“Just Admit it, Newspapers: You’re Scared of Muslims,” Matt Welch writes at Reason. Brian Micklethwait of Samizdata brilliantly adds:
Rand Simberg makes a subtly profound little point, in an email to Instapundit, as reported by Instapundit in an addendum to this posting, which links to a piece about newspapers that provide a spew of complicated reasons for not printing stuff that Muslims might be offended by, omitting only the real reason, which is that they’re scared.
“So who are the ‘Islamophobes’ again?”
The point being that the Islamophobes are clearly not those who publicly defy Islam’s threats and attacks and who just go ahead and publicly criticise it anyway and publicly mock it anyway. Where’s the “phobia” in that? No, the phobia — the fear — is being shown by those who refrain from such criticism and such mockery, because they are afraid, and are afraid even to admit that they are afraid (because that too might be interpreted as an implied criticism of the thuggishness of that which they are refraining from criticising or mocking).
Although I have long been irritated by the suggestion that to fear Islam is in any way irrational, I had truly never thought of this particular point. Next time you dare to criticise Islam for being, oh, I don’t know, evil, or something along those lines, and somebody says you are an Islamophobe, say: “Well, yes, I am a little bit scared of Islam because it is indeed scary. But you are even more scared of it, so scared that you dare not admit the truth of what I am saying. You are even more of an Islamophobe than I am.”
Of course, to borrow a riff from Mark Steyn, I’m phobia-phobic myself; they’re almost invariably tropes designed to shut down debate. But then, what from the left isn’t?