The attractiveness of incriminating slogans
History demonstrates how attractive (both in the crowd and among supposedly enlightened minds) insane rhetoric of oppression can be to demonize some imagined enemy, be it the enemies of the people, the kulaks, or the Jews. Orwell warned us about the magical ability of language to lead us astray, when the view of the world, hostage to skillfully crafted words with emotional coloring, is guided by manipulation and lies. Today, the question of post-truth is endlessly raised. Aren’t condemning slogans criticizing the Islamophobic West a case of exactly the same kind?
A tool of the Islamist project in the West
Those Islamists who spread rhetoric about Islamophobia are by no means indifferent observers of the Western world. They are fighting. The future of Muslims in the West is at stake. Will they merge with the infidels and refuse to live in society according to the precepts of Islam, that is, will they become traitors? Or will they remain loyal to the umma, the community of believers, and create the seed of an Islamic counter-society in the hope that the West will one day become Muslim, thereby completing the conquests of their pious ancestors?
Faced with such a choice, the image of Muslims suffering from the hostility of Islamophobic societies that brand them in words and discriminate in deed turns into a weapon. It carries a message aimed at Muslims: “The West is a blind empire of evil and base passions, and no matter what you do, your affiliation with Islam will always be a stigma, because of which you will never be accepted as full members of society. Thus, the only decent option remains for you – to turn away from the world that has rejected you, to fight temptations, to gather in those places where you yourself establish the law.”
In addition, it contains a message for the Western world: “Since some of your representatives and laws are fighting against the dominance of a lifestyle inspired by Islam, it means that you yourself are going against your own ideals of equal respect for all religions. Therefore, you must accept this power and turn your justice against all who try to prevent it.
Research distorts the facts
History is full of examples of how the desire to win a case led to the falsification of evidence. The Moscow trials left behind a long memory, as, however, did the Dreyfus case. Every time the facts are distorted, interpreted from a special angle or simply invented to support what needed to be proven. The rhetoric about Islamophobia follows this same logic. Moreover, it poisons everything, up to supposedly scientific works on the reception of Islam and Muslims in Western societies. (…)
When you read these studies, at first you get the feeling of a well-done job. There are many tables with numbers and surveys with the participation of large representative groups of the population. Processing of statistical data establishes important connections, conclusions follow one after another. However, if you take a closer look, the picture immediately deteriorates. Sometimes the questions are formulated in such a way that it is simply impossible to give a meaningful answer to them. Yes, the question of Muslims as a certain homogeneous group does not allow drawing a line between them. The interpretation of cause-and-effect relationships, in turn, often leads to the presentation of the necessary hypotheses about what needs to be proven. It also happens that in the confinement of research, it suddenly turns upside down, and Islamophobia declares itself as a god from the machine, devaluing all previous analytical work. In general, we can say that these works try to avoid the collision of ideas and thoughts about the Islamic world with objective reality.
Blame the majority
In France, the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights deals primarily with the dissemination of such views. The negative reaction to problematic elements of Islam is actively mentioned, but not recognized as meaningful. It invariably falls into the passive of those who pay attention to these moments.
No one cares about the fact that one person’s response to different markers of Islam can vary greatly, although the data presented in the study notes this diversity. (…) Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, has an undeniable religious significance and should face
categorical rejection, if Islam as such caused rejection. In reality, everything looks completely different, and the attitude towards it is more than positive, although the need to fast can create difficulties at work. At the same time, wearing a veil causes a sharp negative reaction and is not an integral part of Islam at all. A number of believing Muslim women absolutely do not want to impose it on themselves. Disagreeing with the veil therefore means not accepting Islam as such, but only one Islamic practice.
The European Union’s report on the feeling of discrimination among Muslims in Europe is a telling example. What needs to be demonstrated is indicated in the very first sentence: “Remember the last time you tried to get a job? Maybe you were worried that you weren’t computer savvy enough, or worried about a spelling mistake on your resume. However, if you are Muslim or have Muslim roots and live in the European Union, your last name alone may be enough to prevent you from ever receiving an invitation to an interview.” As a result, the qualities of each person (computer skills, spelling mistakes) are presented as something secondary, while all Muslims are indiscriminately (and they are allegedly appointed by their last name) not hired just because they are Muslims. This general logic is closely related to the reluctance to place on Muslims at least part of the responsibility for the mistrust that some of them face. Because otherwise it would lead to “stigmatization”.
