Weaponizing a Word: Islamophobia

This is an excerpt (without footnotes) from The Muhammad Code: How a Desert Prophet Brought You ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram by Howard Bloom (Feral House, 2016). Reprinted by permission from the author.

Weaponizing a Word: Islamophobia

Islam is a religion but it is also a political doctrine, and you will not be able to name the threat precisely unless you understand exactly what Islam is, …[it is] the antithesis of the idea of America…[and] American political theory and practice.

Political correctness is literally eroding our systems from within and killing it. Radical Islamists are, obviously, exploiting that. They have defined us as the enemy and we haven’t defined them as the enemy. They are exploiting our weaknesses and political correctness is our weakness.
—Ayaan Ali Hirsi

The Ikhwan [members of the Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
—The Muslim Brotherhood, An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America

How do you get lovers of free speech to become their own censors? How do you get those committed to tolerance to become intolerant? Of each other? How do you get them to muzzle free speech in the name of, guess what? Free speech! Sounds impossible, right?

Wrong. In 1998, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation began a push for a United Nations resolution “combating defamation of religions.” The OIC includes all 57 Islamic nations and claims to be “the collective voice of the Muslim world.” Defamation is a term with a noble history in the West. It was used from 1913 onward by Jews to counter anti-Semitism. Those Jews founded the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith in response to the Marietta, Georgia, lynching of a Jewish mechanical engineer and pencil factory superintendent, Leo Frank. The Anti-Defamation League did its best to counter the anti-Semitism of World War I in America, then the anti-Semitism that would lead to the Holocaust. Meanwhile, prominent Muslims like the Mufti of Jerusalem, the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna, and Iraqi Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani sided with the Nazis, met with Hitler and his top lieutenants, were funded by the Nazis, lived for years in Berlin, and enthusiastically supported the fuehrer’s drive to exterminate the Jews.

By making off with the word “defamation,” the Muslim nations were deliberately using a term with emotional resonance. A term that would mean little in a nation like Pakistan, where the defamation of non-Muslim religions is applauded. But a term with meaning to Americans and Europeans. “Defamation” wouldn’t catch fire. But another word would.

Seven years after its push to muzzle “defamation,” in December, 2005, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held what it called The Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit in Mecca, Muhammad’s old power center. That’s when the representatives came up with their magic word. Islamophobia. But where did that geopolitical sledgehammer of a term come from?

The word Islamophobia got its start in France from 1902 to 1925, when it cropped up six times in articles or books. The best-known mention is in a 1925 book written by the highly respected French painter Étienne Dinet and by the 48-year-old Algerian he had hired years earlier to act as a guide to Islam’s legends, culture, and spirituality. Dinet apparently used his guide, Sliman ben Ibrahim, to gain access to many a private moment in Algeria. The results were paintings of semi-nude teenage Muslim girls bathing, wrestling, and tree climbing. Plus an occasional threesome of Muslim warriors. The pictures won awards. Many of them. Together Dinet and ben Ibrahim created eight illustrated books on the exotica of Algeria’s Islamic world, books designed to reach a French audience. Sliman ben Ibrahim, the guide, became one of Dinet’s closest friends. And ben Ibrahim was apparently highly persuasive. So was the sight of the teenage girls Islam offered as wives. In roughly 1908, Dinet, the painter, who had split his time between France and Algeria for close to ten years, converted to Islam, wrote a passionate biography of the Prophet, and upped his time living in Algeria to three-quarters of the year. Dinet’s 1925 book with Ibrahim, The Orient as Seen From the Occident, had what one reviewer called “the zeal of a convert.” It attacked Western scholars who dared to write skeptical biographies of Muhammad, claiming that Islamophobia could lead Western thinkers into “aberration.” Why? Because according to another Dinet and ben Ibrahim book, their 1918 biography The Life of Mohammad: The Prophet of Allah, Muhammad was “the superman who came into the world at Makkah [Mecca]” and must be taken seriously as “our Lord Mohammad, the Prince of Prophets.”

