This African-American Muslim convert's remarks were made last year in response to the fracas over the "Ground Zero mosque," but they bear repeating, as this "loathsome term" continues to be used in the precise manner that he deplores. Here is what Abdur-Rahman Muhammad - a former imam of a mosque - says of the word "Islamophobia":
"This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics."
He also says the question of whether or not America is "Islamophobic" is "deeply offensive," explaining that America has allowed Muslims to live freely.
Let us get one thing straight: Barring difficulties in fund-raising, the Park51 project, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" will be built. Despite the fact that roughly 70% of the American people oppose it, U.S. laws ensure that not even the project's most bitter foes will be able to stop it.
That's the reason why the question of whether America is "Islamophobic" - now bandied about so casually, as though opposition to the mosque has revealed a nasty strain in the American psyche, akin to the terrible racism or anti-Semitism that once ran wild - is so deeply offensive. This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.
Muslims are everywhere in this country, doing practically everything. There are Muslim doctors, lawyers and businessmen - like Park51 developer Sharif El-Gamal, who went from waiting tables just a few years ago to being a multimillionaire. There are Muslim soldiers and CIA agents.
Could this be possible if America were Islamophobic?
Good question. Who exactly is "America?" America is made up of people from all over the world, including millions of Muslims - are they too "American Islamophobes?" Muhammad continues:
Muslims have approximately 2,000 mosques across America, of which many have adjoining schools. Muslim children often receive the most elite educations this country has to offer. (My thoughts here go to convicted terrorist supporter Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arian railed against America from a cushy teaching position in Florida; his daughter later earned a master's degree from Columbia, and his son is working toward a Ph.D. from Georgetown.
Surveys have shown that Muslims in this country are above average in both education and living standards. They are living the American Dream. Nothing and no one can (or should) legally bar them from what Abraham Lincoln called "the right to rise."
Given all this, how did the narrative of "oppression" and so called "Islamophobia" take root so strongly among American Muslims?
Muhammad then goes on to describe the large numbers of Muslim immigrants who began arriving in the U.S. in the 1960s and how they aligned with the Nation of Islam, founded by black Americans. He also discusses the rare episodes of true bigotry, and remarks:
But is there any consistent pattern of systemic discrimination akin to what other groups have seen at other periods in American history? Absolutely not.
Black Muslim leadership has foisted an ideology of victimization on immigrant Muslims, and it has stuck....
Concerning the use of the loathsome term "Islamophobia" to shut up critics of the Ground Zero mosque in specific, Muhammad asserts that it is "an attempt to conflate all opposition to this particular mosque with blanket hatred of the Muslim religion." He then concludes: "That's a devious tactic, and it must not succeed."
I agree, obviously, although there are sound, sane and scientific reasons to be critical of the Muslim religion, so even that sentiment is not "Islamophobic." But let us inspect what Muhammad contended in the first comment highlighted here: "This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics." I concur wholeheartedly, as I have been saying precisely that for quite a while now. Indeed, I will add that its use represents the mark of a very poor intellect.
Where exactly did this loathsome term "Islamophobia" come from? In a speech at Capitol Hill in 2010, this "moderate Muslim" revealed more details of the word's creation:
In an effort to silence critics of political Islam, advocates needed to come up with terminology that would enable them to portray themselves as victims. Muhammad said he was present when his then-allies, meeting at the offices of the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) in Northern Virginia years ago, coined the term "Islamophobia."
Muhammad said the Islamists decided to emulate the homosexual activists who used the term "homophobia" to silence critics. He said the group meeting at IIIT saw "Islamophobia" as a way to "beat up their critics."
"...groups like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA...are the fifth column..."
The ex-imam further said that "the government has got to stop legitimizing groups like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA... I'm telling you, these people are the fifth column.... It's got to get to the point where these groups are seen as pariahs on Capitol Hill." Oh Peter King, perhaps you should take a look at Muhammad's testimony? It is clear that the word "Islamophobia" has been struck upon by Islamic supremacists and jihadis bent on bringing about their plotted global caliphate.
In the first video below, Muhammad also asserts - correctly, in my opinion - that, right or wrong, the Ground Zero mosque will be seen as a triumph for bin Laden in the Muslim world, as a "miracle" wrought by Allah.