Feb 23 2007
Another righteous rant against Islamophobia blots the pages of Vancouver’s Georgia Straight.
“Islamophobia is the way in which the Muslim community is constructed as an enemy, a civilizational other,” Itrath Syed, an SFU women’s studies sessional instructor is quoted in the piece. “[It’s] the idea that Muslims as a whole are completely homogenous unto themselves, there is no differentiation between Muslims. As a whole, Muslims occupy the opposite of everything that is good in the West.”
The article goes on to condemn Canadian legislation and policy targeting terrorism, which is seen as a weapon to persecute Muslims. Columnist Carlito Pablo and his source’s concern about racist fearmongering is undoubtedly as sincere as it is misplaced.
Canada’s terror legislation didn’t appear out of a vacuum. Muslims as a group are indeed more feared and suspect than other Western minority groups – but this is not owing to some anti-Muslim conspiracy.
Of the countless terror attacks on Western cities, aircraft and favored tourist destinations in the past four decades, it is almost invariably Muslim extremists such as Al Queda responsible.
That this puts a harsh burden of suspicion on perfectly innocent Muslims in our multicultural nation is awful. But to pretend that this fear and suspicion has no legitimate basis, and that the resulting public policy lacks any sense of scale or justice, is perverse.