Dinet could afford his embrace of Islam. Militant Islam’s threat to the West seemed to be at an end. Islam was on its heels. Turkey, the heir to the caliphate, had been the sick man of Europe for 156 years. What’s more, the Turks had fought on the losing side in the recently concluded First World War. The caliphate was at an end. Why? The Turkish empire was being dismembered. And Muslim soldiers from Algeria had laid aside jihad and had fought on the French side in World War I. They had fought under the banner of Western secular Christendom. The threat of Christendom’s extermination, the Türkenfurcht, the “dread of the Turks,” that motivated Martin Luther to write three books and that drove one French poet to advise that the Christian population flee from Europe and try life all over again in the New World was over. Seemingly for good.

But who had a better handle on Islam’s resilience, its adaptability, its patience and stubbornness, and its militants’ commitment to jihad, the few folks who still feared militant Islam or those like Dinet who decried an “acces de délire islamaphobe,” an attack of Islamophobic delirium? Who were closer to delirium, those who thought there was no further danger from militant Islam or those who were a bit more concerned? If you’d told someone in 1925 about the events of the World Trade Center, Paris, and Brussels, your listener would have accused you of intolerant, alarmist delusions. But those “delusions” would prove to be real. All too real.

The word Islamophobia demonstrated its true powers when it transited from French to English. The man who forged that transition was a brilliant intellectual publicist, one who did his absolute best to mislead the West about militant Islam: Edward Said. In 1993, Edward Said took to the pages of what may be the most influential publication among the intellectual elite, the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Said’s message? The threat of Islam was “phony.” Utterly false. A fabrication. Eight years later came 9/11. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

In 1985, Edward Said used the term Islamophobia in an article that appeared in the journal Race & Class and reappeared in at least three other books and publications. Professor Said deliberately surfed the waves of Western tolerance when he said that Islamophobia was akin to anti-Semitism. Or, as Said put it, Islamophobia “stemmed from the same source, has been nourished at the same stream as anti-Semitism.” What’s more, to understand Islamophobia, all we have to do is understand “the cultural mechanisms of anti-Semitism.” Oh, and one more thing: we have to hate Israel. In other words, we have to ignore Islam’s nearly 1,400-year history of murderous anti-Semitism. But that’s not all. Professor Said also wanted us to overlook Islam’s 1,100-year history of imperial conquest and the modern Islamic militants’ goal of “liberating” the entire world. And we complied. We covered our eyes. With our help, Edward Said was able to make the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims—with their 57 nations, their territory seven times the size of the United States, and their oil wealth—appear to be a tiny, picked-upon minority. He was able to portray a giant as a nerd. He got us to shut our eyes, to paraphrase the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Strategic Goal,” by our own hands.

Quite an accomplishment. And it worked.

Said had clout. In 1996, the UK’s Runnymede Trust, “an independent charity concerned with research and social policy surrounding race and ethnicity,” picked up the word Islamophobia and ran with it. The Runnymede Trust established a Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. Then it produced “a consultation paper,” a paper aimed at the British government on “Islamophobia its features and dangers.” And in 1997, The Runnymede Trust issued a full-scale report, Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All. Why the use of the new word? Said the Runnymede Trust, “anti-Muslim prejudice has grown so considerably and so rapidly in recent years that a new item in the vocabulary is needed so that it can be identified and acted against.” The Runnymede Trust report was, according to Chris Allen, who is considered one of the leading scholars on the topic, “a hugely influential document, shaping and influencing much of the writing and thought about Islamophobia that has since emerged.” In fact, the report “was launched at the House of Commons by” Britain’s “Home Secretary, Jack Straw MP.” In other words, it was treated as if it were an official British government document. But that was just the beginning. The Runnymede Trust continued to release reports on Islamophobia, reports with heft.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). (Photo: PAP / EPA)
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). (Photo: PAP / EPA)

So much heft that the United Nations got into the game. On December 7, 2004, just three years after 9/11, the UN threw a “Seminar on Confronting Islamophobia,” a seminar at such an august level that it was addressed by a superstar of international affairs, the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, who declared, “When a new word enters the language, it is often the result of a scientific advance or a diverting fad. But when the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development.” Yes, the head of the United Nations declared that fear of Islam was a form of “bigotry.” It was an irrational and unacceptable prejudice with no truth behind it.

