The problem with ‘critics of Islam’

“I can accept criticism of my faith and religious beliefs. Muslims do have the moral and intellectual resources, across the religious, political and social spectrum to be able to meet any such challenges that might be posed. Tough questions have been asked in the past and it is no different today…. However, what some critics of Islam engage in is something else altogether. It is not criticism, to which at least Muslims might be able to respond, but an attempt to portray Muslims as Untermenschen. This is especially true of those who set their sights on Europe’s Muslim minorities. Everything, from a lack of housing to rising rape statistics are attributed to the Muslim presence in Europe. If someone commits a crime or struggles at school then the broader questions are asked. If a Muslim does the same, the problems are reduced to the person’s faith (which may only be nominal). If Muslims aren’t terrorists then they’re practising dissimulation.

“The biggest myth pushed by some of these critics is attributing vast political power to Muslim minorities. Laws and policies, foreign and domestic, are said to have been created just to placate the ‘angry hordes’ of Muslims from London to Rome. I notice this delusion is pushed most heavily by the array of pseudo-conservative commentators across the pond, backed up by bigots on this side of the geographic divide. Even the most harshest critic of Islam should stop and think at this point: Can it really be that marginalised, underachieving, politically weak, socially divided sets of communities, who routinely receive negative media coverage (whether this is their fault or not is besides the point), are in a position to influence the agendas of governments that rule some of the most powerful, stable and prosperous nations in the world today? Well, can it be true?

“It is said that violence is a problem Muslims are faced with. Similarly, it could be said that racism is still a problem for Europe, which it has failed to fully address.”

Under Progress, 6 September 2006