during the Crusades:

In contrast, here is a map of all the battles fought between Muslims (attacking) and Christians and others (defending) in the preceding 450 years (historians consider the Crusades to be a defensive, or counter-offensive, response to this onslaught):

I was shocked to find so many battles fought between Muslims pushing west and then north into Europe, and Christians defending their lands (and then counter-attacking in the early stages of the Reconquista of Spain). So I asked a professor of history who confirmed that they really happened.

Are the campaigns fought over 450 years a sequence of distinct events or a succession of waves of new recruits fighting the same long war? The military expansion of Islam also started as a response to a call to war by a religious leader, Mohammed (speaking for Allah), in the 620’s. The Muslim invasions also had in common the religious aim of taking control of a particular piece of real estate from their non-Muslim rulers. It just happens to be rather larger than that fought over in the Crusades, namely Dar al-Harb (the house of war), all of the world not yet brought within Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam).

It is an unfamiliar comparison to most people simply because of the difference of scale in both time and space, but the principle is the same for both. Over 200 years the different waves of Crusaders took control of (and lost) Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli, Jerusalem and Acre. Over 450 years waves of Muslim armies took control of Jerusalem, Cairo, the whole of North Africa and Spain. If one campaign can be grouped together as the Crusades then I can see no reason why the other should not be grouped together as Jihad.

Look at it this way. Everyone recognises Meteor Crater in Arizona as just that, a meteor crater. That is because we are looking from the outside and it is small enough (1 km across) and well enough defined to afford us a clear view of the whole thing. The citizens of Nordlingen in Germany, on the other hand, had no idea they were living inside a meteor crater until modern science showed that the 24 km wide depression in which Nordlingen sits is just such. The Nordlinger Reis crater is less obvious but it is every bit as much a crater as its more famous cousin.

Likewise, to us the Crusades are clearly a long but coherent military campaign, but Jihad is less obviously so. Firstly, its spatial extent is so much greater, in fact it has no boundary since the world is round. Secondly, its temporal extent is also unclear since it is still continuing today, 1400 years after its inception. On both counts we are living within the crater of Jihad and, unable to see the rim, do not recognise it for what it is.

Defining our terms

Firstly, The Maliki manual of Islamic Law, the Risala, defines the word “jihad” as “a technical term for the Muslim fighting the unbelievers who have no treaty with the intention of elevating the word of Allah or presenting Islam”. The Risala provides a succinct explanation of Jihad in Chapter 30: On Jihad, including important features such as the different kinds of obligation; presenting the triple choice of conversion, paying the jizya, or war; rules of engagement; and the distribution of booty. One thing missing is an explanation of the Dhimma, the agreement of protection (as in protection racket) which entailed humiliating conditions for conquered non-Muslims, including the jizya tax, in return for which they were permitted to a) practise their ancestral faith and b) remain alive.

Secondly, this is how the Encyclopaedia of Islam characterises Jihad:

“The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general…Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam…Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated.”

Thirdly, the Islamic historian Bernard Lewis adds this:

“The basis of the obligation of jihad is the universality of the Muslim revelation. God’s words and God’s message is for all mankind; it is the duty of those who have accepted them to strive (jihada) unceasingly to convert or at least subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.”

Note the phrase “without limit of time and space”, making clear the scope of Jihad. It could accurately be referred to as “Eternal and Global Jihad” but let’s just stick with “Jihad” for the sake of brevity.

The scriptural basis for Jihad

This is verse 48:28 of the Koran, showing Allah’s frankly supremacist attitude towards other religions:

“He it is Who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the true religion that He may make it prevail over all the religions; and Allah is enough for a witness.”

And this is verse 9:29, which is the clearest expression of what Allah expects his followers to do about it:

“Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

It is the source of the famous triple choice traditionally presented to unfortunate infidels who happened to be next on the map: Convert, Submit and pay the jizya, or War. There are those who maintain that 9:29 and the other Jihad verses, conveniently highlighted in mauve here, refer only to the infidels Mohammed happened to be fighting at the time he produced the revelations. That would be a plausible claim if Mohammed had called a halt to his Jihad at the borders of Arabia before he died. But he didn’t. Mohammed’s last act was to send Jihad international by ordering an attack on Byzantine Syria. His surviving companions, who presumably understood his intentions, immediately set about subduing rebelling tribes in Arabia and then attacked their neighbours to East and West. What we can definitely say is that the Muslim warriors who took Islam to the infidel after Mohammed’s death clearly subscribed to the “universal” rather than the “contextual” view of Jihad.

And remember, they did not issue ultimatums in the name of this or that empire, but always in the name of Islam. As White points out in his chapter Religious Killing, “…if the parties declare religious motives, we should at least consider the possibility that they are telling the truth”.

Two early Jihadists make their motivations clear

Less than 10 years after Mohammed’s death in 632 Al-Nu’man ibn Muqarrin, a representative of the encroaching Muslim army, made the Persian emperor, Yazdegerd III, an offer he should have accepted:

“We are therefore inviting you to embrace our religion. This is a religion which approves of all that is good and rejects all that is evil. If you refuse our invitation, you must pay the poll tax [ie jizya]. This is a bad thing, but not as bad as the alternative; if you refuse, it will be war.”

