Though it is written tongue-in-cheek in the language of human rights and of opposition to discrimination, thenonbinding U.N. Resolution 62/154, on "Combating defamation of religions," actually seeks to extend protection not to humans but to opinions and to ideas, granting only the latter immunity from being "offended." The preamble is jam-packed with hypocrisies that are hardly even laughable, as in this delicious paragraph, stating that the U.N. General Assembly:Underlining the importance of increasing contacts at all levels in order to deepen dialogue and reinforce understanding among different cultures, religions, beliefs and civilizations, and welcoming in this regard the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the Ministerial Meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Tehran on 3 and 4 September 2007.
Yes, I think we can see where we are going with that. (And I truly wish I had been able to attend that gathering and report more directly on its rich and varied and culturally diverse flavors, but I couldn't get a visa.) The stipulations that follow this turgid preamble are even more tendentious and become more so as the resolution unfolds. For example, Paragraph 5 "expresses its deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism," while Paragraph 6 "[n]otes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001."
You see how the trick is pulled? In the same weeks that this resolution comes up for its annual renewal at the United Nations, its chief sponsor-government (Pakistan) makes an agreement with the local Taliban to close girls' schools in the Swat Valley region (a mere 100 miles or so from the capital in Islamabad) and subject the inhabitants to Sharia law. This capitulation comes in direct response to a campaign of horrific violence and intimidation, including public beheadings. Yet the religion of those who carry out this campaign is not to be mentioned, lest it "associate" the faith with human rights violations or terrorism.
As Hitchens notes, "The useless and meaningless term Islamophobia, now widely used as a bludgeon of moral blackmail, is testimony to its success."
But the truth is that "Islamophobia" is not a phobia at all-- it is a completely rational fear of an insane and irrational force that seems to be sweeping the world. Being afraid of the so-called "religion of peace" after the innumerable acts of violence, terror and depravity committed in the name of Allah worldwide is not exaggerated; not inexplicable; and most certainly not illogical.
Being afraid of Islam as it undermines freedom of speech and thought, as well as and other critical values of Western civilization, is far from a phobia--it is a natural response to the sad reality.
What the UN (and the Islamic world) would like to mandate is a sort of meta-Islamophobia--an Islamophobicphobia, to be precise; or, as I would define it, " an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of mere criticism of Islam, as well as a pathological reluctance to hold it to account for the actions and behavior of its followers."
There is much written both in the Middle East and in the West about the proposition that Islam is "under siege" and that hatred of Islam is a rising concern. This has been repeated frequently particularly since the global war on terror (which actually is a global war on Islamic fanatiacism). Those who decry this reality are not only reluctant to admit that the wave of terror and irrational hatred sweeping the world is specifically associated with the religion of Islam; they simultaneously blame the victims of the terror and the objects of the irrational hatred as the one's responsible for its existence. Islam is given a free pass and the shouts of "God is Great" that precede the latest atrocity apparently have nothing to do with what is written in the Koran.
It is getting harder and harder to keep a straight face as the knee-jerk denial and sanctimonious utterings of organizations like CAIR and UN "human rights" committees fill the news media on a daily basis with their attacks on anyone who criticizes Islam and their rising institutional anti-semitism and encouragement of Islamic extremism.
Islamophobia? Anyone who by now has not realized that Islam has given carte blanche to the fanatics in its midst is either completely out of touch with reality, or living on another planet (e.g., planet Hollywood, or planet Marx/Obama).
Muslims in Europe claim they are justified in rejecting Western society for a variety of reasons:
(3) the Iraq War; and/or
(4) the institutionally "racist" culture of the West, which "forces" Muslims to accept the values of the countries they choose to imigrate to. Interestingly, Muslims seem to expect that those countries should be forced to abandon their own traditions and adopt Muslim values.
So, let me say for the record that I reject being labeled as "Islamophobic" utterly. Rather, I have a healthy, rational fear of a religion that aggressively seeks my submission or death. As I have stated previously, for most of my adult life, it seemed perfectly reasonable to ignore Islam. What little I knew of it did not appeal to me in any way whatsoever to delve deeper.
I liked it that way.
If I had thought about Muslim values at all (and I didn't) it is likely that I would have been completely turned off to the religion, as opposed to being indifferent to it. I was mildly disgusted and appalled when examples of its rampant brutality were brought to my attention, but frankly, I never understood enough about the religion to place the responisibility for its adherents' behavior onto its teachings.
After 9/11 and becoming aware of organizations like Al Qaeda; ideologies like Wahhabism and its spread; and suddenly recognizing the Palestinian issue for the red herring it was, I could no longer permit myself to be ignorant of the core "Muslim values" they exemplified.
In an ideal world, I shouldn't even have to say it, but Islam has forced me to explicitly and loudly state that I absolutely, thoroughly and unequivocally reject Muslim values and culture, which facilitates and breeds hatred and dysfunction in every nation in which they are practiced. What follows is not an exhaustive list, but let me touch on some of the highlights that form the basis of my rejection:
1. If we are going to talk about oppression, shall I begin with the ubiquitous institutionalized oppression and humiliation of women in Muslim society? Detractors claim that the Quran does not foster this attitude, but witness the devaluation of women; the sexual fear of women; the incarceration of women; the infantilization of women; the social marginalization of women, etc. etc.
2. The overt and institutionalized anti-semitism in Islam, that is frankly paranoid and of psychotic proportions.
3. The assumption of the victim role while actively victimizing other religious groups. This is the entire psychological manipulation involved in the cries of "Islamophobia !"
4. The hypocritical call for tolerance, while promoting intolerance and bigotry among its own adherents.
5. The glorification of death rather than life.
6. The fostering of mindless obedience and punishment of independent thinking.
7. The poverty of ideas and rational thought among its leaders.
8. The inability to condemn unequivocally the barbaric acts done in the name of Islam.
9. The fact that you would force your religion on me, if you could.
As I said, the list is not exhaustive. There are many more reasons why I have come to my intense rejection of this particular religion. As stated in a previous post::
I DON'T CARE ABOUT ISLAM except insofar that people of that faith want to destroy me, my family, my country and my way of life. For more than 50 years of my life, Islam and I got along famously. I completely ignored it; and praise be to Allah, it completely ignored me.
After September 11th, I could continue to live in a state of denial and ignorance about the fact that Islam had come to represent all the values that are incompatible with human life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Or, I could face reality and recognize Islam as a serious threat to all I hold dear and value in the world.
No; a rational, healthy fear of Islam's barbaric medievalism and its desire to subjugate the entire human race under the yoke of its god is perfectly appropriate and continually justified by the fanatical behavior of millions of Muslims everywhere on the planet.
This is not Islamophobia; this is common sense; and as Hitchens's column makes clear, the intent of this crazy UN resolution serves only to advance Islam's clearly stated goal of subjugating the world's population to its rule.
Are you afraid yet? You will be.
[For more on the rational role of Fear in human activites, see here.]