The Left

I am a “rabid anti-Islamist bigot”

From time to time, I drop into the blog of the former socialist, Bob “Martin Sullivan” Pitt to see what he is up to: just as he occasionally pops round Harry’s Place.

Today’s offering is a real treat.

Apparently, I am a “rabid anti-Islamist bigot“.

I have to admit, I find that a rather strange turn of phrase.

Would you describe somebody who opposed a particular political philosophy as a “bigot”?

Are socialists “rabid anti capitalist ‘bigots'”?

I mean, would you use the phrase “rabid anti-liberal bigot”? I suppose that might make sense. Liberals, after all, often to define themselves as opponents of bigotry, and so somebody who was a bigot might well hate liberals.

And Bob Pitt certainly has a thing about liberals. He hates them. He thinks they’re Islamophobes. In fact, they get a special category of their own. I’m there, along with Nick Cohen, Martin Bright, Will Hutton, and Mariella Frostrup. Yum. We’re all anti-Islamist bigots, you see.

I suppose that our objection to Islamism is that it is a political philosophy which:

– is premised upon the will of god rather than the choices of citizens;
– promotes a constitutionally enforced gender and religious apartheid;
– criminalises religious dissent or athiesm.

These are all sensible things for liberals to oppose; although I wouldn’t call that opposition “bigotry”. It is a pretty limited sort of political “bigotry”; I wouldn’t have any profound objection to any form of identity politics which didn’t promote these goals.

I’m still confused as to what the phrase “rabid anti-Islamist bigot” means. I have a nasty suspicion that, in Bob’s mind, “Islam” and “Islamist” mean one and the same thing. Perhaps he takes Islamism to be a matter of identity, rather than politics.

I really hope that is not so. That isn’t an equation that I would make. Because according to Point 5 of the Runnymede Trust definition of Islamophobia, which Bob himself uses, that would amount to seeing “Islam … as a political ideology”.

That would mean that Bob Pitt – along with Mawdudi, Qutb, Qaradawi, Bin Laden, and Bunglawala – were all rabid Islamophobes.

UPDATE

Good articles on HuT from the rabid anti-Islamist bigots Brian Whittaker and Ed Hussein.

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