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As reported in this story, a Muslim’s written complaint against Geert Wilders at his trial today claimed that “My family and I no longer feel safe in the Netherlands,” because of his criticism of Islam and of Muslim communities’ conduct while living in the West, and because of his film, Fitna.
The claim seems like a far-fetched sob story, but it was nonetheless part of a presentation intended to represent broader Muslim opinion in order to sway the court against Wilders. And it is part of a larger trend than this court case.
Indeed, as one recalls the past few months, there has been a detectable change in approach among Islam’s spokespeople and apologists.
One hardly even sees anymore the formerly classic moves to deflect criticism of Islam’s teachings: the old chestnuts like “You don’t speak Arabic and you’re missing the subtlety,” or “You’re cherry-picking verses and interpreting them out of context,” or the magical apologetic sleight of hand by which the “Sahih,” or “sound” ahadith suddenly become less “Sahih” when their accounts of appalling behavior by Muhammad are quoted critically by non-Muslims.
Rather, there is a curious uniformity lately in attempts to portray all criticism of Islam as incitement, and examples abound. Among others, there is Daisy Khan’s assertion that opponents of the Ground Zero mega-mosque represent a kind “metastasized anti-semitism” aimed at Muslims. There is Reza Aslan’s slanderous labeling of Stop the Islamization of America as a Neo-Nazi group, thus implying Nazi-like intentions on its part.
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