Islamophobia and the elephant in the room …
By: Jamal Kanj*, Ph.D.
March 18, 2019
Were you surprised by Masjid al Noor massacre in Christchurch, New Zeeland? If your answer is yes, I would like to be
the first to welcome you to our planet earth. According to FBI records, hate crimes against Muslims have increased by as
much as five folds since 2001.
The massacre in New Zealand, or the murders of shop-owners (some were Indian Sikhs suspected of being Muslims) and
mosque bombings in the US, or Quebec City mosque massacre and the London van ramming into a crowd of worshippers in
2017. To name just few, these were not abstract singular events, but the outcome of organized virulent campaigns to
demonize Muslims in the West.
It is impossible to have constructive discourse on Islamophobia absent of confronting the elephant in the room:
Islamophobia is the creation of an unholy alliance between political Zionism and neocons in the West. The depraved
alliance made it easy for Islamophobes to normalize Muslim hate and castigate Islam as “radical” religion.
In America, the recent coordinated malicious attacks on Muslim US Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar for questioning Israeli hold
on US elected officials, are inseparable from the Islamophobic cultural onslaught vilifying followers of the “demonized”
religion and dismissing their views as irreverent and out of touch.
Hordes of Islamophobe predators cast slanderous aspersions on Congresswoman Omar as Anti-Sematic for expressing views on
the nation of Israel. The defamatory blackmail label intentionally conflates Anti-Jewish racists—who are for the most
part allies of political Zionism—with those who justly criticize the Netanyahu Jewish apartheid regime in Israel.
Throughout the years, political Zionism has successfully perfected this intellectual terrorism tool to silence critique
of Israel. Sadly, the same is blindly mimicked by most Jewish leaders, media outlets and Islamophobes to stifle any
rational debate on Israel.
It is not mere coincidence that the exact same phrase “radical Islam” is parroted across four continents: Benjamin
Netanyahu in Israel, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Hagabee in the US, Scott Morrison and Fraser Anning in
Australia, Tommy Robinson and Gerard Batten in UK.
Defying centuries old trends to regionalize the English language, it’s most likely that globalizing the same
Islamophobic locutions is part of a cheat sheet to debase Islam and hence, promote Islamophobia. Especially since all
these pundits have one thing in common, besides uniting an English lexicon, they’re staunch supporters of Israel and
Neocons and political Zionism mantras like “radical Islam” are fodders for Islamophobia in the West. It blames the
belief system of more than one billion human beings for the actions of relatively small number of individuals, although
this only applies to Muslims.
It’s certain that Benton Tarrant massacre will not be attributed to “radical Christianity.” As no one had implicated
“radical Judaism” on the celebrated Jewish terrorist Brauch Goldstein—who used an Israeli army supplied automatic rifle
to massacre 29 Palestinian worshipers in 1994. And his tomb became a religious shrine with a plaque that read "To the
holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah, and the nation of Israel".
Owning to their shared Islamophobic values, anti-Muslim pundits have cultivated unique relationship with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As with his allies in the West, Netanyahu has just entered into unholy alliance with Itamar
Ben-Gvir, leader of “Jewish Power”the Israeli Jewish version of the KKK.
Typical of tribal hate, Gvir calls Christians “bloodsucking vampires” and displays a photo in his room of the Jewish
copy of the Christchurch terrorist. Gvir, the decedent of a Kurdish immigrant advocates the ethnic cleansing of
non-Jewish Native Palestinians from villages and homes their existence predated Gvir’s birth, and certainly before his
father immigrated to Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.
Israeli racist Jewish politics had drifted too far, prominent Jewish and international Linguist and Scholar Noam Chomsky
has recently reminded us of decades old concerns expressed by renowned Israeli biochemist and polymath, Yeshayahu
Leibowitz who described Israeli occupation of Palestinian land as “Judeo-Nazi” in nature. Leibowitz had cautioned his
compatriots of the danger in making Israel and Zionism more sacred than Jewish humanist values.
The onus is therefore on mainstream Jewish organizations to make sure “Jewish humanist values” are not defined by
Israeli Prime Minister alliance with the Jewish version of the KKK, or with Netanyahu’s Islamophobe allies in the likes
of Trump, Morrison, Cruz, Hagabee, Huckabee, Batten …etc.
Mainstream Jewish leaders must stop abusing the “Anti-Semitic” cry to stifle legitimate political debate on Israel’s
version of the KKK, or to defend the unholy alliance between political Zionism and Islamophobes in the West.
Else, they risk making the Anti-Semitic label as hollow as the gun barrel that massacred 51 Muslim worshipers in New
*Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) an author who had written weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab
world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. His
recent coauthored book “Bride of the Sea” was published in Germany and Poland. This Op-Ed piece can be published with
the author’s permission.