This letter was submitted by a reader and written in response to a silly piece that appeared in the London Free press, a town the SJW author would have us believe is beset by “The Tragedy of Islamophobia”.
The article in question…Closer to home than you think
A letter of rebuttal to what was considered misplaced advocacy exposing all that is wrong with social justice warriors. Please find the response.
Greetings from London. I must take issue with your opinion piece of July 08,2016 regarding Islamophobia in London. A graduate student in politics, you assume to have your pulse on London based bigotry and racial intolerance. In my opinion you are seriously misinformed.
Public debate and discussion regarding various theologies and the questioning of certain religious practices whether (Christian Judaic or Islamic et al) as well as appropriate discussion of varied religious texts does not equate to a definition of phobia or being phobic, such as Islamophobic. Clare, you need to understand this basic maxim before you “pretend” to understand supposed systemic marginalization and racism towards a specified community. In your apparent advocacy role you not only denigrate the community you so want to advocate for but you cavalierly cast aspersions on your home town. You succeed in exaggerating an unwanted division between the Muslim community and those other communities that reside in London.
Let us get some basic facts straight.
1. Gina Kayssi of the Muslim Resource Centre is quoted by you as saying ” ….there is a reluctance, or unwillingness, to understand that there is a lot of racism and Islamophobia on the ground, there in London.” Gina offers no specific incidents or verifiable reports of such claims or any opportunity to respond to the same in a reasonable manner. This kind of reporting merely incites conflict between varied groups and denigrates efforts which encourage true multiculturalism. Gina had no business making such anecdotal claims, if indeed she was quoted correctly. Her seemingly biased reports and obvious efforts at “religious baiting” will be taken up with her directly through the MRCSSI.
Much the same response was the given reaction to the publication of a recent letter of complaint from a particular group of Syrian refugees. The letter succeeded in exacerbated unreasonable concerns regarding the London Cross Cultural Learning Centre and its commitment to providing appropriate shelter,food and even medical care for the parties in their care. The LCCLC attempted to address these issues. Was this response Islamophobic?
2. Clare you go on to report a further anecdotal claim made by Gina Kayssi (remember a community engagement facilitator at the Muslim Family Resource Centre) who now reports (third hand) how a friend was “stalked” in a London public library, apparently because she was wearing a hijab (not even a niqab or a burqa) and was forced to seek shelter in a public washroom until help arrived. Please Clare, when did this incident occur? What library? Did the alleged victim report concerns to library staff? Were police called? These are all important issues overlooked by you in your zealous efforts to confirm Islamophobia in London. Again, Gina had no business making such a claim without some collaborative evidence. This concern will be addressed to Gina at MRCSSI directly.
3. Clare,your efforts to define Islamophobia may be well meaning in intent but your understanding is again contradicted when your opinions are subjected to intellectual scrutiny. You claim that Islamophobia can be anything ” ….from a deliberate assault to making another human being feel uncomfortable because of their religious associations.” Physical assaults are one thing but feeling “uncomfortable” because of a cultural or religious association is completely contradictory to holding any ideological position whether political or religious. There is always some discomfort experienced by different groups be they liberals, unitarians or rosicrucians and yes, even Muslims and Christians. Also “feelings” as you are well aware are highly subjective and their claims subject to empirical veracity can be frequently questioned.
4. Your friend Dalal Atta apparently confirms your notions regarding the nuances of racial hostility when her mother experiences (apparently unwanted) glances resulting from the supposed wearing of a hijab. By the way it was merely a generation ago when every self respecting Canadian woman wore a headscarf when attending any ecclesiastical gathering. Many have described the full religious habits of many western religious orders as being similar to full Muslim hijab or khimar. This claim is anecdotal at best and subject to all sorts of counter claims by any Londoner who has been “glanced” at because they wore something slightly out of the ordinary.Islamophobia?
5. Your efforts to exaggerate and appeal to hyperbole on the issue did not go unnoticed.The incident you use to support your allegation that Islamophobia is alive and well in London has only been reported in hearsay allegations by an alleged victim and family. A previously reported one may have added more credibility to your argument. Few facts have yet been substantiated and as you are aware hate charges were not laid. The criminal trial ( with all the facts) has yet to take place. You were able to suggest a young mother and Muslim woman was “….attacked, surrounded by silent bystanders….(and) was spat on and punched until she was black-eyed and chip-toothed.” You have no idea what the the true facts are surrounding the incident except words from the alleged victim. We are aware of some factual discrepancies and it is disingenuous of you to claim bystanders were silent. We do know the alleged perpetrator’s name, that she has some mental health problems and that she speaks farsi. Why do you purposely claim Islamophobia and subsequent infer a hate crime.
You quote Martin Niemoller and the recognizable wrings of the German Lutheran pastor. To imply that Londoners need to own supposed claims of bigotry and racism goes beyond the pale. Clare, you are unable to describe any incidents suggesting Islamophobia other than an appeal to anecdotal reports that any community group could also appeal to.The Niemoller quote is way out of context. Niemoller was writing in response to the rise of Naziism, the holocaust and the rampant anti semitism presented by the the political system he encountered.
Clare,for you to infer that London and the Muslim community are subject to comparable circumstances raised in Nazi Germany suggests a level of political and historical incompetence. You insult so many of the Londoners in your opinions including members of the Muslim community. Please save your indignation and moral outrage for genuine issues of concern. To some degree all communities are capable of displaying bigotry and racism. Muslims by definition are not marginalized. Newcomers of any religious or political background probably are.