Sunday, May 10, 2009

KBRM: a racist organisation?

In this post I reproduce a letter approvingly published by KBRM that is a picture perfect example of hate speech, demonstrating racism in the form of Islamophobia.

I examine what is meant by the term Islamophobia (also spelt as Islamaphobia), rebut the content of the letter and question the motivation of Dr Rodney Brooks and his team in posting such an uninformed spiel.

But first, the letter in question:

Jan. 30, 2009
Have just read your advert in today's Herald. Great stuff. I have written several times to newspapers over the uneveness of press reports about the Middle East. Hardly any letters got published. I have come to the conclusion that Europe is more concerned with not annoying Muslim countries — quite understandable when you consider the very significant numbers of Arabs, Pakistanis, Turks, etc. living in Europe (or ‘Eurabia’) that represent a massive entrenched fifth column in time of war.
Where would Muslims loyalties lie? (emphasis added) Have a guess. I am prepared to put some credence on the claims that militant Islam intends to first take over the UK in its march to dominate the secular, democratic countries of Europe.
Please accept my support for your efforts to ‘paint in the other side of the picture’.
If I can join could you please sign me up as a KBRM member and let me know what the annual subscription is.

And KBRM attached their response to the letter: Be assured that we appreciate what you are doing and we are doing our part here in Feilding NZ to reveal and uphold the truth over the situation.

The Runnymede Trust, a British charitable organisation, published a 1997 report that identified eight components of Islamophobia:

1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.

2) Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.

3) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.

4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilisations'.

5) Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.

6) Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.

7) Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

8) Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

Thus, it's pretty clear that the KBRM letter writer is well advanced on the path to profound anti-Islamic racism - Islamophobia.

And the fact that KBRM so enthusiastically endorses the writer's view lays it open to the charge of being a racist organisation.

Now let's examine the letter writer's one specific question:

Where would Muslims loyalties lie?

Fortuitously, recent research is available to answer this rather fearful question. A recently released Gallup poll, which surveyed accross 140 countries, found Muslim immigrants generally more patriotic that the general population. See a brief overview by Haaretz or a British summary in the Independent.

Finally, I promised a quick word on my reading of the motivation of Dr Rodney Brooks and his team of intrepid propagandists in publishing such an overtly racist letter, especially when they complain so loudly, and often quite justifiably, of the anti-semitism of some critics.

Quite frankly, I think that their racist view of both the Arabs they dispossessed and their Arab neighbours is so deeply ingrained they are simply unaware of it. It's just a natural state of affairs for them.

And for those readers inclined to accept Dr Rodney Brooks' assurance of full equality for the 1.4 million Palestinian Arabs in Israel, a quick perusal of the website The Arab Association for Human Rights will soon enlighten you as to the real state of affairs.

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