The right-wing columnist Melanie Phillips has described Islamophobia as a fiction invented by Muslims to shut down criticism of “Islamism” and the antisemitism “pouring out” of the Muslim world.
In her column for The Times, the pro-Israel journalist acknowledged the existence of prejudice against Muslims, but added that Islamophobia cannot be compared to antisemitism.
She wrote: “Anyone who calls out Islamist extremism as a fanatical or primitive interpretation of Islam currently dominant in the Muslim world is called an Islamophobe. Anyone who says the Muslim Brotherhood is a conspiracy to Islamise the world is called an Islamophobe. Yet evidence abounds to support such observations. Numerous Islamic religious authorities have upheld the uncompromising precepts behind Islamic fundamentalism and holy war.”
She then went onto say that a large number of Muslims were behind antisemitic attacks on Jews and that medieval and Nazi style texts and images pour out of the Muslim world.
“The Muslim world invented the word Islamophobia to turn criticism of the Islamic world into a pathology. Islamophobia is a mind-bending attempt at thought control. Equating it with antisemitism isn’t merely an attack on the Jewish people. Through its rebranding of totalitarian ideology as conscience, promoted by cowards, ideologies and imbeciles, it endangers us all.”
Reaction was swift on Twitter. Here is a snapshot: