Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Not spending so much time on the blog recently, I've had more time to do research. Some of this has involved ploughing through old newspaper archives. One of the topics that interested me was the origins of the term 'Islamophobia'.

Although in everyday use now, the term seems to have been unknown prior to the 1990s. Before 1997, a search of an extensive newspaper archive turns up only 7 uses of it, 5 of them in the Guardian, one in the Observer and one in the Independent. The usual suspects, then.

The earliest use of the term was in a letter published in the Guardian on September 27, 1994. This letter was written in response to a Suzanne Moore article titled 'A lesson in mish-mash morality', which had been published on September 22, 1994.

Here are some excerpts from the article.
Ninety-five per cent of schools inspected last year were not holding Christian assemblies. So what has replaced them? It is not that Onward Christian Soldiers has been replaced by the Black Mass - that would be far too definite - but most kids are now subject to the vague moral mish-mash propagated in the name of multiculturalism.

In practice, faith has become a pick'n'mix affair and all religions are presented as equally valid. Songs which offend no one are sung. My daughter used to sing We All Live In A Yellow Submarine and Rod Stewart's Sailing in her assemblies. My three-year-old is convinced we are Muslims because she has 'done' Ramadan at nursery and thinks we should be doing it at home.

...The nativity play at her old school where many of the kids were Muslims was a spectacle to behold. We were celebrating the birth of a very special baby. No names, no pack drill. No mention of why this baby was special. A prophet was in there, somewhere. Obviously.

...In private few of us let Jehovah's Witnesses into our homes because we think they are nutters. Not all religions are the same, not all of them are tolerant. People kill each other over these beliefs. Let's not pretend that Islam is a cosy little belief system in the multiple choice approach to world religion. Let's talk about Islam as it is lived if you are a 12-old-girl or a gay man, for instance. The blanding out of cultural difference into a range of equal opportunity festivals doesn't fool anyone any of the time. Those children brought up in religious homes will feel secure in their beliefs anyway, those who are not will cobble something together like the rest of us. For while multiculturalism recognises culture only as some kind of ethnic property, it cannot recognise the culture that produced it.
This produced the following letter:
If Suzanne Moore had written 'All religions are not the same. People kill each other over these beliefs. Let's not pretend that Judaism is a cosy little belief system . . . ' there would have been an immediate, and wholly justified, outcry from the Jewish community. Antisemitism, though regrettably far from dead, is at least no longer acceptable in Britain.

But in fact she wrote it of Islam. And Islamophobia is alive and well. Prejudiced talk about Muslims and Islam is widespread, not just from the far right but also from mainstream politicians and commentators of both right and left, including secular liberals such as Ms Moore.

Probably not even apologists would claim that all Muslims live up to the high ideals of Islam, any more than all Jews live up to those of Judaism; but that does not make it any more acceptable to speak of Islam in Ms Moore's undifferentiated and hostile manner.

She wants her children to know more about Christianity. We wish someone had taught her more about Islam before she added her voice to the chorus of Islamophobes in the West.

It may be too much to ask secular liberals to value religion, but let's at least have a bit more tolerance all round.

Saba Risaluddin.

Calamus Foundation.

Richard Stone.

Maimonides Foundation.
After this, the term is not used again until April 1, 1996. It then appears in a Guardian article titled "Muslim leader says Zionists orchestrating 'Islamophobia'" reporting a speech given by the leader of the "Muslim Parliament". Ironically, the Muslim complains about 'Islamophobia' while re-affirming his support for jihad and the murder of Salman Rushdie! Here is the article in full.
A WAVE of 'Islamophobia' orchestrated by Zionists and supported by the Government is sweeping across Britain because of Palestinian terrorism in Israel, the leader of the Muslim parliament claimed yesterday.

Dr Kalim Siddiqui told the 11th session of the parliament in London that he had written to John Major denying British Muslim involvement in the funding of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.He also insisted that Muslims in Britain would continue their fight for Islam in the form of a jihad, or holy war, across the world.

'This campaign of demonising Islam and Muslims in Britain was of the same proportions as the one that was unleashed in the United States in the wake of the bombing of Oklahoma,' said Dr Siddiqui.

'The campaign here followed no bombs in this country, but three bombs in Palestine that shook the Zionist entity. Clearly, the powerful Zionist lobby saw the bombs in Palestine as an opportunity to demonise Muslims in Britain.'

He complained that the Government 'obliged by releasing MI5 dogs at our heels'.

Dr Siddiqui said he felt obliged to write to Mr Major to spell out the role of Muslims in Britain.

'The point I have made absolutely clear to the British Prime Minister is that as Muslims, jihad is an obligation on us. We will support jihad in all parts of the world wherever there is oppression and injustice.'

He also re-emphasised the parliament's support for the seven-year fatwa on Salman Rushdie because of his novel The Satanic Verses.

'We must not take up a defensive position on the fatwa, describing it as merely a 'religious decree'. The fatwa was, and remains, an order that must be carried out as and when it becomes possible to do so,' Dr Siddiqui told the conference.
1996 is the take-off year for the term 'Islamophobia'. A few months later it is used again by the Runnymede Trust.
Distorted attitudes towards Britain's Muslims, particularly in the media, are to be challenged by the first-ever investigation into "Islamophobia".

A Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, to be launched on Monday by the Runnymede Trust, the independent think-tank on race relations, is the first comprehensive attempt to address the concerns of the 1 million-plus Muslims living in Britain.
Source: The Independent, July 20, 1996

Following this commission and the various reports about it in the press, the term "Islamophobia" was launched on its sinister and successful career. It became common currency in Britain. Although used occasionally in North America, it doesn't seem to have taken root there until 2001, not in response to the September 11 attacks as you might expect, but actually even before that.

It looks very much as though the modern use of this term originated in Britain then spread around the world. If we are looking to assign individual responsibility for its creation, the guilty party seems to be Richard Stone. He was one of the authors of the letter written in 1994, which was the first recorded use of the term I can find in the British press, and he was also a member of the Runnymede Trust's Commission on Islamophobia, which promoted widespread use of the term two years later.


Here is some biographical information about Richard Stone I have found in various places.
Dr Richard Stone was on the panel of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (1997-99) as adviser to Sir William Macpherson. He was also on the panel of the 2003-04 David Bennett Inquiry into the death of a black patient during restraint in the medium secure psychiatry unit in Norwich.

He is President of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and vice-chair of the Runnymede Trust.
Founder and co-chair of Alif-Aleph UK (British Muslims and British Jews), Dr Stone is also on the Council and Board of Liberty. He is a member of the Home Office’s Working Groups on Tackling Extremism Together, and chairs the recently re-convened Commission on British Muslims & Islamophobia, originally set up by the Runnymede Trust in 1995.
Source

Richard Stone is a stalwart
of race relations and anti-racism
work – using his expertise and
considerable energy to bring
people together across boundaries
and to connect activism to policy.
as Vice-Chair of Runnymede,
Richard was a leading figure in our
Commission on anti-Semitism,
and on Islamophobia and British
Muslims. His input to these
commissions was always passionate
and he played a considerable
role in ensuring that Runnymede
remained connected to grass
roots organizations and that
hitherto ignored discrimination
against Muslims was given due
attention. Richard was also a
member of the advisory panel to
the Macpherson Inquiry into the
murder of Stephen Lawrence and
used his expertise to also bring
light to discrimination in the mental
health system through the inquiry
he led into the treatment of Rocky
Bennett. Fittingly, he made a major
contribution to Runnymede’s
focus in 2009 on the progress
made since the publication of the
Macpherson report, conducting
his own personal inquiry alongside
it in order to find solutions to the
persistent inequalities. Richard plans
to step back from the number of
activities to enjoy a well-deserved
retirement, though knowing
Richard his ‘retirement’ is unlikely
to be a quiet one.
Source, December 2009

Dr Richard Stone, who is a Patron of the Woolf Institute, was on the panels of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, and of the 2003/04 David Bennett Inquiry into the death of a Black patient in a medium secure psychiatric hospital in Norwich. He was previously senior partner in a five-doctor group practice in Notting Hill and Bayswater, Central London. Vice-chair of the Runnymede Trust he spent 6 years on its Islamophobia Commission, from 2000 to ’04 as chair. He is President of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, and founder and co-chair of Alif-Aleph UK, a group of British Muslims & British Jews.

In 2008 he generously donated £1 million to the Woolf Institute to help establish the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations and since this interview he has in 2010 been awarded an OBE for his public and voluntary service.
Source

Note that he founded the Maimonedes Trust. Maimonedes was a medieval Jewish philosopher who grew up in Muslim-controlled Spain. Multicultists love to quote him as an example of successful convivencia. The truth is that he and his people were brutally persecuted by the Muslims. He himself was forced to flee Spain and possibly even go through the motions of converting to Islam to escape being murdered. He said this of the Arabs, referring to them as 'Ishmael' and to the Jews as 'Israel':
“You know, my brethren, that on account of our sins God has cast us into the midst of this people, the nation of Ishmael, who persecute us severely, and who devise ways to harm us and to debase us… No nation has ever done more harm to Israel. None has matched it in debasing and humiliating us. None has been able to reduce us as they have… We have borne their imposed degradation, their lies, and absurdities, which are beyond human power to bear.”
Source

Interview with Richard Stone below. It's rare to such a perfect example of dhimmitude. He thinks Jews and Muslims need to make common cause against European 'fascists' and wants to recreate "Golden Age Spain" (sic) in Britain.


Richard Stone - originator of the term 'Islamophobia'?

2 comments:

DP111 said...

Its strange that every non-Christian culture wants to create an utopia in the one place they have freedom to do so - in a Christian country, or latterly, where the morals and laws are fashioned by the Christian faith.

Anonymous said...

"perfect example of dhimmitude"

It isn't dhimmitude. Stone wants to use muslims as a group to attack the native Celtic and Germanic people of the British Isles. Muslims will be more like the physical army, while jews like him provide the leadership and ideology.

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