Alex Massie

Derbyshire voted off the island...

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John Derbyshire on fetishisation and Islamophobia (which does, of course exist, even if it is much less widespread than muslim "community leaders" would have you believe):

Speaking of which, I have been voted off the New English Review site for being insufficiently Islamophobic. Fair enough. NER has now settled down as a definitely and strongly Islamophobic vehicle, and I'm a poor fit for it, being Islamophobophobic. In matters editorial I am anyway a believer in totalitarian despotism. I've seen enough of magazine and newspaper editors tearing their hair to know that it's a wellnigh impossible job—"herding cats" is the merest approximation—and am content to leave them to it, so long as they don't grossly infringe on my rights as a contributor.

And the more exposure I get to the Islamophobia phenomenon, the more I dislike it. It is now quite an industry. Huge numbers of Americans, people who would not have been able to spell the word "Islam"seven years ago, now spend their leisure hours poring over the Koran and its supplements looking for evidence that Islam is root-and-branch evil. Some of them have gone to the trouble to learn Arabic, or at any rate enough Arabic to be able to discourse confidently on the difference between a mawla and a halif. There's something unpleasantly autoerotic about the whole enterprise—something of seeking for glee in the contemplation of other people's misbehavior. Something defensive, too, as I said in my Islamophobophobia column: some fear (in my opinion justified) that the Islamo-crazies are giving all religion a bad name and thereby fortifying the ranks of unbelievers—who, in the minds of many Islamophobes, are the real enemy.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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