Let’s Be Clear

There was an article in yesterday’s Times about friction between European Muslims and their host culture. In it we find the following:

Youcef Mammeri, a writer on Islam in France and member of the Joint Council of Muslims of Marseille, says that the debates over minarets, burqas and national identity have angered many French-born Muslims and brought them together in a defensive circle.

Asked about the source of “this anxiety about Islam,” Mr. Mammeri said: “I ask myself this same question.” He finds “a perverse aspect to all these questions asked Muslims, which are not coherent,” he said, but “liberate and dignify existing racism” and “stigmatize Muslims.”

Racism in France has moved from being anti-Arab to anti-Muslim, he said, “a terrible regression.”

And a terrible confusion — perpetuated, unsurprisingly, by the Times. Opposition to the Islamization of Europe has little to do with race; it is more akin to opposition to, say, Maoism. Both are systems of ideas, and both are expansionist, totalizing ideologies. What is at issue is not Europe’s relationship with this or that Muslim, or group of Muslims, but rather with Islam itself, a highly stable and well-replicating meme-plex of which any person, of any race whatsoever, can be a carrier. It is the increasingly conspicuous implantation of this alien complex of ideas and customs — one that is fundamentally at odds with the cultural and philosophical foundations of Western civilization — on their home soil that Europeans are alarmed about. What it is not is racism.

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  1. You Islamophobic racist!

    Jeffery Hodges

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    Posted December 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  2. howsurprising says


    That’s about sums it up, doesn’t it. Our Mr. Waka Waka Waka man has abandoned all pretense.

    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Pretense? Moi?

    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  4. Actually, I go by “Jeffery,” and my remark was tongue in cheek. Malcolm is right on this point. Criticizing Islam is not racism, nor is it intrinsically pathological, as the expression “Islamophobic” implies. There is plenty to rationally critique in Islam.

    Jeffery Hodges

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    Posted January 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Thank you, Jeffery.

    Posted January 3, 2010 at 1:35 am | Permalink