THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MUSLIM ISLAMOPHOBE.
There are of course, some ex-Muslims and “reformed” Muslims among us who speak and publish misinformed notions about Islam and Muslims. To complicate the murky waters, they may even publicly denounce well- known Islamophobes who unashamedly misrepresents facts about Islam and Muslims in their own version of unadulterated hatred but ultimately, their words and shared values are as aligned as it can be, making them “Muslim-Islamophobes” from among us – people with Muslim names.
Not just Sajid Tarar, who heads up Muslims for Donald Trump or Palestine-born, Washington-based immigration lawyer, Kamal Nawash, who is just as fond of Trump along with his hate-mongering acolytes or up to 4 percent of registered Muslim voters who curiously casted their ballots for none other than Trump, according to a survey conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in October 2016.
Regrettably, these individuals and groups have curiously given the appearance of normalcy to a President that has thus far, relied on dog-whistle politics when it comes to Islam and ordinary Muslims, providing the Trump administration with a token cover for their ongoing bigotry against minorities, admittedly not just Muslims.
While it is easy to point the finger at non-Muslims who level unfair criticisms about Islam and promote suspicions of ordinary Muslims but to truly combat Islamophobia, it is important we acknowledge the presence of such misguided self-professed “reformed” Muslims in our midst.
“Muslims” who are unwitting allies of barbaric monsters like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (reportedly dead), whose three-pronged objective apart from (I) wrecking global carnage is to divide Muslims against each other similar: (II) to individuals with Muslim names in the West whose actions such as supporting fascist Trump who does not see a problem brazenly smearing all Muslims with the taint of extremism via misinformation and thus, has contributed greatly to “mainstreaming Islamophobia”; & (III) or individuals with Muslim names who promote falsities such as “noxious ideas embraced by ISIS are [somehow] shielded within our medieval texts” by cherry picking verses, ironically ignoring Qur’an 3:7 which refers to these people as “perverse” by declaring, “. . . those in whose hearts is perversity seek discord and wrong interpretation of [the Qur’an].”
BUT “REFORMED” MUSLIMS HELP ORDINARY MUSLIMS.
Writers and public speakers that rely on one-dimensional thinking and who claim to be Muslims or “former” or “reformed” Muslims including Ali Ayaan Hirshi, Fouad Ajami and some others with Muslim names who often find themselves in this ever-expanding paradigm fall within this category but:
“While they attempt to couch their language in the terms of pure critique of religious thought, in practice they exhibit many of the same tendencies toward generalisation & ethno-racial condescension as did their predecessors, particularly in their descriptions of Muslims”. (Source: Scientific racism, militarism, and the new atheists on 2 April 2013 by Murtaza Hussain, Aljazeera) however it is important to point out it is dishonest to suggest all former Muslims are against Muslims and Islam.
There are many ex-Muslims who no longer practice Islam but do not go out of their way to pick on Muslims or unfairly criticise Islam or any other religion. Similarly, there are atheists that are tolerant and some that are not. In essence, there is no one size that fits all.
BUT “REFORMED” MUSLIMS ARE BRAVE TO POINT OUT WHAT MOST ISLAMIC LEADERS ARE OFTEN TOO SHY TO ACKNOWLEDGE.
False. These Muslim activists are all deeply concerned about the future of Islam if left in the ownership of its most extreme adherents. In aligning themselves with supporters of the Islam-hostile industry, as part of a high-risk attempt to enact change in how Islam is practised and perceived, they have earned the rancour and distrust of the majority of Muslims . . . In the end, the embrace of the Islamophobia industry is an untrustworthy one. Muslim activists who hope to create meaningful dialogue will find their experiences exploited by a system that, in truth, cares little for meaningful dialogue – in the fine words of Bina Shah, an opinion writer for the International New York Times in an article titled “The high-risk strategy of Muslim reformers. From Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Maajid Nawaz, the Islamophobia industry preys on the painful experiences of Muslim” by Bina Shah, 25 September 2015.
WHAT DO “REFORMED” MUSLIMS HAVE TO GAIN FROM CRITICISING MUSLIMS?
Like renowned Islamophobes today, these former or “reformed” Muslims and Islamophobes depend on the multi-million dollar Islamophobia network for their book sales, speaking engagements and think-tank funding, not so different from the methods used by the Islamophobes at the time of Muhammad (PBUH) who were only concerned about maintaining their lifestyle through the business of trade and tourism via false idol worship from across the Arabian peninsula into Mecca.
In fact, the Islamophobes at the time of Muhammad (PBUH) are known to have tried offering him gold equivalent to his weight and even used his uncle, Abu Talib as an intermediary for negotiations (similar to how funding, grants and public spotlight is offered to certain “reformed Muslims” with anti-Islam views today).
When all else failed including verbal and physical threats – Abu Jahal, one of the leaders and one of Muhammad (PBUH)’s most vocal opponent devised a plot nominating a strong person from each tribe to be given a sharp sword to assassinate Muhammad (PBUH). By doing so, the blood would be on all tribes and given how the small group of Muslims would not be able to fight back against all tribes, they would be forced to take blood money (cash settlement), which the wealthy Islamophobes would have been very happy to pay and settle to get rid of their problem.
Similarly today, the misinformation campaign includes the planting of false myths about many misinterpreted beliefs in Islam by certain “reformed Muslims” who ally themselves to the agenda of the anti-Islam industry. This being one such strategy employed to plant the seeds of division among Muslims.
It is one thing to discredit or correct a wrong stated by an Islamophobe. It is a whole new level when the smearing and purposeful misinformation is spewed by a former or “reformed” Muslim, for the sake of a money and worldly benefits.