Is it Islamophobic to call out Ed Husain for his stance on "Islamophobia"? Part 1

Ed Husain is trapped, as is every Muslim who does not revel in “extremism”. I say “extremism” in inverted commas because the concept has no meaning in Islam, and the word has today lost all meaning in English.

Is it Islamophobic to call out Ed Husain for his stance on "Islamophobia"? Part 1
"Islamophobia": a totalitarian masterstroke


British Muslim, Ed Husain, in an article in and interview with The Spectator, surprised many with his opposition to Labour Party leader and presumptive next UK Prime Minister, Keir Starmer's, proposal to London Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan to criminalise "Islamophobia." Husain says:

Legislating against ‘Islamophobia’ would have disastrous consequences. The German judge who refused to grant a Muslim woman a divorce from her abusive husband in 2007, did so on the grounds that the abuse was culturally acceptable and sanctioned by the Quran. Such incidents would become normal for fear of accusations of ‘Islamophobia’.

Such incidents and much worse are normal and have been normal for 1400 years, not “for fear of accusations of ‘Islamophobia’, but because they are “culturally acceptable and sanctioned by the Quran.” The issue that Hussain obscures here is that the German judge had submitted to Shari'a. Husain deflects to, "Let’s remember that the i-word has been used not only against politicians, but also against Muslims who confront jihadists."

In other words, “jihadists”, people whom Husain is supposedly against, are the ultimate beneficiaries of “Islamophobia”. Husain makes the wrong case. Instead of arguing against the outlawing of “Islamophobia”, he would make a more meaningful case arguing against the strengthening of “jihadists”. He might then come to see that his initial assessment of Islamophobia as “an etymological fallacy,” is not a mere footnote, but central to any opposition to what he correctly describes as the “wrongheaded notion of Islamophobia.”

If “Islamophobia” is a wrongheaded notion and an etymological fallacy, which it is, then the only way anyone is going to legally outlaw it is by an abuse of power, such as dishonesty, sophistry or coercion. Keir Starmer is King's Counsel, the equivalent of Attorney-General in other countries, and as the state’s top lawyer, he already knows this. Besides that, according to Ed Husain, Starmer has for years, “acted on behalf of the Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir,” leaving only one conclusion: Britain's next Prime Minister knows exactly what he wants to accomplish by drafting a law against an etymological fallacy. I repeat here an expanded version of an argument I advanced in my recent essay on Keir Starmer:

The conceit of “Islamophobia” is a totalitarian masterstroke. It is its own red herring. Of course, the term is semantic nonsense. A phobia is an irrational fear, and there is nothing irrational about fearing either Islam or Muslims. Many have pointed this out. But the term’s semantic nonsense is a trap that ensnares many a critic who gets bogged down in arguing over the meaninglessness of “Islamophobia”: that it is used as a stick with which to beat critics of Islam; and that it is inherently impossible to defining. This is correct, but it also misses the point. Its impossibility of definition is exactly the point. The attraction of legally undefinable crimes, such as "enemy of the people", "hurt China's feelings", "insult Turkishness", "Islamophobia", etc., to tyrants and dictators is precisely their impossibility to define.

Every tyrant who bothers with the pretence of legality welcomes imprecise laws, so it may be used or not used against whomsoever the tyrant, his supporters, anyone with a grudge, or anyone who wants to seize another's property, may wish. In other words, law becomes arbitrary, such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan banning the English flag from taxis. Arguing over the facts of the case becomes irrelevant. It is now a matter of raw power, and the having or not having of it. The purpose of the indefinability of “Islamophobia” becomes clear when we consider it in light of, for example, the UK’s police-state policies.

When, in its October 2019 “Hate Crimes Awareness Week”, the police in Oceania asked the public to be on the lookout for and to report “hate crime” even if they have no evidence and even if no crime has been committed, we saw put in place more of the infrastructure within which “Islamophobia” makes perfect sense. With every citizen potentially a police spy and the self-enfeebling "multiculturalism" already well-entrenched, "Islamophobia" does not have to be a crime and as such it needs no definition. The etymological fallacy is solved in that it is no longer an impediment to legalised oppression. All that a prospective tyrant now needs to bring the vague "hate crime" into sharp focus is ban "Islamophobia." Control becomes completely arbitrary.

