In the ‘whataboutery’ which now dominates British politics, no mention of Labour anti-Semitism is complete without a counter-accusation of Tory Islamophobia. It swiftly followed the Chief Rabbi’s condemnation of Labour anti-Semitism on Tuesday.
There may well be people in the Conservative party who have an irrational hatred of Muslims, but the term ‘Islamophobia’ should be absolutely resisted. Unlike anti-Semitism, this is a concocted concept. A strand of Muslim thought sees all criticism of the prophet Mohammed and his faith as blasphemy and labours worldwide to ban it. Such Muslims are driven mad by the way Jews can cry ‘racism’ when they are attacked, whereas they cannot.
But in fact this is fair, because Jewishness is usually inherited and is not necessarily related to what you believe. Islam is. All belief systems must accept the danger of hatred, ridicule and contempt as the price for coexisting in a free society.
This article is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator Notes, available in this week's magazine.