So by the time the Organization for Islamic Cooperation seized on the word “Islamophobia,” it had already been weaponized. In the December, 2005, Extraordinary Session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca, the organization’s Islamic Summit, the OIC issued a ten-year plan against “Islamophobia.” The 57 nations of the OIC called for the United Nations and all the nations of the West to pass laws banning this mysterious new offense, Islamophobia. In fact, the OIC called for “deterrent punishment,” punishment so severe that it would stop Islamophobes before they dared open their mouths. And the OIC set up an “observatory of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation…to monitor all forms of Islamophobia, issue an annual report thereon, and ensure cooperation with the relevant Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to counter Islamophobia.”

Islamophobia was, guess what? A new term for blasphemy—a term specifically aimed at the blasphemy of Westerners. The representatives of 57 Islamic governments were trying to do to you and me what they had done to Asia Bibi and Salmaan Taseer. They were trying to shut us up.

Surely such an absurd plan would never work. Or would it? The OIC had muscle. And it had money to achieve its goals. Its budget was $17.5 million a year, funded by countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran. In other words, it had access to vast amounts of oil money. But that was just a hint of its power. When it embarked on a campaign, the OIC could count on support from the public relations and lobbying apparatuses of 57 nations, many of whose budgets are fattened by petro-dollars. What’s more, the OIC bills itself as “the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.” In fact, it is the United Nations’ biggest voting bloc, with the ability to turn its whims into official UN policy. And, as writer Mark Durie points out, the OIC is the only multi-governmental body dedicated to advancing a religion. Or should we say a political and military system disguised as a religion? A totalitarian system.

In 2005, roughly a hundred Muslims a day were being killed in Islamic countries. They were being slaughtered by Muslim extremists, jihadists, in suicide bombings and assaults by gunmen. But the OIC was focused on something it deemed more urgent. It was determined to shut down “insults to Islam.” The organization targeted truthful headlines covering events like the Charlie Hebdo massacre that killed 12 in Paris, the Paris attacks a year later that killed 130, the attacks in Brussels, and the almost daily violent atrocities in the Islamic world.

Complained the OIC in its eighth annual report on Islamophobia, “Many prominent speakers on the issue excuse other works of violence, such as those committed by the White Supremacists, Fundamentalist Christians, etc. as the work of ‘a few crazy people,’ while the violence of Muslim groups was classified by the media as ‘dangerous terrorist attacks.’ By always casting violence by radical Muslims, in this light, Islamophobia is being cultured in Western minds.” The OIC report went on to say that “with ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the expansion of the jihadist group ISIS, the Islamic faith had increasingly fallen victim to this sort of public prejudice.”

Hmmm, so reports of the massacres perpetrated by ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram are mere prejudice. Interesting.

Here are two examples of the sort of Islamophobia that the OIC wanted Western nations to stop with “deterrent punishment.” As reported in the OIC’s eighth report on Islamophobia in 2015:

Bill Maher, an American comedian while the host of a popular TV program in the U.S., was spouted [sic] in his viral debate in October 2014 with Ben Affleck saying that ‘Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.’

President Miloš Zeman of the Czech Republic…stated without any doubt in May 2014 that Islamic ideology, rather than individual groups of religious fundamentalists, was behind violent actions similar to the gun attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that killed four people. As widely aired by media in that week, two Israeli tourists and a member of the museum staff were killed by an unknown shooter on 24 May 2014 and another staff member died of his injuries on the following day. Zeman’s speech sharply condemning the hideous attack, post [sic] on his official website on 27 May 2014, inter alia, stating: “I will not be calmed down by statements that it is only small marginal groups. I believe, on the contrary, this xenophobia and this racism or anti-Semitism stem from the very nature of the ideology on which these fanatical groups rely.” He even said that one of the sacred texts of Islam called for the killing of Jews, so that the President was intentionally trying to link the Islamic ideology with violence.

Do you see any problems here? Like the attempt to muzzle legitimate criticism of Islam? The attempt to stop the sort of debate with which Martin Luther and Voltaire brought us the Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment? The failure to attempt to stop those who use Islam to justify violence: ISIS, Boko Haram, and al Qaeda? The failure to stand in the way of that violence and to eradicate the terrorists?

