It doesn’t take much to get called an “Islamophobe.” I have earned the title by daring to report on what the Islamic sacred texts say and how those texts have been understood in Islamic tradition, and to ask self-proclaimed moderate Muslims to acknowledge the existence of those texts and traditions, and come up with some way to mitigate their capacity to incite violence.
Meanwhile, the new Swedish integration minister, Nyamko Sabuni, has earned the epithet by compulsory checks for genital mutilation of girls, a ban on headsarves for girls under fifteen, and anti-honor killing legislation.
This is especially ironic given the tendency of Islamic apologists in the West to deny that genital mutilation and honor killing have anything to do with Islam, and to speak of the headscarf as an entirely optional and liberating thing. The bar for what constitutes Islamophobia is getting pretty low. And that’s revealing in itself.
“Youth and diversity sets new government apart,” from Sweden’s The Local, with thanks to Mats:
The appointment of Liberal Nyamko Sabuni as integration minister is proving to be one of Fredrik Reinfeldt’s most controversial choices. Sabuni, who moved to Sweden from Burundi at the age of 12, is the first black person to be appointed a minister in Sweden.
Her suggestion that all girls should undergo compulsory checks for genital mutilation (otherwise known as female circumcision) led to controversy. Sabuni was also attacked by Muslim groups for proposing a ban on headscarves for girls under 15 and the introduction of a specific mention of honour crimes in the criminal code.
Muslim commentator and author Kurdo Baksi slammed Sabuni’s appointment:
“I am very disappointed that a person whom I consider to be an Islamaphobe has been appointed integration minister. It is a very poor start to a centre-right government’s integration policy,” he said.