Arbitrary control is the conditio sine qua non of totalitarianism: anybody, for any or no reason at all, can be done away with. All you need to do is point your finger, say the word “Islamophobia”, and it is done. When we agreed that there should be such a thing as “hate speech,” we put our fate entirely into the hands of whoever wishes to feel offended, justifiably or not, or for some reason or other, needs us done away with. We conceded that anyone and everyone has the right to police us. This has always been the business of totalitarianism, whether Islam, Nazism, Communism, multiculturalism, or the Party. In Islam, the world's most tenacious totalitarianism, the equivalent is "commanding the right and forbidding the wrong." In short, the Great British Public is deemed ready for Shari'a.

Britain’s judicial revolution, started by Tony Blair, will be completed by Keir Starmer, the Aharon Barak and Esther Hayut of Britain. The “Islamophobia” conceit in Britain plays the same role as the “Reasonableness” conceit in Israel. Each makes arbitrariness the basis of law. It is only a matter of how rapidly this free hand that the tyrant arrogates unto himself cascades down through the legal system, Vyshinsky-style, to enable every petit-apparatchik to willy-nilly dispense death, until it reaches the murderous mobs so characteristic of Shari'a instant justice in places such as Pakistan. By then, all pretence at law will have itself become a non-specific threat, a form of general intimidation. If the British government back in 2018, intimidated by fear of unrest among "certain sections of the population," could not find it within their capacity as a state to offer asylum to the Pakistani Christian, Asia Bibi, while Muslim mobs in her country screamed for her blood, then how much less so now that London's Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has Keir Starmer, the next Prime Minister, eating out of has hand?

Ed Husain explains what underlies his thinking on "Islamophobia".

To apostatise and proselytise, offend and embrace, accept and reject – these dualities uphold the essence of liberty. Where would we be if we had censored David Hume’s criticisms of Christianity in the 18th century, or banned Gibbon’s volumes on the history of Rome in which he condemned the institutionalisation of religion? Islam was born because the Prophet Mohammed mocked the pagan religion of the Meccans. Judaism thrived because Abraham and later Moses opposed the pagan Egyptians in their persecution of the Jewish people. Christianity emerged as Paul and the early disciples attacked the values of Rome and the laws of Judea.

Exactly this is the fatal flaw in the Judeo-Christian conception of Islam as expounded in the Qur’an as religion and codified in Shari’a as law. People who think as Ed Husain does bet everything on distinguishing between: Islam, their cute, candyfloss religion, and "Islamism", that which the killers practise; and between Muslims, i.e., themselves, "moderate Muslims", and "Islamists", the killers, the ones who do exactly as the Qur'an commands and Shari'a stipulates, whom Ed and co. disqualify from being Muslim, and insist that others do the same.

Yet none of them will ever tell you whose scripture the Qur’an is. Is it the Holy Book of the "Muslims", or of the "Islamists"? They cannot do this because the Qur’an, exactly as it is, is the scripture of both the Muslims and the Islamists. The difference between them is that Husain’s “Muslims” have to lie, or at the very least, mislead, about the Qur’an and Islam, while his “Islamists” are truthful about the contents of their common scripture and the practises commanded by their common religion. Ed's “Muslims” have to ignore most of the Qur’an, misrepresent the rest, and never mention Shari'a; while the “Islamists” are open and faithfully proclaim every letter in it, and they are correct. They can go out on Western streets and brazenly demand Shari'a, the most barbaric system of law still in existence, and unequivocally condemn both freedom and democracy. In the United States, a population more naïve than the British, this point was reached much more rapidly.