Not to mention, outright misrepresentation. OK, let’s use the real word: outright lies. Or, as deliberate lying to deceive an enemy is known in Shiite Islam, taqiyya. Take the OIC complaint that the president of the Czech Republic “said that one of the sacred texts of Islam called for the killing of Jews.” The OIC report implies that Zeman’s statement about the killing of Jews in the sacred texts of Islam is false. But the sacred texts of Islam do call for the killing of Jews. Many times. Remember this quote from the Hadith, one of the most profoundly sacred texts in all of Islam:

The Hour [the day of judgement] will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the tree will say: “Oh, Muslim, servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, kill him!”

The result of pressure from the OIC was a 2011 UN resolution “against intolerance towards all religions.” But numerous UN representatives recognized that this was really a resolution against intolerance directed at only one religion: Islam. Meanwhile, the OIC lobbied countries in Europe, South America, and North America to pass laws outlawing insults to religion.

And the OIC campaign worked. It didn’t change laws. But something equally important happened. Western intellectuals began to police the critics of Islam. They became internal enforcers of censorship. Why? Why did those who should be the greatest defenders of freedom of speech turn against their own freedom? Because of Western guilt. Guilt over slavery. Guilt over racism against blacks. Guilt over imperialism. Guilt over colonialism. The OIC and its 57 member nations played on that guilt like Mozart playing a piano. The Islam Lobby—the combined PR and lobbying organizations of 57 Muslim countries—aided by the pressure groups they support, groups like CAIR and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, turned us Westerners into our own thought police.

And the OIC did more. It recruited international power players into what the publication The American Muslim calls a full-time Islamophobia industry. It pulled in organizations from Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality and the Council of Europe to UNESCO and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. In 1995, Jordan’s Prince Hassan lectured the UN General Assembly on Islamophobia. In 2011, the ACLU put out a report, Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat.” The Islamophobia industry established its own peer-reviewed journal, Islamophobia Studies Journal, and arranged to have it published by Berkeley University’s Center for Race and Gender. An Islamophobia Studies Yearbook—a peer-reviewed publication—has been put out annually in German and English since 2010. Its goal is to establish courses preaching that Islamophobia is an illness in universities worldwide. To insure that this happens, even on the elementary school level, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, Poland, puts out a guidebook called Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: Addressing Islamophobia through Education. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has had annual roundtables on the topic since 2011. One of those roundtables was hosted in Strasbourg by the Council of Europe. And the Guidelines for Educators is published jointly by the Council of Europe and UNESCO.

Meanwhile, in 2010, CAIR, the Council for American Islamic Relations, formed a full-time Islamophobia department that puts out an annual Islamophobia report. Has the Islamophobia Industry accomplished anything? On August 30, 2010, Time Magazine did a cover story on Islamophobia. And, brags The American Muslim, The Nation ran a series on the subject.

You can see the real intent of the OIC’s anti-Islamophobia campaign in its impact on the people that the Muslim community needs the most—its reformers, its liberals, and its moderates. Two of those moderates are Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani. Hirsi Ali, in her 2015 book Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, calls for an Islam that erases violence from its ideology and ends the notion that Islam is forever dominant and must struggle until it brings its “light”—and intolerance—to all of mankind. She calls for an Islam that allows its adherents to participate in a secularized, globalized, modern world. And she calls for an Islam that honors freedom of speech. Her calls for a liberal Islam do not make her popular among the Islamophobia-hunters.

In September of 2013, Hirsi Ali got a phone call from the president of Brandeis University explaining that the institution wanted to honor her with an honorary degree in social justice. Hirsi Ali had more than earned that degree. As you know, she had come from a primitive Somali family, become a teen enthusiast for jihad, then struggled on behalf of the freedom of 800 million Muslims—the Muslim community’s women—and on behalf of freedom of thought for Muslims male and female alike. That took courage. Six months later, the president of Brandeis called with bad news. The university was revoking its invitation. Why? The Council for American Islamic Relations. The Council for American Islamic Relations is an “American” pressure group affiliated with the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood, funded by Saudi Arabia and “blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.” CAIR, which also tried to end my publishing career in 1998, had circulated a petition on Change.org accusing Ali of “extreme Islamophobia.” Hirsi Ali had also been attacked in letters from 87 Brandeis faculty members. Their complaint?

