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Friday, August 20, 2010

How 'Islamophobia' becomes the new anti-Semitism

There's an astonishing article at the Tablet, an online news magazine that bills itself as a 'new read on Jewish life.' It's written by one Daniel Luban, who is described as a doctoral student in political science at the University of Chicago (well, it was either that or Columbia).

Luban turns Pam Geller, Robert Spencer and most especially former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy into a group of xenophobic conspirators who are developing a new form of 'McCarthyism' in which all Muslims are conspiring to impose Shari'a law on the United States.

Luban does this by calling 'Islamophobia' the 'new anti-Semitism,' a conclusion he is able to reach by ignoring all data and claiming that there is no anti-Semitism in the United States today. That enables him to attack Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League for not pursuing 'Islamophobia.' Foxman, in Luban's reading, has lots of time on his hands since there is no anti-Semitism in the US.

How does Luban support his theory? Well, in a word, he doesn't. There are no quotes from the Koran (Spencer's writings, for example, are rife with quotes from the Koran). Luban ignores the three Islamic terror attacks on the United States in the last year (Fort Hood, Northwest Airlines and Times Square), let alone those that preceded them, because after all, admitting that Islamist terror is a menace would be admitting that there is substance behind Geller, Spencer and McCarthy fighting it. In Luban's mind, the opposition to the Ground Zero victory mosque is nothing more than fear of 'the other.' To Luban, opposition to the Ground Zero victory mosque has nothing to do with wishing to let the 3,000 victims who died there rest in peace, let alone with Islamic doctrine that calls for establishing mosques on the sites of 'victories' over other religions and cultures.

Finally, in what may be the cheapest shot of all, Luban refers to 'former political allies' being alienated by Geller and Spencer. That reference is undoubtedly to Little Green Footballs' Charles Johnson, who banned Geller and Spencer from his site a couple of years ago. What Luban fails to mention is that Johnson has since banned over 1,700 people from his site for disagreeing with him or citing others who disagree with him (including yours truly), has returned to the political left, and has alienated all of his former political allies. For Luban to implicitly depict Johnson as a member of the sane right is completely disingenuous. Is Luban really Johnson afficiando Kilgore Trout? The profile fits.

Read the whole thing.


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