Voice criticism of accepted verities and you encounter a tsunami of accusation. Every conceivable ‘ism’ or ‘phobia’ will be levelled. This is of course nonsense. The great majority of those who question what is happening in the world are not particularly given to any political ideology or perverted social view, they are just ordinary people wondering what is going on in a sometimes crazy world. There is, however, a phobia behind all the phobias.
Take the ever reliable accusation of Islamophobia. In 2000 Massoud Sahdjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission claimed: ‘Muslims in Britain face the same fate this century as Jews in Europe in the last.’ Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Independent’s consistently wrongheaded commentator, writing shortly after 9/11 claimed: ‘We brace ourselves again for a period of bile and beatings and hate mail… Islamophobia will once more erupt worldwide and be legitimised by some political leaders. It is okay to hate a Muslim again.’ Salma Yaqoob writing in the Guardian in 2006 stated: ‘[Muslims in Britain] are subject to attacks reminiscent of the gathering storm of anti-Semitism in the first decades of the last century.’
It is not just self appointed spokespeople for a fragmented Muslim community. After every Muslim terrorist attack politicians, commentators and supposed community leaders have elbowed each other out of the way to warn of an imminent surge in anti-Muslim attacks. And yet, these surges never occur.
A few months after 9/11London Metropolitan Police reported: ‘There isn’t really evidence of an increase (in assaults against Muslims).’ In the year after the 7/7 bombings, The Crown Prosecution Service revealed that, out of the 43 cases of religiously aggravated crime, just 18 of them were against Muslims (or ‘perceived’ Muslims) – a decline from 23 anti-Muslim crimes in 2004-2005.
Last week Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) reported a ‘surge’ in anti-Muslim feeling over the past year, citing 734 ‘Islamophobic incidents’ between May 2013 and February 2014. The media seized on this as portraying evidence of an ever rising current of Islamophobia in Britain.
Tell MAMA, however, have previous. Following Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder they claimed there had been over 200 ‘Islamophic incidents’. Tell MAMA’s founder, Fiyaz Mughal, told the BBC at the time. ‘The scale of the backlash is astounding.’ It emerged that several reports were unverified, the vast majority of the incidents were postings on social media and no one involved in a real world attack required medical attention. There was routinely more physical violence after an Old Firm football match in Glasgow.
This time, as before, the overwhelming majority of incidents (599) consisted of online abuse, and the real-world incidents were mainly verbal abuse plus the rarer cases of Muslim women having their veils lifted. Unpleasant undoubtedly, but a long way from what Jews faced in europe last century, and from Muslims today. Their proven record of exaggeration did not stop the BBC from interviewing Tell MAMA without robustly challenging their unfounded accusations.
Deep seated and widespread Islamophobia exists, not in the real world, but in the minds of those determined to see it as a problem. Unacceptable as racial or religious hatred is the actual problem is not real victimisation of Muslims, but the perceived victimisation of Muslims. That self-appointed Muslim leaders should press an Islamophobic narrative is understandable. The real question is why should our elites buy wholeheartedly into this narrative?
Because of the one phobia never mentioned in Parliament or on the media and yet is widespread amongst our elites in politics, the media, academia and the establishment generally – Oikophobia.
Roger Scruton, swashbuckling philosopher and scourge of all that is progressive, defines oikophobia as fear of the familiar: ‘the disposition, in any conflict, to side with ‘them’ against ‘us’, and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours.’’ A concise description of the psychology of the West’s elites.
This is not new. In 1941 George Orwell wrote: “England is perhaps the only country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful about being an Englishman.”
Our establishment elites hold the majority of us in contempt and have a deep mistrust of what we think and value, especially Christianity, and a deeper mistrust of who we are. This is a significant factor in the growing disconnect between people and rulers.
Membership of political parties plummets. In the 1950s membership of the Conservative Party stood at approximately 2,500,000 and the Young Conservatives were said to be the largest youth organisation outside the USSR or China. In the 1950’s individual membership of the Labour Party topped 1,000,000. Today Conservative Party membership is estimated to be around 170,000 and Labour Party 187,000.
Our MPs are likely to have moved straight from school to university, to being a special adviser, with perhaps an excursion into public relations, and then selection for a seat. Selection of election candidates is no longer in the hands of local party members but under the control of central authority, like promotes like. Both Conservative and Labour parties permit the local party to choose only between candidates pre-approved by the centre.
Rulers and ruled no longer share the same culture, beliefs or attitudes. Promiscuous charges of bigotry are how our current rulers and their media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking, they expect no better from us.
You oppose the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history? Homophobia. You oppose Obama’s health care reforms? Racism. You think that if Somalis are to immigrate to the UK they should learn English? Cultural imperialism. You think the EU has too many undemocratic powers? Xenophobia, it seems that even a Scotsman can be a Little Englander.
There is a phobia which significantly impacts on the lives of every one of us, it’s called oikophobia. The big problem is that it really exists.