I was guilty of suggesting, says Hirsi, that “violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam or the Two-Third World, thereby obscuring such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus [and]…the hard work on the ground by committed Muslim feminist and other progressive Muslim activists and scholars, who find support for gender and other equality within the Muslim tradition and are effective at achieving it.”

It takes powerfully deficient or powerfully manipulated intellect to say such things. Hirsi Ali was one of the most prominent Muslim “feminist and… progressive Muslim activists” on the planet. And date rape on the Brandeis campus, reprehensible as it is, is nothing compared to stabbing, stoning, or beating your daughters and sisters to death in “honor killings,” an all too common practice in the Muslim world. Date rape on American campuses does not justify the beating of women that is recommended in Shariah law.

But the Islamophobia campaign had over-ridden common sense. Not to mention truth. Or, as Ali Hirsi put it:

You who call yourselves liberals must understand that it is your way of life that is under threat. Withdraw my right to speak freely, and you jeopardize your own in the future.

But Hirsi Ali was not the only Muslim reformer to be attacked by this Westernized blasphemy hunt, this Islamophobia campaign. Asra Nomani is a distinguished female Muslim journalist born in Bombay and raised in West Virginia who worked for Reuters, then was a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal for 11 years. In 2002 a fellow Wall Street Journal reporter and close friend, Daniel Pearl, was beheaded by extremists after being kidnapped from Nomani’s house in Karachi, Pakistan, where he was living. Nomani started “the Pearl Project, a faculty-student investigation into the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl,” despite the fact that Pearl was Jewish, and that the Qur’an says that Allah transformed the Jews into “apes and swine.” Nomani was tolerance incarnate.

In 2003 Nomani challenged the rules that make women shuffle into a mosque through a back door and pray separately from the men. For her effrontery, she was “put on trial at her mosque to be banished.” She responded in the spirit of Martin Luther with “99 Precepts for Opening Hearts, Minds and Doors in the Muslim World.”

In 2005, Nomani wrote a book, Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam. In it, she describes fighting “the sexism and intolerance in her local mosque” and battling “for the rights of modern Muslim women who are tired of standing alone against the repressive rules and regulations imposed by reactionary fundamentalists.”

In April, 2015, Nomani was invited to speak at Duke University. She wanted “to argue for a progressive, feminist interpretation of Islam.” Then she was hit by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Islamophobia hunters. Says she, “the Duke University Center Activities and Events had cancelled my talk after the president of the Duke chapter of the Muslim Students Association sent an email to Muslim students about my ‘views’ and me, alleging that I have a nefarious ‘alliance’ with ‘Islamophobic speakers’ and noting that a Duke professor of Islam, Omid Safi, had ‘condemned’ me.” Shades of Asia Bibi!

The Duke Muslim Students Association is a member of the national Muslim Students Association, an umbrella organization widely acknowledged to be a front group for the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, the same Muslim Brotherhood whose head was elected president of Egypt in 2012 and whose motto says, “Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for Allah [martyrdom] is our most exalted wish.” The same Muslim Brotherhood that British Prime Minister David Cameron, after an in-depth government study, called “opaque…secretive,” and “counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance.” The Muslim Students Association was set up with money from the Saudis and is one of a phalanx of groups that Saudi Arabia implanted in the West in the 1960s to challenge “‘liberal’ and ‘Westernized’” Islam and to spread the Saudis’ jihadist form of Islam. Many of these groups, says the Center for Security Policy, have been “tightly controlled and financed by the Saudi government and the Wahhabi clergy.” The Muslim Students Association has been on the front lines of the OIC’s war to stamp out Islamophobia. And the Duke University branch of the Muslim Students Association used our Western sensitivities about tolerance to level intolerance in Nomani’s direction.

When Nomani asked for the “evidence” against her, her invitation to Duke was reinstated. But her talk had been so sullied with accusations of thought crime that only nine people showed up to hear her.