In the 680’s, after conquering Christians living in North West Africa, the invading general Uqba ibn Nafi reached the Atlantic coast. He rode his horse out onto the beach and into the waves, declaring:

“Great God! If my course were not stopped by this sea, I would still go on, to the unknown kingdoms of the West, preaching the unity of thy holy name, and putting to the sword the rebellious nations who worship any other Gods than thee.”

Both the examples above are taken from Robert Spencer’s indispensable The History of Jihad.

What was the extent of Jihad?

Here is the video from which the pictures above were taken, showing Jihad in the West and the Middle East, not just up until the Crusades but throughout 13 centuries, starting with Mohammed’s wars to bring Arabia under Islam and ending with the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924.

And there was just as much Jihad carried out to the East, some say to much more deadly effect in India, and all the way to China.

What would the death toll be for all this historic Jihad? Various estimates for the total number of victims of Jihad exist, such as this one on Bill Warner’s site Political Islam:

120,000,000 Africans
60,000,000 Christians
80,000,000 Hindus
10,000,000 Buddhists

For our purposes I think we should discount the figure of 120,000,000 Africans. It comprises slaves taken plus collateral losses in transportation, and dependents left behind to starve. Slavery is definitely connected to Jihad because taking slaves as booty from Jihad raids is sanctioned in Islamic Law, but it cannot count as Jihad itself because the Middle East slave trade was not conducted in order to convert slaves but merely to profit from them.

So that would give us an estimate of 150,000,000 deaths due to Jihad. It is only an estimate, made up from estimates. The fact is that no one really knows the correct figure so suppose, for the sake of argument, we halve that number to 75,000,000. Since the total for World War II stands at 55,000,000 Jihad immediately shoots to number 1. Applying Steven Pinker’s weighting would surely also push Jihad above the 8th century An Lushan Revolt with 36,000,000 (unweighted) deaths since the first great Jihad conquests took place in the 7th and 8th centuries and the invasion of India started around 1000 AD (with less weighted increments ever since).

Not joining up the dots

Why does Matthew White not include a chapter on Jihad or even have an entry for it in the index? Presumably because it never occurred to him that it forms a coherent whole just as much as the Crusades do. Nor does he detect Jihad in particular atrocious episodes of history. For instance he denies the Muslim invasion of India a place in his list because it is “too long and sporadic to count as a single event”. His dismissal is arbitrary. If he understood what Jihad is he would recognise that it doesn’t matter how long and sporadic the long war is. Allah has plenty of time.

Also, although he gives Aurangzeb a chapter, White does not see his wars against the Hindus and Sikhs as Jihad, even though he touches on the humiliating conditions of the Dhimma Aurangzeb imposed on Hindus, and the temples he had destroyed and replaced with mosques. Puzzlingly, White identifies the dividing line in these conflicts as being between Muslims and Hindus but does not classify Aurangzeb’s wars as religious yet in the preceding chapter about Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland he identifies the dividing line as being between the English and the Irish but does classify it as religious.

White is not alone in this unseeing of the thread of Jihad which connects apparently unconnected conflicts in the Old World over 1400 years, and now around the whole world. It is a cultural pathology currently affecting the great majority of people in the West. Until a hundred years ago the West (aka Cristendom in those days) knew Islam as its implacable enemy. Mystifyingly, over the last 50 years or so, a great amnesia has fallen upon the population.

Why did that happen? It is not as though Jihad has disappeared. In fact it has come roaring back after 150 years of relative quiescence under European colonialism (here is a list of 35 recent or current conflicts “fought as Jihad”). We can only speculate on the reasons, but invariably our attention is diverted away from the one thing that the endless litany of atrocities on our streets share in common. Academics tell us that Muslims are attacking us because of poverty or Western foreign policy or othering or ontological insecurity or a host of other things. A current favourite is mental illness which is routinely diagnosed in the mainstream media immediately after a devout Muslim stabs a policeman, shouting “Allahu akbar”.

What would happen if Matthew White accepted the reality of Jihad “without limit of time or space”? That would put him in opposition to the message, promoted by governments and spread by the mainstream media, that there is no such thing as global Jihad, only lone wolves, criminals and “extremists” adhering to an aberrant interpretation of Islam. I suspect that in the eyes of establishment academics he would immediately be demoted from “amateur historian” to “dissident historian” and the calls would dry up. They have careers to protect and, given the spirit of the age, who would wish to be seen associating with “the vilest of creatures”, Islamophobes? He would also likely attract the attention of CAIR, the lawfare specialists who try to kid the world that “jihad” means making new friends and going to the gym. And of course there are those who take this kind of thing personally…

Even putting those disincentives aside, I do not expect that he will accept my argument regarding Jihad and rearrange his list. Nevertheless I will ask him and report back if he replies [he didn’t].

At the moment it is only dissident scholars – Robert Spencer, Bill Warner, Ibn Warraq, Andrew Bostom, Mark Durie etc – who point out the obvious. Wouldn’t it be a great step forward if mainstream scholars started to investigate 1400 years of correlation to see if there might be some causation there too? Estimates of the death toll of Jihad might be firmed up and find a respectable place in academia alongside those for the victims of the Holocaust, Mao, Stalin etc.

Danusha Goska has actually proposed a museum of the victims of Jihad, along the lines of the Holocaust Museum and similar. It would not only commemorate the dead but act as a centre for academic research for the purpose of educating the general public, academics, journalists and our purblind leaders. Why hasn’t this been done already? I expect for the same reason that Matthew White hasn’t included Jihad in his list, because so very few people have joined up the dots and realised what they spell.