Those who think like Husain cannot straight-up disown the Qur’an, for then they would be unable to call themselves Muslims. Yet they cannot acknowledge the “Islamists” strict adherence to the Qur’an, for then they would show the “Islamists” to be the real Muslims, as is in fact the case. "Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower," (Qur'an 6:115. My emphasis). The Qur'an itself qualifies the so-called "Islamists" and disqualifies Ed Husain's "Muslims". He continues:

Offence is needed for freedom, and citizens of open societies must learn to become resilient. Criticism and discussion are the harbingers of progress. Muslims do not need to be patronised with excessive legislation.

Husain flatters himself to think that the outlawing of “Islamophobia” is proposed for his benefit, and this despite acknowledging that “Islamophobia has been largely promoted by Islamists and jihadists, to protect them from scrutiny,” Islamists and jihadists on whose behalf Keir Starmer has acted for years. Furthermore, it is Muslims who hold the immutable doctrine that any disagreement with anything their prophet has ever said or done is punishable by death exclusively and absolutely.

Yet, in substance, I agree with Ed Husain that "citizens of open societies must learn to become resilient," meaning Muslims must grow up, although he cannot put it like that. I would go further. "That offends me" is not an argument, neither is "not all Muslims..." or "You can at least say something nice about Islam". Criticism is not a balance sheet of rights and wrongs, goods and bads, pros and cons. When I comment on the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, Ed Husain and his nice Muslims are irrelevant. Someone's taking offence at my calling the perpetrators of such massacres "Muslim mass murderers", or that someone would rather I tone down the Muslim rape-gangs in Britain to "grooming gangs", has no bearing on the argument whatsoever. Show that they are not Muslim mass murderers, or not Muslim rape-gangs, then yes, by all means, join the debate. Husain warns:

Today it is ‘Islamophobia’. What’s next? Are we to be prohibited from questioning the gender inequality of literalist Islam: wife-beating, the unfairness of divorce laws, inheritance disparity, reactions to apostasy? Islamophobia laws are a step backwards, making it harder for reformist forces in Islam.

This is a curious concern for a historian. See that Qur’an, the one that commands men be in charge of women, husbands to abuse their wives, imposes unfair divorce laws and inheritance disparity, and those hadith, that the Qur'an commands Muslims to obey, that in turn command Muslims to kill those who leave Islam, there is nothing "literalist" about them, for they can be nothing else. "There is naught that can change His words," referred to above. The "Islamists" will make sure of that, as that same Qur'an commands, literally. Incidentally, Husain would be unable to point towards any occurrence of any of the terms "Islamism", "Islamist" or "Islamophobia" anywhere in the Islamic holy texts. They exist only in the lexicon of "moderate Muslims." Only the "Islamists" find everything they say in the Islamic texts.

"This [Husain's distinction between "Muslims" and "Islamists"] is something that today’s secular politicians struggle to comprehend," says Husain. They do not struggle to comprehend it. They simply say what it takes to win the "Muslim vote," as if there is such a thing, even if they break their own legal systems in the process.

Yes, there is clearly a problem of rising anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain. But if Starmer and the Labour Party are serious about tackling it, then they should ban the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates. There is no better way to protect moderate, patriotic Muslims than to remove the cancer of extremism within today’s Islam.

This is what the Muslim Brotherhood has to say concerning elections and Parliaments:

We are not eager to have a parliament of the representatives of the people, or a cabinet of ministers, unless such representatives and ministers are Koranic Moslems. If we do not find them, then we must ourselves serve as the parliament. Allah and the religious councils will limit our authority so that no one has to fear dictatorship. We aim to smash modernism in government and society. In Palestine our first duty as Moslems is to crush Zionism, which is Jewish modernism. It is our patriotic duty. The Koran commands it. (John Roy Carlson interview with Hassan al-Banna, John Roy Carlson, Cairo to Damascus, 1951, p92.)

This raises immediate parallels with a more recognised totalitarian dictatorship:

Stalin sent representatives to the [Baltic] capital cities... Their mission was to carry out the Sovietisation of the three republics. Parliaments and all local institutions were dissolved and most of the members arrested. Only the Communist Party was authorised to present candidates for the elections on 14 and 15 July 1940. (S. Courtous, N. Werth, J-L Panné, et alia, The Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press, 1999, p212.)