What do Asra Nomani and Ayaan Ali Hirsi have in common? Both of them are calling for a Muslim reformation. They are calling for an overt repudiation by Muslims of Muhammad’s murderous side. They are calling for a pluralist, tolerant, free-speech Islam that can exist at peace with the West. And Muslim pressure groups are shutting them out of the very places that are supposed to be the ultimate bastions of debate and self-criticism, universities. These Muslim reformers are being denied their freedom of speech by pressure groups like the Muslim Students Association, organizations that are underwritten by a nation that disseminates one of the most backward-looking forms of Islam on the planet—Saudi Arabia.

The Islamophobia campaign is an attempt to expand the sort of blasphemy hunting that has put Asia Bibi on death row, that killed Punjab’s governor, Salmaan Taseer, and that put garlands of flowers around the neck of Taseer’s killer. It is an effort to export that murderous intolerance from Asia and the Middle East to the West—to America and Europe. And it is succeeding. Muslim liberals are being trashed by non-Muslim liberals. Islam’s potential reformers are being battered by those who don’t realize that the Muslim nations’ invention of Islamophobia is a free-speech muzzler. Muslim liberals are assaulted by those who don’t realize that Islamophobia hunters damage the Muslim community and give extremists the upper hand. Muslim moderates are assaulted by the intellectual elite and by universities for “insulting the prophet” and “insulting Islam.” But Muslim liberals and reformers are not assaulted physically, the way they would be in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, or Pakistan. They are not murdered. At least not yet.

Which leaves you and me with an obligation: to defend modernist, pluralist, tolerant Muslims and, yes, Islam’s reformers, for all we’re worth. They are the hope for a more peaceful world.

* * *

There is a trick to the word Islamophobia. A phobia is a mental illness. It’s an irrational fear like the fear of spiders (arachnophobia), the fear of snakes (ophidiophobia), the fear of open or public spaces (agoraphobia), or the fear of tiny rooms (claustrophobia). It is a delusion, a phantasm, a mirage. A phobia is a disease you go to a psychotherapist to cure. What’s more, the word deliberately plays on Western concerns about racism and anti-Semitism. It plays on our intolerance of intolerance.

But is fear of militant Islam irrational? Is it a delusion and a disease? Were the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the 2005 suicide bombings on London’s buses and subways, the 2015 assault on France’s Charlie Hebdo, the 2015 six simultaneous attacks on Paris, and the 2016 attacks in Brussels fantasy? Was the war between Islam and the West from 711 a.d. to 1862 a dream? Were events like the 773-year-long takeover of Spain, the attempt to conquer France in 732 a.d., and the sieges of Vienna in 1529 and 1683 phantasms, ghosts, nasty nightmares cooked up by insidious folks who wanted to pick on poor, innocent Islam? Or were these assaults on the West real?

Are al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Boko Haram real? Or are they, too, racist, xenophobic fantasies? And is there racism and xenophobia in the world of militant Islam? Is there hatred for you and me? Is there, in fact, hatred of everything we stand for—hatred of tolerance, hatred of pluralism, hatred of freedom of speech, and hatred of democracy? Or are these clever fabrications that rabid right-wingers are trying to foist off on you and me to cover for their own nefarious deeds?

Do militant Muslims have a phobia of their own? An irrational hatred of the West? An irrational hatred, in fact, of all non-believers, whether those unbelievers are in the United States, England, France, or China and Thailand? Are beheadings, kidnappings, and mass murders in the Philippines, Kenya, and Nigeria clever hoaxes, insane delusions, or are they a matter of fact? Who has the real phobias, the real irrational hatreds, the activists of ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram, or you and me?

And one more point. When an irrational fear has a history of motivating conquests, massive, history-changing conquests, is it really irrational? Or is it a turbocharger for a superorganism hungry to increase its sway? Is it a tool of power? A cutting edge with which to change the very face of reality? Is militant Islam’s xenophobia a blade in a killing machine? And if it is, why are there no complaints about it? No protests, no words to make it seem diseased, no protesters, no conferences, no attempts to stigmatize kafirophobia. Why no effort by the West to decry the crowds who call for killing in Tehran or Lahore? Does this silence make our intellectual elite accomplices in the mass murders of New York, Paris, and Brussels? And in mass murders yet to come?

