The Islamic Human Rights Commission organises the annual Islamphobia Awards, and have revealed the nominations for this year’s awards. It seems to me though that the following people have done more to stoke up Islamophobia than many of the nominations listed there:
- The organisers and participants of this rally responding to the publications of cartoons of Mohammed outside Regents Park Mosque in February, which called for the beheading of those who insult Islam, threatened Europe with a real Holocaust and included the chant “Denmark, USA, 7/7/ on its way”.
- The rioters who torched embassies in response to the Danish cartoons.
- The people who issued death threats against the cartoonists and who placed bounties on the cartoonists’ heads.
- The people issuing death threats against Robert Redeker, driving him into hiding, after he wrote a column critical is Islam for the French newspaper “La Figaro”.
- Anjem Choudary who called for the Pope (and indeed anyone who “insulted Islam”) to be executed, after one of the Pope’s speeches was deemed to have insulted Islam, for its use of this quotation from a Byzantine Emperor: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”. Note that the Pope did not endorse this view of Mohammed in his speech, rather he used the quotation to kick off a discussion about violence and religion.
Surely, by conforming to the stereotype of the angry intolerant Muslim, who will threaten, if not carry out, acts of violence over any perceived insult to their religion, these people have been stoking up Islamophobia far more effectively than e.g. Jack Straw asking Muslim women to remove their veils or the Pope using an ancient quotation during a speech?