But before this:

The Soviet government ...sent an ultimatum to the Baltic leaders, ordering them to form, "governments prepared to guarantee the honest application of a treaty of mutual assistance, and to take steps to punish all opponents of such a treaty." (p212)

At the end of the Sadiq Khan-Keir Starmer video, in a pronouncement heavy with subtext, Sadiq Khan makes his expectations crystal clear:

What I’m hoping, Keir, is your experience as a prosecutor means you’ll be thinking about the strategy we can use to make sure we take action against those who break the law.

But Ed Husain is in a different orbit, so let us remain where he is. If Husain thinks of himself as a Muslim, he has to answer this question: does he obey the Qur’an or does he not? He can spare us the trite "interpretation" lark. The reader will see where this is going. But there is more. A convert to Islam, Dr Jonathan Brown, made a very salient observation bearing directly on the outlawing of “Islamophobia” and Ed Husain’s concern for its impact on Muslims (like him). Dr Brown says:

“I do not think that Muslims should advocate laws that restrict speech …because the first people who will be restricted in their speech …will be Muslims. [If hate speech becomes illegal, then] the Qur’an itself becomes an article of hate speech.

...Hate speech laws are never used to protect vulnerable minorities like Muslims. They’re used to protect the powerful when minorities get out of line.”

Husain advocates, “remove the cancer of extremism within today’s Islam.” That “extremism” did not appear today; it has been there from the start. The ulema, the class of “scholars”, have formulated that extremism over the course of centuries and manage it today. Ed Husain is trapped, as is every Muslim who does not revel in “extremism”. I say “extremism” in inverted commas because the concept has no meaning in Islam, and the word has today lost all meaning in English.

By the Newspeak meaning of extremism, only those Muslims who commit terrorism, mass murder or gang rape, or take sex-slaves are extremists. Muslims who merely beat their wives are not extremists. Muslims who merely cut off the daughters’ clitorises and sew up their labia are not extremists. Muslims who merely marry off their underage daughters to adult strangers are not extremists. Muslims who merely want to impose a barbaric system of law on the West are not extremists. Muslims who merely refuse to shake hands with members of the opposite sex are not extremists. Muslims who would merely want to see apostates killed and homosexuals thrown to their deaths off high buildings are not extremists. Muslims who merely believe a Muslim’s life is worth more than a kafir’s are not extremists. Muslims who merely feel they have nothing to explain when one of their own beheads a teacher in the street or an old lady praying in a church are not extremists. Muslims who merely have God on their mind for the entirety of their waking hours are not extremists. Muslims who merely send their young children for indoctrination are not extremists. Muslims who merely teach the Qur’an are not extremists. Muslim parents who merely pressure their traumatised daughters into returning to their violent abusive husbands are not extremists. Muslims who murder their daughters for being “too Western” are not extremists. Muslims who insist, “I do not have to respect the laws of the land,” are not extremists. All these lovely moderate Muslims are highly sensitive and we must take great care never to offend them lest we “drive them into the hands of the extremists”. Thus have we been co-opted, through corruption of our language, to the cause of Allah. Alain Brossat comes to mind, "As always, the poets and butchers of totalitarianism reveal themselves first of all by the vocabulary they use."

The impact of pressing the word extremist into service for sinister political ends corrupts our measure of ethics well beyond the cynical expediency of supporting “our moderate Muslim allies” against “the extremists”. Thus, for example, Western observers and commentators, especially law-enforcement officers and judges, do not seem to think it odd how frequently Muslims who murder their wives and daughters “to restore their honour” make a point of doing so in front of their little children, and rarely go on the run. On the contrary, they turn up to relatives, friends, even the police, covered in blood, murder weapon in hand, and calmly declare their deeds.

