David Thompson has a terrific piece on how apologists for Islamic jihad manipulate the language of victimization:
Last week, I noted how the language of religious coercion has undergone a softening since the era of William Berkeley, and how old struggles for censorship and dominance are now routinely couched in the rhetoric of personal injury: “No-one would use words like ‘authority’ and ‘power.’ Not about Islam. Not out loud. Now we hear about much fluffier things, like ‘feelings’, ‘prejudice’ and ‘sensitivity.’ It’s the passive-aggressive approach.” Efforts to control what can be said about Islam — and by extension what can be thought about it – have been recast in terms of supernatural sensitivity and an allergy to criticism. Or, no less shamefully, as a reaction to “˜racism.”
As, for instance, when the Abu Bakr Jamia mosque in Cambridge invoked a “compassionate and merciful” Allah to intimidate staff and students at a Cambridge college, while describing an innocuous student newspaper as “hate speech” and an “incitement to ethnic hatred.” Or when that tragicomic convert to Islam, Yvonne Ridley, pompously declared: “My faith is my nationality and when you attack it you are being racist.” Some have resorted to other, no less tendentious, ploys; most recently with the notion of “cultural racism” — a term that’s used freely in certain quarters and without clear definition, but which nonetheless imprints on the reader an unmistakable suggestion of nefarious intent.
“The word “˜Islamophobe” – like its pseudo-synonym, “˜racist” – has acquired the status of a declamatory WMD. Deploying the term, even by vague insinuation, can generally be counted on to shut down the frontal lobes of pretty much anyone on the left, like some rhetorical kryptonite.”
Read it all.