A Subway Murder and the 'Islamophobia' Industry

Last Saturday, a deranged woman pushed a man in front of a subway train in New York and killed him, explaining that she did it because of her anger with Muslims ever since 9/11. Immediately, leftist and Islamic-supremacist writers swung into action to blame the murder on what they called an “Islamophobia industry,” despite the killer’s obvious insanity and history of violent attacks on random people. The attacks revealed much about the use of the term “Islamophobia” as a propaganda tool designed to shut down thinking.

One written by Haroon Moghul, “a Fellow at the New America Foundation and the Center on National Security at Fordham Law” as well as “a doctoral candidate at Columbia University,” offered more intelligence than the usual character assassins and victim-mongers who spread the myth of “Islamophobia." It also illuminated a great deal about the central premises of the real “Islamophobia industry” – the one that is dedicated to intimidating Americans into thinking that it’s “bigoted” to resist jihad and Islamic supremacism.

Moghul portrays the deranged killer Erika Menendez as holding Muslims “collectively responsible for the actions of a few,” which he and his ilk frequently complain is what “Islamophobes” supposedly do: blame all Muslims for the actions of a few “extremists.” There may be some nuts somewhere who do that, but actually people like Haroon Moghul (and a host of others in his camp) are the ones who constantly proclaim this, not counter-jihadists. Moghul and co. want you to believe that that is what counter-jihad analysts are doing when they note that jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism. Actually, in doing that they are recognizing that there is a problem within Islamic doctrine, which Muslims could conceivably reform or reject outright, however unlikely it may be that large numbers will do either. They are not blaming all Muslims for 9/11 or any other act of jihad. But if they can convince you that counter-jihadists are indeed vilifying all Muslims, they will thereby discourage people from joining their ranks. And that is the goal.

Moghul complains that for “Islamophobes,” “all Muslims are on the hook for what some Muslims do, and must constantly distance themselves from other Muslims—as if the whole must bear responsibility for the acts and faults of individuals. How does that make any sense, except in a racialized and dehumanizing way?”

In reality, no Muslims are “on the hook for what some Muslims do.” But virtually every day, somewhere in the world, some Muslims harm and kill people and justify their actions with reference to Islamic texts and teachings. How are we to deal with this? Do those Muslims who operate mosques and Muslim schools in the West (and elsewhere) not have any responsibility at all to try to ensure that their pupils don’t become jihad terrorists? Certainly non-Muslim states have felt a great responsibility to prevent jihad terror, and have thus showered money on Pakistan and other Muslim countries in a vain attempt to stop it, while spending yet more money on hearts-and-minds initiatives such as building schools in Afghanistan, etc. Whether or not these programs are wise, is it entirely up to non-Muslims to try to stop jihad terror, with its 20,000+ attacks since 9/11?

There is no program teaching against the “extremist” version of Islam in any mosque anywhere, despite the fact that converts to Islam seem peculiarly susceptible to this understanding of Islam (cf. John Walker Lindh, Adam Gadahn, Richard Reid, and on and on) and the universally held assumption that the vast majority of Muslims reject and abhor this version of Islam. Why isn’t there? And why is Haroon Moghul obfuscating this issue, instead of expatiating on how unjust it is for him to be “on the hook” for what some other Muslims do?