Now that Kamala has decreed that henceforth we shall have to refer to the alarming spike in Jew hatred across the USA as “Islamophobia”, it might be time to examine what that term could mean.
Like the late messrs Hitchens and Amis, I do occasionally sympathise with the perspective which regards all monotheistic religion as a dangerous form of mental derangement, for no matter how much love is preached, the embryonic potential for hate always lurks. These are totalist not pluralist worlviews at heart.
I do however divert from the more extreme Islamo-paranoia of the above mentioned dead white men, for they failed to acknowledge in themselves the secular sin of xenophobia, which prevented them from fully emphasising how this rather nasty strain of political Islam we’re up against today is as much (if not more) the West’s own fault as it is that of the ‘other’ civilization we have long rubbed up against — and the ethnic makeup of its adherents, ultimately not all that relevant — just as it wasn’t before with fascists and communists.
Hitchens warned of the way Mohammed had declared his revelation to be both final and superior. Yet there is probably nothing especially pernicious in that, at least until the notion is hitched to a death cult. Then it acquires properties that can be usefully compared to the Nazi concept of the Master Race.
But it was such not a death cult that built the Alhambra (though quite a few deaths did occur inside that building.)
Modern day Islamism had to absorb western apocalyptic dogmas, that toxic effluent of our Enlightenment, in order to become the antagonist within and without into which it has evolved into today. (Another intriguing layer to this is that very Enlightenment might never have taken the form that it did, had not medieval Muslim scholars rescued the Greeks, so to speak.)
It would also be worth mentioning that Islam has always been at least partially western in its construction — from the get go a self-conscious reformulation of the best and the worst of what came before in the Mediterranean.
Its most urgent original objectives were that gobbling up of the ancient wisdom of the Europeans in the form of the surviving texts of Plato, Aristotle etc. and to conquer and subjugate the spiritual hot-spot of Judeo-Christian civilisation, Jerusalem.
‘Zionism’, that partial re-ensnarement of King David’s city in the last 70 odd years by one of those peoples of the book supposedly superseded by the Ummah centuries ago, presents the greatest challenge to this ideological complex — at once hypocritically colonialist and chauvinistic — since the collapse of the crusader states.
Having passed through its Nietzsche moment, the West no longer really cares about Jerusalem, a “shining city on the hill” which has gone back to being what it was before Pope Urban unleashed the Crusades, a wishy-washy metaphor (at least outside that other dodgy cult of evangelical Protestantism).
This is one reason why younger westerners are now vulnerable to a presentation of the terms of this engagement that includes both distortions from Marxist mythologising of history and a disguising of the key existential issues.
Meanwhile for Jews, Jerusalem remains fundamental as a located sanctuary for their ancient identity — and to a subset of Muslims, the carriers of the al-Aqsar mind virus, as the visible guarantee of their promised final triumph over all other identities, ancient or otherwise.
There is perhaps no absolute right or wrong to this, but if liberal westerners value their freedoms and lifestyle choices, they absolutely cannot afford to march alongside the Jihadis — and a case can be made that they should be supporting Zionist Jerusalem as they have thus far supported Ukrainian Kiev, as if their lives depend on it, for in a very real sense, they do.
Anti-Semitism is harder to tackle via vice-presidential initiative. Even though it has very specific targets, it is usually a surrogate for something else in the culture.
Anti-Zionism is the meta form, surrogate for a surrogate, but if the Federal government were to move against that, they'd have to admit the existence of a political strain within Islam against which we should all be developing an appropriate phobia for the purposes of group survival. And they'd have to say so.
So "Islamophobia" will remain awkwardly open, like "Transphobia", allowing people with legitimate fact-based opinions to be legally harassed. Women's rights are undoubtedly threatened by both of these catch-all phrases, but the authorities are giving up policing the bleeding, truthful edges of such issues and would rather we all just shut up in the interests of better "community relations". There's no real future in that policy.