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‘Islamophobia,’ According To London Police

A 2016 rally in London (Ms. Jane Campbell/Shutterstock)

From this 2015 official report, here are the guidelines that the London Metropolitan Police use to determine if someone is “Islamophobic”:

That is astonishing. They’re criminalizing negative opinions about a particular religion. Why do the London Metropolitan police reserve the right to decide whether or not people’s opinions of Islam are based on hatred?

I believe that the Islamic religion is inferior to Christianity because it is not true, in my view. I expect that believing Muslims have the same view about Christianity, and non-Muslim religions. So what? That has nothing at all to do with whether or not I treat Muslims (or people of other non-Christian religions, or atheists) with respect and fairness, or whether or not they treat me with the same respect.

If people conclude that Islam is engaged in a “clash of civilizations,” so what? Seriously, so what? That is a debatable thesis. Would the London Met have arrested the late Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington for holding this view?

Does the London Met have the insight to determine when a hate-crimes suspect is rejecting Islamic criticism of the West “out of hand,” and is therefore guilty of a hate crime, as opposed to rejecting the criticism after thoughtful deliberation? What’s the dividing line on that one?

And so forth.

This is chilling. What the police force of a major Western capital city is doing is making it a crime to think and speak critically about Islam. People who hate Muslims because they are Muslim are bigoted, and those who treat Muslims unjustly are wrong, and quite possibly are lawbreakers too. But they are not lawbreakers because they hold bigoted opinions. And holding negative opinions of Islam — or Christianity, or any other religion — does not by itself make one a bigot.

Steve Sailer has said that “political correctness is a war on noticing.” He’s right.

(Via this tweet)

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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