In the UK, Richard Dawkins learned what Bill Maher learned in the US, that liberals love it when you make jokes about Judaism and Christianity, they’ll even sit politely for some cracks about Buddhism, but if you question Islam, then you’re a bigot.
Then Stephen Fry stepped in to defend Dawkins with a since-deleted tweet which said, “Oh, have a look around the world and see them slaughtering each other, let alone others. So charming to women too …”
The outcome was predictable. Fry, who if you don’t know who he is, you can think of as the UK’s version of Bill Maher, though that comparison is completely inaccurate on so many levels, responded with a clumsy Tumblr post which praised the imaginary Islamic golden age, but claimed the right to be able to criticize all religions without being dubbed a HATEFUL ISLAMOPHOBE.
Anyway, I made the fundamental mistake of tweeting (just to show I wasn’t the coward they assumed I was) that of course I was against those Muslims who slaughtered, bombed and treated women in such charming ways.
Now the entire seesaw tilted and I was bombarded with tweets saying mostly stuff like”:-
“Disappointed that you are an Islamophobe, Stephen. Thought better of you.”
Sometimes it’s just a reflex tweet from someone who hasn’t put any thought into it, on other occasions the tweet claims that my saying a single word against any kind of Muslim is Islamophobia of the kind that feeds the vilely racist bigots of the EDL and BNP.
The squeezed liberal finds himself in the position that he cannot criticise Islamofascism because it’s somehow “racist” (although Islam encompasses many many races) or because it encourages acts of violence against innocent law-abiding honourable Muslims, which I would never for a second endorse. It is a topsy-turvy smothering of debate and an Orwellian denial of free-speech to declare that speaking out against violence will cause violence.
That’s actually quite correct.
Fry exposes the dishonest equation that Muslims are forever victimized and therefore to criticise Islam is to victimize them. It’s an absurd self-pitying bit of nonsense with no basis in reality.
I am afraid of anyone who hates me and everything I stand for and wants me and the civilisation I grew up in destroyed. I am afraid of any state or religious endorsed brute squad that suddenly smashes my door down at three in the morning and drags me to the wall to be shot. I am afraid of any group of people wherever they’re from and whomever they do or don’t worship who see justification for explosions that cause human blood to run like rivers down the streets.
Ah, but do I believe that all Muslims want to see my civilisation destroyed? That they are all bombers in the making? Of course I don’t.
The fact that I need to go through this absurd liberal court of inquisition in which I have to repeat these mantras is what, as Peter Griffin would say, really grinds my gears:
“I promise I do not think all Muslims are fanatics.”
“I go out of my way to smile at them when sitting opposite them on the tube.”
“I think it is terrible the way a whole community is distrusted because a fanatical few.”
Do I hate Muslims? Absolutely not. Any more than I hate Christians. Or Jews, or Hindus, or anyone on account of their beliefs, or lack of them. I just hate, really, really hate the idea of being hated. Of being in someone’s black book. And there may be only a fanatical few Muslims, just as there only a fanatical few Christians, but boy – the damage they can do. The hatred they can foment.
So it comes down to this.
I am not an Islamophobe:
I am a violentsuicidallyfanatichatefilledkillerofpeopletheyhaventevenmet-ophobe. And that group might easily include Americans, Russians or Britons, come to that.
There. I hope that’s clear.
Despite the whole militant atheism bit, Fry feels the need to praise an imaginary Muslim golden age and then to insist that the vast majority of Muslims are perfectly fine. It’s just a tiny minority of extremists.