The Corner

When Anti-Islamophobia Is Pro-ISIS

I know, I know, with a name like National Union of Students, you’d expect nothing but sage and responsible decision making. Alas, not so much.

The organization serves as the governing body/umbrella organization for the vast majority of student unions in the U.K. In August, the NUS voted to support the BDS movement. In other words, they didn’t simply condemn Israel with empty rhetoric, they threw their weight behind economic punishment and isolation of Israel. 

Fast forward to this week. From the Daily Mail:

The National Union of Students has come under fire after it refused to condemn ISIS – because of fears it was ‘Islamophobic’.

Students put forward a motion at the body’s National Executive Council meeting calling for the condemnation of terrorist atrocities and support for the Iraqi people.

But the call was defeated after a rebellion led by Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia, who said the motion was merely a ‘justification for war’.

I see. So merely condemning the Islamic State would be bigoted. But boycotting Israel is a requirement of social justice. Never mind that the Islamic State openly advocates for the restoration of slavery (what, pray tell, is the official position of the Black Students Campaign on slavery?) and that the overwhelming majority of those murdered, tortured and crucified by the group are Muslims. One must not condemn the group lest one give in to “Islamophobia.”

Whenever I write that Muslims should work harder to condemn violent extremism committed by their co-religionists, I’m told I’m being racist or bigoted or that I’m practicing guilt-by-association. Whenever, critics of Israel are charged with anti-Semitism (sometimes fairly, sometimes not) the indignant response from the left is that anti-Semitism has nothing to do with it. One can criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic, which is true (it’s also true that a lot of anti-Semites love to market themselves as merely “anti-Zionist.”). But apparently one cannot criticize a criminal band of rapists, slavers, and murderers without being guilty of Islamopobia — at least according to Bouattia and her ilk.

It’s bad enough to remain silent while people invoking your faith bury women and children alive. It’s quite another thing to speak out against any condemnation of the murderers. I’m sure Orwell would agree: In the case of Ms. Bouattia at least, to be anti-Islamophobia is to be objectively pro–Islamic State. 

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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