A few years back, there was published a book which purported to show that there was a sinister conspiracy to defame Islam being pursued by a cabal of racists and xenophobes. It was absurd from the beginning, as the only reason why anyone has any problem with Islam at all is not because of “racism,” but because of jihad terrorism and Sharia oppression of women and others. One trenchant review of the book observed that the author was pretending that 9/11 never happened and international Islamic terrorism did not exist and was claiming that any suspicion of Islam stemmed solely from the bad faith of its critics.
This was ridiculous enough in itself, but it got even worse. Well-funded Leftist organizations circulated far and wide the conspiracy theory that this “Islamophobia industry” was receiving massive amounts of money from sinister right-wing billionaires, solely for the purpose of continuing this gratuitous and racist campaign against Islam. Large sums of money were bandied about as the supposed war chest of these organizations, pumped up to look impressive by combining the donations received by numerous separate and distinct organizations, all smeared as “Islamophobic,” over a period of years.
Meanwhile, the total sum that was supposedly going to this “Islamophobia industry” didn’t exceed the single-year budget of the Leftist groups that were stoking fears about this well-heeled “industry” of liars, hacks, white supremacists, and fools, but the Left controlled the mainstream discourse as much then as it does now so that salient fact was little noted.
It should, however, have gotten more notice, because there really was an Islamophobia industry. It just wasn’t the cabal of right-wingers that so preoccupied the establishment media. The real “Islamophobia industry” was the coalition of Islamic and Leftist groups that were spending massive amounts of money in order to convince the American people that there was such a thing as “Islamophobia,” that is, an irrational and unjustified fear and hatred of Muslims and that it was a bigger problem than jihad terrorism itself.
That “Islamophobia industry,” which is quite real and active today, in contrast to the trumped-up threat of the cabal of “Islamophobes,” was never the subject of think-tank profiles or book-length expositions. Until now, that is. Diane Weber Bederman’s The Islamophobia Industry is the first, and as far as I know the only, book-length treatment of this manipulative phenomenon. Bederman’s book tears off the cover of the real propaganda campaign that Leftists and Islamic supremacists are waging today to shut down any speech that is remotely critical of Islam, even explorations of the motivating ideology behind jihad terror.
Bederman explains what the concept of “Islamophobia” is all about, and how it is used to refer not only to vigilante attacks against innocent Muslims, which are never justified, but also to honest analysis and opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression. “There is an industry at work today,” she writes, “taking advantage of our liberty, infiltrating and influencing Western values and democracy. It is the #IslamophobiaIndustry, aided and abetted by billions of dollars from countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia.” She details how the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allied groups work in the United States to stigmatize and ultimately silence any discussion of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists, under the guise of stopping “Islamophobia,” which is supposedly an irrational prejudice akin to anti-Semitism.
That isn’t all. Bederman also lays out how the “Islamophobia industry“ has worked its way into the educational system, ensuring that only a benign and whitewashed view of Islam is presented to American public school students and making it clear why opponents of jihad violence and Sharia oppression are today shouted down on college campuses, if they’re invited to speak at all, and treated as if they were an enemy of all that is good. At the same time, of course, if a jihad terrorist freed from Gitmo were to appear on campus screaming “Allahu akbar! Death to America!,” he would be hailed as a hero at most colleges and universities today.
That is the work of the “Islamophobia industry” that Bederman profiles in this book, and is just one indication of why studies of this kind are so urgently needed. The Left and its allies, which include the Islamic supremacist groups pushing this spurious concept of “Islamophobia,” have dominated the public discourse for far too long. Their popularization of the very word “Islamophobia” is one manifestation of a frankly insidious agenda that Bederman reveals in her book. For that, all lovers of freedom owe her a debt of gratitude.