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Fight the Islamophobia Excuse

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Abdur Rahman Mohammed, a former Brotherhood operative, recorded being present at a Brotherhood meeting where the members decided to use the term “Islamophobia” as a political weapon. “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliché conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of being down critics,” he later remarked.

Two recent events highlight how the term “islamophobia” is used to try and silence critics of radical Islam.

The president of a Minnesota university’s undergrad student government was recently outed for his anti-Semitic posts on social media. His response has been to lash out at his detractors, saying he is the victim of an “Islamophobic smear campaign.

”Student body president Mayzer Muhammed’s accusation comes after receiving numerous negative messages through his social media accounts.Muhammed, a student at St. Paul’s University of St. Thomas, a Muslim and a previous president of the his college’s chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked group, the Muslim Students Association, tweeted “yahood [Jews] will get what coming for them [sic].”

His comment, made in a tweet during the last Gaza War in 2014, was called out by the campus watch organization Canary Mission.

In the years that followed the post, Muhammed has shared a number of on social media slanderous claims and videos about Israel, saying that Israel is “murdering innocent people every day,” and that supporters of Israel are “the scum of the earth.”

In a similar recent incident, a Georgetown professor of Islamic studies lecture was pilloried for a lecture he gave condoning Islamic slavery and nonconsensual sex (academic lingo for “rape”). Yet, Foreign Policy magazine published a defense of him titled, The Making of Islamophobia Inc.: A well-funded network is trying to strip the right to speak away from American Muslims and fanning the politics of fear.

In the lecture, Professor Jonathon Brown, a convert to Islam, declared, “It’s not immoral for one human to own another human.”As for the permissibility under Islam of sex with a slave, Brown said, “Consent isn’t necessary for lawful sex” and goes on to dig at the overrated concept of autonomy over one’s own body, saying our society is “obsessed with the idea of autonomy and consent.”In the Foreign Policy article defending Brown, author Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian trots out Brown’s victim status, essentially saying he is the target of the Islamophobes.

“Brown’s attempts to explain the faith have made him a hate figure for the American right. A flood of articles accuse him of being an apologist for slavery and rape,” she writes.

In these two cases, as in many more similar ones, cries of Islamophobia are being used to stop the conversation and prevent the accused persons from “owning” their offensive comments.

Calling out radical Islam — in whatever form it takes — is not Islamophobic. It’s a responsibility of every moral person concerned with human rights.

Watch Raheel Raza “own” her comments about radical Islam.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org