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Does Anti-Islamism Reflect Anti-Semitism?

Congressional hearing, lobbying push begs the question

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Pamela Geller.(Wikipedia)

Today, Politico reports that several groups have coalesced around New York Rep. Peter King’s congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization in America to try “to transform anti-Islam crusading into a mainstream lobbying effort.” Among the leaders of this effort is Pamela Geller, a Jewish woman who is among contributing editor Jeff Goldberg’s chief bêtes noires. But the broader trend is a welcome occasion to revisit an article Daniel Luban published in Tablet Magazine last year arguing that anti-Islam rhetoric reflected logic that used to be deployed by anti-Semites. “Many of the tropes of classic anti-Semitism have been revived and given new force on the American right,” Luban argued.

Once again jingoistic politicians and commentators posit a religious conspiracy breeding within Western society, pledging allegiance to an alien power, conspiring with allies at the highest levels of government to overturn the existing order. Because the propagators of these conspiracy theories are not anti-Semitic but militantly pro-Israel, and because their targets are not Jews but Muslims, the ADL and other Jewish groups have had little to say about them. But since the election of President Barack Obama, this Islamophobic discourse has rapidly intensified.

Anti-Islamic Groups Go Mainstream [Politico]
Related: The New Anti-Semitism [Tablet Magazine]

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Carl says:

The difference is that in the case of Islam it’s true and in the case of the Jews it’s not. How many terror attacks and foiled terror attacks were carried out by Moslems inspired by their beliefs? and how many by Jews? Although its not PC it is the reality.

westie says:

Anyone that is Jeff Goldberg’s chief bêtes noires gets a big ‘You Go Girl’ from me. Ms. Geller certainly wears her anti-Islamic badge bravely so what does that say about the cowardly Jeff Goldberg?

Moshe says:

I wanted to contemplate the wisdom of Luban’s article while sipping coffee during breakfast at “Windows on the World”.

There is, of course, a big distinction between being legitimately worried about religious fundamentalists who are willing to use violence to advance their ideology, and believing absurd conspiracy theories.

But the real test is when once looks at the most recent FBI hate crime statistics:

When one considers, say, legitimate national security concerns about Al Qaeda, Iran, or The Muslim Brotherhood, or even the irrational beliefs of the “birthers” we simply don’t see that reflected in anti-Islamic hate crimes stats (8.4% of victims of anti-religious hate crimes), while we continue to see that Jews (71.9% of anti-religious hate crimes) are the most targeted religious group in the relatively tolerant U.S.

Mark Gold says:

luban sounds like an idiot, per the obvious difference that the islamists publicly state their genocidal goals, when the Jews never did [as that idea was only a figment of the antsemites’ hatred].

You do certainly have instances of people who could be fairly called “Islamophobes” in that their beliefs are irrational, uninformed, and bigoted who have done nothing more than recycle standard anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and replaced the Judaism-specific words with Islam-specific words, but those folk seem not to be really effective at getting their ideas accepted.

Essentially, this Islamophobia is neither sufficiently widespread, nor sufficiently virulent, to really be seen as a “new antisemitism.”


Ever hear of something called the Tomb of the Patriarchs massacre? Or how about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin?

Those are two, but I know there are more.

What you are trying to set up is what we call a “double standard.”



Carl says:

Yes Matthew I’ve heard of both. The tomb of the Patriarchs massacre was an isolated incident and the vast majority of Israeli condemned it. The Palestinians on the other hand celebrate terrorists who murder innocent civilians and name events and squares after them. The Rabin murder was a political assassination. Are you trying to deny that more than 90% of the terrorist acts carried out in the world today are carried out by Moslems?


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Does Anti-Islamism Reflect Anti-Semitism?

Congressional hearing, lobbying push begs the question

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