Opinion: On Islamophobia and other forms of racism
Several days ago I posted a translation of several questions from an interview with René Danen, chairman of Nederland Bekent Kleur, an anti-discrimination group.
There were a few important issues brought up in the interview, but unfortunately, I feel that Danen didn't face up to those issues.
Danen was asked a very important question: Where is the boundary between Islamophobia and strong criticism of Islam due to (just) fear?
His answer was that since criticism of Islam is used today to attack all Muslims, it's incitement. In other words, there are "excesses which justly deserve strong criticism", but they can't be expressed, due to the political climate.
Asked about Wilders' opinion specifically, Danen said that anything Wilders says is colored by his racist perceptions, and therefore he can't agree with anything he says.
And so, for example, if Saudi Arabia permits a marriage between a 10 year old girl and an 80 year old man, and authorities do not stand up for the 'bride' when she runs away, you're not allowed to voice criticism. Does Danen really believe that by not voicing criticism of obvious wrongs he's helping fight anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe?
Danen said as follows: "All forms of discrimination and racism are just as reprehensible."
This is true. But his group only deals with discrimination and racism against minorities. If Danen really believes what he says, I'd like to see him express this view next time there's an anti-White/anti-Dutch incident.
Comparing Islamophobia and Antisemitism, Danen says: "In the media and politics it's mostly Islamophobia and discrimination of Muslims which currently predominate."
This is also true, if you compare anti-Muslim sentiments and old-fashioned anti-Jewish sentiments. However, antisemites today are more likely to voice their antisemitic opinion using Israel as cover. Antisemitism might not be common in the media and politics, but it's just fine for a columnist or politician to say that Israel, the Jewish state, should be dismantled, or that parts of Israel should be ethnically cleansed of Jews.
In other words, Danen is fighting all forms of discrimination and racism, except when he doesn't. Which is a very unfortunate position for an anti-discrimination group.