Understand this, dear reader, please, in their minds they have done nothing wrong, indeed, they have done a virtuous deed that, fortunately, their little children could learn from. These people are not Ed Husain’s "jihadists", "Islamists", "extremists" or "fundamentalists". They are on the same side of Husain's artificial divide as he is. And lest I be accused of bigotry, most Muslims on Husain’s side of his divide do not do these things. They are horrified by them. But enough of them do it to blur the distinction that Husain contrives in order to distinguish himself from the Muslims who revel in them. The Muslims who are not like Husain are a much larger proportion of the ummah than just his “Islamists”. And it is these Muslims who matter.

Part 2/...

Picture credits:

Public Domain,

RIA Novosti archive, image #7781 / G. Vail / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0,

BBC Urdu - YouTube: Aasia Bibi Interview with BBC - BBCURDU (Time: 8s) – View/save archived versions on and, CC BY 3.0,

Screenshot from The Spectator, YouTube, 22 Jun 2024,

Screenshot from The Spectator, YouTube, 22 Jun 2024,

Chris McAndrew -, CC BY 3.0,


On 1 July 2024 at 13:59, Ben Dor A. wrote:

Dear Anjuli Pandavar

I honestly didn't understand if you are for or against Islamophobia laws.

I believe that Western judicial systems and state prosecutors, especially in Israel, have gained excessive power by creating/interpretating laws with ambiguous wording. This ambiguity potentially allows them to interpret and apply the laws in a biased manner, giving them significant discretion in how cases are ruled upon. This perceived imbalance of power raises concerns about fairness, transparency, and accountability within the legal system.

The present government nearly collapsed for trying to make a few reforms to the system until they were forced by local extremists to abandon the project.

You certainly have mentioned it in your essay.

I also suspect that laws passed in Western societies, especially economic laws, are for the benefit of the ruling class and not for the public. So how are they any different from tyrannies?

I read this somewhere:

1) The ordinary thief steals your money, your bag, your watch and your money. But the political thief steals your future, your career, your education, your health and your business.

2) The hilarious part: the ordinary thief will choose whom to rob. But you are the one to choose the political thief to rob you, because we choose them, we vote them.

3) We blindly say "we are not blind". Who is deceiving whom? The ridiculous part of the whole issue is we fight to defend and protect our belongings from the ordinary thief. But we fight each other to defend and protect the political thief. Is that not what we do? Thugs will be fighting themselves to protect those who are stealing our career, stealing our joy, stealing our health and stealing our success. What a shame! What a travesty!

Best Regards
Ben Dor A

On 1 July 2024 at 16:28, Anjuli Pandavar wrote:

Dear Ben Dor A,

Thank you for a great comment!

"I honestly didn't understand if you are for or against Islamophobia laws." — I get to this explicitly in Part 2. In this part I am only pulling all the bits together. But just to briefly answer your point, the very concept of "Islamophobia" is a fraud.

The points you make in the paragraph: "I believe that Western judicial systems ... accountability within the legal system," are good points and I agree with them, especially that they cover a multitude of sins, not least the scoundrel's path to serving himself or herself. These points, I'd suggest, apply in the normal formulation and implementation of Western law. Ambiguity can be exploited, that is true, but it still legitimately means two (or more) things exist that can be argued over. Of course, it is bad law and might even be intentionally so designed. It is worth bearing in mind that exploiting such ambiguities for personal gain is not the exclusive preserve of shady politicians. Taking advantage of "loopholes" in the law is almost a sport in Western societies. Yet none of this is intended to undo the society.

Contrivances such as the Israeli "Reasonableness" provision and Western "Islamophobia" go well beyond ambiguity and are far more sinister than interpretation, bias and discretion in how cases are ruled upon. These are not about case rulings. They are about dismantling the rule of law itself and through that, undoing the society: in the cae of Israel, the Jewish state; in the case Western countries, the secular state. Whether it is a Supreme Court telling an elected government whom it may and whom it may not appoint as Ministers, or a Shari'a Court sentencing a Christian to death on the say-so of a Muslim, there is no ambiguity since there is no case to be argued. Making laws over "Islamophobia" is like considering whether rat poison should be drunk from a cup or a glass. The very concept of "Islamophobia" has to be expunged from the society at all levels.