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Friday, August 20, 2010

OIC: Petraeus Guilty of Islamophobia

by Nathaniel Sugarman • Aug 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) labeled Gen. David Petreaus's counter-insurgency manual a "manifestation of Islamophobia" in their latest bulletin. The bulletin includes text from an article titled "Petraeus wrote anti-Islamic manual" published by the Iranian news organization, PressTV. Presumably, the document is "Islamophobic" because, according to the article, it "details an alleged link between Muslim groups and terrorists" and utilizes terms such as "Islamic insurgents" and "Islamic extremists." Perhaps also a "manifestation of Islamophobia" from the OIC's perspective is Petraeus's flouting of the White House policy to ban the word "Islam" in describing America's enemies.

The OIC, an international body of 57-Islamic member states, releases monthly bulletins that supposedly compile instances of anti-Islamic bigotry. In reality, however, the bulletins contain few genuine cases of prejudice. The July report, for example, is littered with instances, which, far from being "manifestations of Islamophobia," are simply examples of non-neutral commentary concerning Islam. Drawing attention to honor killings or writing that many of America's enemies are inspired by Islam may not be neutral and may cause some to cringe, but these statements are hardly Islamophobic. And often overlooked is the unfortunate side effect of cheapening real cases of hate by muddling these Islamophobia bulletins with issues like the Petraeus manual, which have nothing to do with bigotry.

The OIC also uses protests against fundamentalism as filler in their July Islamophobia bulletin. They endorse blanket condemnations of all objections to building the Cordoba House at ground zero (now curiously renamed Park51), and similarly endorse denouncing other mosque protests. Scandals that tie mosques to foreign funding and even to terrorism do not seem to merit comment or reference from the OIC—only that something Islamic is being protested and that the protest must therefore be Islamophobic is reported.

Also included in the OIC's July report are at least two examples of "Islamophobia" that are at best of questionable veracity. One is a story trumpeting the arrests of English Defence League (EDL) members for conspiracy to bomb a mosque, despite all of them subsequently being released without charge. The bulletin also publicizes the BBC story concerning two veiled women who accused a London bus driver of bigotry. The BBC published a follow up when video footage revealed that the women were not telling the whole truth. Not surprisingly, the OIC does not issue clarifications as speedily or as promiscuously as they issue charges of Islamophobia.

It is clear that there are dueling policies here as to how to address the religious motivations of America's enemies. The Petraeus policy seems to be to recognize that not all Muslims are jihadists, but that some of America's enemies are both jihadists and Muslims. By contrast, the policy of the OIC and the White House is apparently to deny that religion or jihadism play any role in the Afghan insurgency and to ban or condemn as Islamophobic any words or assertions that contradict this preconceived and false premise.

I guess I'm guilty of Islamophobia. I oppose Shariah Law. I oppose the stoning of Women, I oppose the marriage of a 9 year old girl to a 60 year old fart. I oppose Honor killings. I oppose all the evils that come with Islam.