If you’re looking for what’s behind the killing and wounding of all those people in London last Saturday night, why it was able to happen in one of the most modern and powerful cities in the West, the cradle of many of the founding principles of the free world, I can tell you the depressing answer — Islamophobia.
Or, to be more precise, Islamophobiaphobia — fear of being called an Islamophobe.
As has occurred so many times before, so often that it has become, as Patrick Poole has shown us, all too predictable, some of the culprits were “known wolves.” Friends and neighbors knew they had radical thoughts or worse. In this instance they had known it for some time. They even told the police about it, who had evidence, but nothing happened. And not just because, as is well known, the UK is close to overwhelmed with such people. Difficult as that is, that is no excuse and no doubt could have been dealt with except…
There was a more powerful motivation to stop, to do nothing — Islamophobia. No one wants to be accused of being a racist, after all. Oh, no. That’s humanity’s biggest faux pas — worse than pederasty. I mean these were nice people who played ping-pong with kids, right? Well, maybe, but they were also religiously motivated and homicidal maniacs. And worrying about being called an Islamophobe ended with people getting their throats cut.
So Islamophobia was effectively a murder weapon just as it was in San Bernardino, where people didn’t want to report the bomb-makers next door lest they offend someone (or get their own throats cut in the process). They saw something, but fear of being called an Islamophobe prevented them from saying something.
We think of Islamophobia as something invented by CAIR or some similar Hamas-tainted organization, but, ironically, in reality it has its provenance in the UK. To quote someone… well… me, from page 74 of my most recent book:
Roughly at the same time (1997), the term Islamophobia was coined. Commonplace as this neologism is today, it came through the back door via an obscure report by the Runnymede Trust, a left-wing British think tank. Six years before 9/11 someone in that group thought to apply the phobia (irrational fear) suffix to Islam. Whoever did it was something of an evil genius, equating criticism of Islam to a clinical neurosis.
So Islamophobia was a construct of the left. That shouldn’t be a surprise. The alliance of the left with extreme Islamic causes is an old story.
Are we at a point when this could possibly break apart? That Qatar — the great supporter of Hamas — is under fire from other Sunni powers because of its alliance with Iran is promising. We are at a moment when forces are beginning to spin in different directions for the first time in decades. This is a propitious moment to discard Islamophobia once and for all.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt, at least at the leadership levels, probably have no use for it. Islamophobia is being kept alive largely by an unlikely alliance of the liberal/left media in the U.S. and Europe coupled with the political parties they represent and the more reactionary forces of the Islamic world (Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies). Strange alliance indeed, but that is what has happened. What next? An alliance of the “American street” with the “Arab street”? Saudi Arabia and Israel together against Iran? That already seems to be happening. Pretty soon the only people who will be promoting the nonsense of Islamophobia will be CNN and the mayor of London. Well, we can hope anyway.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.