Mark Tapson is the Shillman Fellow on Popular Culture for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
“There is an industry at work today, taking advantage of our liberty, infiltrating and influencing Western values and democracy,” writes Canadian author and blogger Diane Bederman in her brand new book The Islamophobia Industry: The Insidious Infiltration of Islam into the West. As the memory of the 9/11 attacks on American soil a generation ago recedes for many, this courageous short new work serves as an essential wakeup call to a Western world that, in the name of tolerance and inclusion, is allowing our rights and freedoms to be eroded as the value system of Islam grows in influence and power.
FrontPage Mag readers may recall that I interviewed Ms. Bederman here about her previous book The Serpent and the Red Thread, a unique history of antisemitism blending fiction, history and myth. She is also the author of Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values, which I reviewed for FrontPage Mag here.
I posed some questions to Ms. Bederman about The Islamophobia Industry.
Mark Tapson: To paraphrase a question you pose in the preface to your new book, why did you decide to write a book about Islam at a time when saying anything critical of it is immediately denounced as bigotry?
Diane Bederman: It says 365 times in the Bible: Do Not Fear.
Fear is debilitating. We often run away rather than confront.
I am of an age and in a place where being called an Islamophobe does not worry me. I cannot be canceled! I worry more about my children and grandchildren. We have to teach our children the importance of protecting democracy and freedom. Ducking and hiding will only lead to a loss of that freedom. The ethic that underpins our freedom, the Judeo/Christian ethic, is 3500 years old. We cannot let it perish out of fear of being called a name or even under threat of death. Without freedom, there is no life.
MT: What is the Islamophobia industry?
DB: There are two #Islamophobia Industries. One is run by Muslims to fight Islamophobia – what they refer to as the irrational fear of Islam. I would suggest that for many, fear of Islam is rational.
The other is the one about which I write: the Industry set out to silence anyone who criticizes or questions Islam. This Industry has managed to turn Islam, a religion and political ideology, into a race. By doing that they can legally stop any criticism because race is immutable; one, obviously, cannot change one’s race, so attacking race is forbidden.
MT: American parents have had their eyes opened about the relatively recent, insidious promotion of Critical Race Theory in schools, but a pro-Islam agenda has been infiltrating our K-12 classrooms for some time now too, hasn’t it?
DB: Billions of dollars have been spent by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to promote Islam in our schools. In America, Canada and Europe. This has been going on for about 20 years. CAIR, the Council on American–Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, launched a program in 2015 with the aim of providing up to sixteen thousand public and school libraries across the country with books and writings that it had selected on Islam and the Middle East.
CAIR founder Omar Ahmad had stated how CAIR could eventually gain influence in Congress: “This can be achieved by infiltrating the American media outlets, universities and research centers,” going on to suggest how this would give them an entry point that would allow them to pressure U.S. policymakers.
This is how you get followers. Indoctrination through education. I suggest that our fear of being seen as intolerant pushes us to accept the intolerable in the name of diversity, inclusion and equity – DIE.
MT: You correctly note that few people in the West know what a “Sharia-compliant economy” is. Why is it important that we understand and resist it?
DB: Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamed Mahathir told a banking conference in Kuala Lumpur in November 2002, “A universal Islamic banking system is a jihad worth pursuing.” It is projected that the Muslim world will be doing 50% of their banking needs with Islamic institutions by 2020.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, states: “Sharia-compliant finance only empowers Muslim Sharia Law leaders whose real long-term vision is to impose Sharia Law on the world and recreate an Islamic Empire. These leaders want to overpower capital free markets and create their version of an Islamic economy. Bankers and business leaders are being duped.”
The Sharia Compliant economy also appears to discriminate against any product that is associated with a Jew or Israel. Discrimination is not allowed in the West. While Muslims fight against any perceived discrimination against them, this Muslim economy discriminates against others. I think more importantly, a tax, Zakat, is placed on purchases of shares and this tax goes to funding Muslim charities. Unfortunately, some of these charities support Muslim terrorist organizations.
I think, too, there is something not right about a separate “economy” in the West. My Supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education talked to us about an “ooh” factor. Something in us tells us that here is something unethical but we haven’t quite put our finger on it. To me, there is something unethical about a parallel economy here.
MT: You also note something else few people might have thought of, which is how China and India factor into the Islamophobia industry. Can you elaborate on that a little?
DB: Our media has extensively exposed the infiltration of China into our world: in our media, education and government. There is no shyness, no hesitation to talk about the negative impact of China in our lives. Gordon Chang writes a great deal about this and the Epoch Times always reports. There is no “blowback” of racism; this despite the fact that the Chinese are a race. There is no such thing as Chinaphobia.
We also have no problem calling out the caste system in India. We talk about the “untouchables” and how they are treated as less than human. Yet, we have allowed ourselves to be silenced about Islam.
MT: You argue that by tolerating and even embracing Islam, the West is committing civilizational suicide. Do you see any signs of hope that we can recover a pride in our own civilization, commit to a defense of it, and reverse this trend?
DB: Democracy is fragile. Freedom takes great courage to defend. Islam does not promote free will or freedom of thought. Islam, as clearly stated by the Islamic Circle of North America, is not in any way compatible with the West, yet we in our desire to be open and inclusive, have welcomed this ideology.
Just as we welcomed this ideology we can stand up to it and say no. We are witnessing the rise of parents in America fighting against Critical Race Theory. When we have facts we can push back against the lies. But it does take courage. The same type of courage it took to push back against Nazism or communism or fascism or any other “ism.”
Islam has done a remarkable job of silencing us. We must now do a remarkable job of freeing ourselves from its grip. We must not let fear control us. Fear breeds submission. We must speak up. Silence is Collusion.