Thursday, November 22, 2007

Defining the Terms of Debate

Daniel Larison writing in the recent on-line issue of The American Conservative makes some trenchant and crucial points with respect to the terms "Islamofascism" and "Islamophobia" in his recent article. A sample:
Like the perjorative term from which it derives, Islamofascism means whatever the person deploying it wants it to mean. It is ultimately not an attempt at description or explanation but a demon word designed to generate visceral, irrational reaction. This is precisely the opposite of the careful, deliberate, and informed responses we need to cultivate. And since it obscures the actual nature of jihadism, it is not simply a crime against the English language but a dangerous source of misunderstanding.
“Islamophobia” is a word favored by both jihadist apologists and the conventional enforcers of “tolerance” and opponents of “hate speech.” Attributing acts of violence to Islam, criticizing practices in Islamic countries, or even associating the name of Islam with crimes carried out in its name draw the charge. It, like other thought-policing labels, is a tool for defining the limits of speech and shutting down critical thinking while securing select groups from reasonable inquiry and political opposition. The term implies irrational fear and loathing and classes an entire perspective as nothing more than hatred, denying to critics of jihadism their rationality and so denigrating them as being less than fully human. Control of debate, indeed, control over whether there will even be a debate, is the goal.
"Term Limits", the title of his article, is a rather unfortunate choice of words, as it is intended to be a witty means of describing the way the terms of the debate over Islam serve to limit the scope and direction of that debate. Thinking instead that it was referring to a tired issue pertaining to domestic office-holders, I almost skipped the article entirely. I'm glad I didn't.


najistani said...

Here in Britainistan we're coming to the end of the lavishly petrodollar-funded ISLAM AWARENESS WEEK, with the 'Religion of Peace' message being proclaimed throughout our schools and colleges. Every British child now knows that 'Islam means Peace' and that Muslims cannot possibly have carried out the terrorist attacks for which they've been blamed, and they're bringing home the glossy booklets to prove it to their bigoted Islamophobic parents. Allah Akhbar!!!!

So as my own humble underfunded contribution to Islam Awareness Week, I've compiled a list of Islamically Aware blogs which allow unrestricted comments and are active as of 24-NOV-2007 . Let us go forth and share Islam Awareness throughout the blogosphere!!!

Emerson Twain said...


please repost so the links are active, and I will delete your original post as the posted links are static.

kind regards, Emerson Twain