* * *

Munawar Anees, Kamal Nawash, Ayaan Ali Hirsi, and Asra Nomani are exceptions. Hopeful exceptions. Necessary exceptions. For nearly 1,400 years, the militant form of Islam practiced by Muhammad himself has hijacked Muslim culture and has frightened its liberals into silence. But calling this a hijacking is a bit like saying that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington hijacked American culture. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are the marrow, meat, and core of American culture. And Muhammad is the marrow, meat, and core of Islam. Mainstream Islam.

Sometimes, a founder IS a culture. It’s the founder effect.

Excerpted from The Muhammad Code by Howard Bloom. Copyright © Howard Bloom, 2016. All rights reserved.

Howard Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, [and] Freud” by Britain’s Channel4 TV, “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear Magazine, and “The Buckminster Fuller and Arthur C. Clarke of the new millennium” by Buckminster Fuller’s archivist. Bloom is the author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History (“mesmerizing” – The Washington Post), Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century (“reassuring and sobering” – The New Yorker), The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism (“Impressive, stimulating, and tremendously enjoyable.” James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic), The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates (“Bloom’s argument will rock your world.” Barbara Ehrenreich), How I Accidentally Started the Sixties (“a monumental, epic, glorious literary achievement.” Timothy Leary), and The Muhammad Code: How a Desert Prophet Gave You ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram – or How Muhammad Invented Jihad (“a terrifying book… the best book I’ve read on Islam,” David Swindle, PJ Media).

Bloom explains that his field is “mass behaviour, from the mass behaviour of quarks to the mass behaviour of human beings.” That specialisation gives him a wide scope. His scientific work has been published in: arxiv.org, the leading pre-print site in advanced theoretical physics and mathematics; PhysicaPlus, another physics journal; Across Species Comparisons and Psychopathology; New Ideas in Psychology; The Journal of Space Philosophy; and in the book series: Research in Biopolitics. In 2005, Bloom lectured an international conference of quantum physicists in Moscow – Quantum Informatics 2006 – on why everything they know about Schrodinger’s Equation is wrong, and the concepts Bloom introduced were later used in a book proposing a new approach to quantum physics, Constructive Physics, by Moscow University’s Yuri Ozhigov.

Bloom’s second book Global Brain was the subject of an Office of the Secretary of Defense symposium in 2010, with participants from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. Bloom is founder and head of the Space Development Steering Committee, a group that includes astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Edgar Mitchell (the sixth man on the moon), and members from the National Science Foundation and NASA. He has debated one-on-one with senior officials from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza’s Hamas on Iran’s global Arab-language Alalam TV News Network. He has also dissected headline issues on Saudi Arabia’s KSA2-TV and on Iran’s global English language Press-TV. And he has probed the untold story of the Syrian Civil War with Nancy Kissinger.

In addition, Bloom’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Knight-Ridder Financial News Service, the Village Voice, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. He has appeared 199 times for up to five hours on 500 radio stations on the highest-rated overnight talk radio station in North America, Clear Channel’s Coast to Coast AM, discussing everything from the biome in the gut and the evolution of the stars to the mechanism of the Great Recession of 2008 and North Korea’s rocket programme.

Bloom has his own YouTube series, Howard the Humongous, which gets up to 790,000 views per installment. His website, howardbloom.net, has had between four and five million hits. Follow him on Twitter at @HowardxBloom.

The Muhammad Code: How a Desert Prophet Brought You ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram
By Howard Bloom
Feral House (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1627310363
ISBN-13: 978-1627310369
$15.48

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1 COMMENT

  1. I was blocked by Facebook for the third time, for 30 days.
    I was reported by a butthurt Muslim who said that Islam is a religion of peace. I called him a liar and printed a page showing the constant wars by Islam throughout its history.
    He reported me for feeling offended.
    FB has chosen to censor all comments critical of Islam regardless of truth and honesty. Facebook has skirted around our laws on human rights and our freedom of speech.
    We need to sue FB.
    Look for all suits against FB and share – we need to hurt FB where it counts! And force them to follow human rights – not religious privilege!

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