Anthony Browne is coming

Followers of Islamophobia Watch will be familiar with Anthony Browne of “Islam really does want to conquer the world” notoriety, the man who was paid for an anti-immigration article by a right-wing US website. Well, Anthony has authored a new Civitas pamphlet entitled The Retreat of Reason, which attacks the scourge of political correctness. As you might expect, he repeats the endless right-wing refrain that multiculturalism has produced Muslim “ghettos” which in turn produced the July bombings in London.

See BBC News, 3 January 2006

Among the politically correct “myths” that Browne denounces is the view that anti-semitic attacks are carried out by white skinheads, whereas in reality (according to Browne) the perpetrators are young Muslims.

Civitas press release, 2 January 2006

And what is the source of Browne’s information? If you consult pp.12-13 of his pamphlet, you’ll find that it’s taken from a report entitled Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the European Union commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, which the EUMC refused to distribute because of its unreliability. In his recently published book Beyond Chutzpah (p.35), Norman Finkelstein writes:

“the EUMC maintained that the report … was ‘biased’ and ‘lacking in empirical evidence’. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana concurred that ‘it did not meet the criteria of consistency and quality of data’. In fact, the data assembled in the Manifestationsreport, the standards it used to measure anti-Semitism, and the conclusions it reached barely rose above the comical.”

Which hasn’t prevented Browne’s pamphlet being hailed by Melanie Phillips.

Also worth noting are the following passages from Browne’s pamphlet:

“One of the most successful campaigns for victim status has been by Muslim groups in Britain, notably the Muslim Association of Britain, which increases its clout by inflating the number of Muslims in Britain by a million more than the official census, and by accusing anyone who tackles its extremist Islamist agenda of ‘Islamophobia’. Although it has a thoroughly oppressive agenda (supporting terrorism against innocent civilians, promoting the rights of husbands to beat their wives and the execution of gays), the MAB passes itself off as oppressed so convincingly that it has fooled the PC establishment, notably the Guardian, Independent and BBC, into promoting it unquestioningly” (p.43).

And further on: “Now, one of the biggest issues facing Britain is the rise of radical Islam among Britain’s growing Muslim communities. The politically correct response – and that of the British government – is to pander to Islamic militancy by, for example, curbing the freedom to debate Islam, creating tax-funded Islamic schools and campaigning for Muslim Turkey to be admitted as the biggest member of the European Union” (p.54).

But Browne is prepared to give credit where its due. He applauds “Peter Tatchell, a man of such uncompromising principles that he has infuriated many on the relativist left” – in particular with his hysterical campaign against Yusuf al-Qaradawi (p.25).