Free speech is an essential element of any free society. Both Britain and the United States officially provide constitutional protection for free speech. However, as with so many other supposed constitutional protections, free speech is now only selectively protected. In its place, bigots challenge many forms of speech under the guise of political correctness. Surprisingly, in Western nations so recently subjected to Islamic terrorism, concerns expressed about the danger posed to human life by militant Muslims meet with increasing hostility by the race relations industry and by politicians who thrive on campaign contributions from such sources.
A recent example of such attempted speech suppression was a statement delivered last week in Britain by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, and a Muslim. In an address delivered at Leicester University, Baroness Warsi attacked the growth of Islamophobia in Britain, arguing that its flames were fanned by bigotry and religious ignorance. The Baroness is entitled to her opinion. In my judgment, however, she is dangerously ill-informed.
If Islamophobia means anything at all, it means an irrational, baseless and pathological terror of Islam, the religion. Those of us who currently enjoy the many freedoms provided by western democracy have every reason to fear Islam as a religion.
Theocratic Islam is incompatible with democracy, demanding supremacy of sharia (Islamic law) over the democratic rule of law. It imposes upon society a patriarchal suppression of women, including their inequality under sharia law. It demands medieval punishments for apostasy, adultery and even theft, including death by stoning and the severing of limbs. It insists upon a cruel form of animal slaughter. It calls for violence and anti-Semitism from within its so-called sacred texts. In its most extremist manifestations, it calls for a permanent jihad against all non-believers, until they are terminated.
A recent British study by Policy Exchange shows that 37 percent of British-born Muslims, aged 14-24, advocate the imposition of sharia law across Britain, 37 percent would like to send their children to Islamic state schools, and 36 percent believe that any Muslim who converts to another faith should be punished by death. These numbers demonstrate dramatically that Islamic enemies of individual freedom are already well-embedded across Britain.
What many non-Islamists feel is an entirely rational anxiety or fear of Islam for the beliefs that it upholds and for the mayhem that some of its adherents are willing to impose on non-believers. Care and caution in watching closely over the behavior of Muslim conclaves, especially those who frequent mosques known to be led by fiery Imams, is rational and wise. For, unlike Christianity, Islam does not advocate that those who suffer perceived harm should turn the other cheek. Islam is a violent, not a peaceful religion as it is interpreted by extremist factions. And extremist factions are tolerated, if not lauded, across the Muslim populations of Britain and the United States.
Hat Tip: Minette Marrin, ‘It’s not a phobia – it’s rational to fear Islam’, The Sunday Times, January 23, 2011