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“Islamophobia needs to be redefined” by Tehmina Kazi (Guardian 26 January 2011)

“Islamophobia needs to be redefined” by Tehmina Kazi (Guardian 26 January 2011)

chris allen online

An excellent article has appeared on the Guardian website that considers the issue of Islamophobia not least because it references and directly quotes from my book.

The article can be found by clicking here but is also reproduced below:

Islamophobia needs to be redefined

It is vital that we encourage open, honest and mutually respectful debate about the role of Islam and Muslims in British society – Tehmina Kazi

The question: Is hatred of Islam now acceptable?

Ever heard the one about Muslim medics spreading disease across Leicester by refusing to roll up their sleeves in the washbasin? How about the Muslim council employees who “banned” Christmas in Lambeth, renaming “Christmas lights” to the generic-sounding “winter lights?” Both of these stories were reported by mainstream British newspapers during the last four years, and both – as well as dozens more – were found to be suffering from an evidence bypass.

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Islamophobia: Orwellian ‘doublespeak’ ?‎

Islamophobia: Orwellian ‘doublespeak’ ?‎



Earlier this month, James Bloodworth wrote a blog for the Independent comparing Islamophobia to a type of Orwellian doublespeak, “PR jargon”, designed to shut down public debate. He joins a chorus of voices on the Left who reject the term on grounds of the ‘freedom to criticise’ Islam. This particular argument is disconcerting in that Islam is regularly subjected to the sort of scrutiny rarely if ever, afforded to other faiths, and  many of those who seek to counter islamophobia, myself included, have been equally committed to defending free speech. The term ‘islamophobia’ is many things, but it is not an attempt at muzzling critical inquiry.

Some on the Left have gone further still, joining voices on the Right in denouncing Islam on the grounds of its alleged anti-liberal tenets. Chief amongst these, the late Italian writer and left-wing journalist Oriana Fallaci insisted that Islam is a violent and…

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