The European report relies exclusively on respondents’ statements about the feeling of discrimination. It is assumed that their words are completely true. And no one takes into account the fact that some unfavorable situations can be explained by non-discriminatory reasons, for example, insufficient qualifications, although the survey participants presented everything as discrimination (sincerely or not).
According to this study, those who say they have personally experienced discrimination are in the minority, which certainly does not play into your favor if your goal is to condemn mass discrimination. To overcome this difficulty, the authors of the study say that victims of discrimination often do not want to talk about it. The idea is that “gathering information about a potentially traumatic experience is not an easy task, because after going through it, a person often distances himself from it or denies it, which becomes a kind of defense mechanism.”
Be that as it may, it is possible to put forward the opposite hypothesis, assuming that those who declare discrimination, in fact, in most cases did not experience it: the declaration of discrimination becomes an excuse for their own failure, and the temptation to use it only grows against the background of the fact that discriminatory rhetoric has become something extremely legitimate.
In addition, as the study shows, if a person knows about the existence of rhetoric condemning discrimination, he himself is more likely to interpret what is happening to him as discrimination. At the same time, this fact does not become a basis for developing a rational approach in the work. It is considered obvious that this familiarization only exclusively contributes to the awareness of the discriminatory reality.
Postmodern rejection of freedom of thought
But why do we so easily accept sophisms that would be mercilessly criticized in any ordinary field of knowledge? The reason for this was the onset of postmodernism and its position in relation to the two imperatives of Education: freedom of conscience and equality. During the Enlightenment, freedom of conscience reigned, and equality obeyed it. In the postmodern view, everything is exactly the opposite. The demand for equality is becoming more and more radical: equal respect for people implies equal respect for their life choices and the doctrines that underlie them. As a result, freedom of conscience appears in a subordinate position. It is this change that underlies the modern view of Islam.
The desire to promote a society of “pluralism, tolerance and non-discrimination” has led to the rejection of any differences in attitude (in words or actions) to representatives of different groups. Differences that were previously explained by unequal access to objective values (be it judgments or tastes) were reclassified as consequences of dominance.
When adopting such a perspective, the relationship between the demand for equality and freedom of conscience changes. Instead of critically examining the current situation and postponing the promise of equality for the future, we accept as a norm the presentation of the fundamental philosophical principle of equality of all groups of people as a scientific truth. It is argued that any judgment that might question the imperative of equality is based only on superstition. Today, this concept has two meanings that probably go hand in hand. The first, which arose during the Enlightenment, implies everything that contradicts the critical mind. The second, central to the postmodern milieu, embraces that which goes against the imperative of equality. Here inevitably arises the question of what status over
by observed facts. These changes have called into serious question the freedom of speech when it affects the sacred equality of groups of people.
Factory of images
Rhetoric about Islamophobia has an even more harmful effect on the Muslims who support it, since it contains a false promise. It instills in Muslims the belief that they can fully find their place in Western societies without the laborious process of adaptation that until recently was the fate of all waves of immigrants. The presentation as Islamophobia of any attempt to push for this adaptation and the confidence that it will stop under pressure from the defenders of Islam form the basis of this promise. However, it will not be easy to restrain him, and the main victims here will be the Muslims who believed in him.
A number of Muslims are poisoned by the rhetoric that hides the power of the Islamic counter-society behind the screen of asserting the right to freedom of religion and, judging by everything, do not understand the reaction to their behavior. It is quite possible that many of them quite sincerely consider the rejection of such a social model as a disrespect for their religious rights.
The heterogeneity of reactions is based on the complexity of the universe of Islam. Islam carries within itself what immediately comes to mind when the conversation turns to religion: an invitation to a spiritual path, a desire for the education of souls, a touch of what is hidden behind the visible horizon, a call to think about the meaning of life under the gaze of God. However, the example of the countries where it defines social life also points to another of its components: the establishment of an order that is not afraid to contradict the spirit and the body. Two main features of this order are absolutely unacceptable for the West: the rejection of freedom of conscience (a Muslim cannot freely adopt another faith or renounce Islam), as well as the degraded and controlled status of women, which manifests itself at various levels, from the rights of inheritance to the obligation to wear “chaste” clothes and the prohibition to marry a non-Muslim.
It is this rejection of the West that generates a hostile reaction. As for the Muslim, whose position is unknown to others, he causes a certain restraint towards himself, of which no trace remains, if he makes it clear that such rejection is foreign to him. The rhetoric about Islamophobia, in turn, does not want to have such a trait. Muslims who listen to her live with the illusion that one day they will be treated like everyone else, …