Islam-watch Racist? How We Turned a Potential Rightwing Fanatic to Humanist?
04 Jan, 2009
- The commonest of epithet we get from angry Muslims is that 'Islam-watch is racist'. Many good-hearted Western non-Muslims, who are sympathetic to Muslims, also have written to me on few occasions calling us by the same name.
In fact, we are probably racists of the worst kind. Muslims (probably not alone in that camp) see Zionism as the worst kind of racism in the world; this is hardly surprising when the United Nations General Assembly voted to declare Zionism to be a form of racism in 1975 (UN Resolution 3379, later repealed in 1991). Most of the emails we get from bitter Muslims call us stooges, tools, of the Zionists. Some even assert that we are not ex-Muslims at all; we are actually a racist Zionist organization disguised as ex-Muslims. Some, of course, also call us Hindutva, rightwing BNP (British Nationalist Party) fanatics etc. in ex-Muslim guise.
I personally do not see Zionism as racist, but quite the opposite. Zionism was born to end the 2000-plus years of widespread anti-Semitism: racist violence against Jews by giving them a state, thereby shielding them from their persecutors. Although the Zionist Movement had started in the 19th century, the rise of Nazism—the dreaded nemesis of the Jews—in the 1930s, created not only a necessity, but also urgency, for the movement to succeed.
Without going into detail, we can safely say that Zionism was the opposite number of Nazism; today Zionism is recognized as the worst form of Nazism. Zionism was the opposite number of anti-Semitism; today Zionism is equated with anti-Semitism, even by many Jews. Such is the 21st-century world we live.
So, apart from the epithets of Zionist, Hindutva and BNP fanatics, we can add a few more: we are Zionist racists, anti-Semites, Nazis.
I personally consider myself a liberal humanist. But when people from all quarters hurl these kinds of labels at us—exactly opposite to what I consider myself, our organization to be—it often throws me into doubtful episodes. I wonder whether I truly hold or uphold the principles that I claim to do.
A few letters I have received from readers over recent months have removed those doubts from my mind. These letters, I think, affirm what this organization was set out to be, to propagate the ideas of universal humanism, to break the barriers of race, caste, creed, nationalism.
I will include two letters here. One of them is from Joanne (a regular contributor in our forum), who surprised me most. She was on a course to become a BNP fanatic, particularly out of her dislikes of Muslims. But her discovery of Islam-watch.org has changed her whole outlook toward humanity. She is today a humanist, sympathetic to all races, including Muslims. Another story comes from Susan; her discovery of islam-watch.org has changed her bitter perception of Muslims. She feels today that there are worthy people amongst them too.
To all at Islam-watch, I would like you to know that, not only do I admire you for your bravery but also for your excellent articles. You might be interested to know that your site has stopped me from becoming a fanatic, a right wing fanatic that is. Through Islam watch, I have learnt that to be a fanatic of any kind is wrong. Keep up the good work and thank you for all your help and wise words.
MA Khan replies:
Thanks for your words of appreciation. Such words always boost
our morale to keep this work going against all the odds, threats we
have been facing. We feel this initiative is crucial, but may not be
enough, for a tolerant, free world to survive. Humanity faces hard
times ahead; in five decades, situation could turn dire of the
secular, progressive and modernist parts of the world---Europe
probably becoming a major victim.
Our reading is that the civilized way of fighting this menace is
through media, books, magazines, through objective criticism &
debates. But few are there to take it up. Ours is useful effort but
with little audience in a world of 8 billion people, it is woefully
insufficient as I feel it. We are doing the best we can.
BTW, I was a bit curious of your background. How could our program be helpful in preventing you from going fanatic?
Joanne replies back:
I used to respect all cultures to varying degrees but as the years past and Muslim oppression around the world became worse, I lost that respect. I put everything alien to me into one box and started to hate. I even sent money to the BNP (to my shame), what I came to see after going on your site was that not all ideas different to mine are bad. There are many people from many cultures on your site with whom I have much in common with. In short, I’m not better than anyone else and they are not better than me. Reading this back it seems a bit disjointed but I’m no literary master! Hope it explains something though.
I am an agnostic, 45 year old woman who believes in equal rights and freedoms for all. I found this site about 6 months ago and cannot describe to you just how much I admire the authors of the writings of this site. The opinions and attitudes expressed here have changed my mind when it comes to "middle of the road" Muslims. I had never heard a Muslim person criticize Islam or speak out against atrocities committed by Muslims so that I assumed that all Muslims were radical and condoned anti-West and anti-Semitic attacks in the name of Allah!
Thank goodness I came across this site. It has given me courage to hope for a better future for all, including Muslims and Jews. I only hope that more Muslim apostates speak out against Islam and what this represents. This may be a terrifying prospect for some, but there is safety in numbers. I wish you all "the very best" to enable you to continue to create awareness about Islam, to Muslims and infidels alike, and be safe.
We personally hold that all humans have the same potential. It’s the circumstances—social, cultural, ideological that groom us—separate us all in our outlook, attitude, achievements. Ideology is a big factor in shaping our vision of life. We have seen Nazism, Communism in our lifetime; these have claimed tens of millions of lives in the age of civilized humanity. Ideology can obviously be devastating to humankind at any time, including in the time ahead of us. Islam is such ideology continuing its havoc on humankind and a very difficult one to dislodge, to discredit. Muslims are only victims of this cultist ideology as were the Nazis and Communists of their respective ideology. More fanatic ones are the worse victims. Muslims are otherwise just like every other people; in their natural constitution, they are the same as all other humans.
We feel that only through unflinching criticism of the Islamic ideology, the Islamic creed, that we can be Muslims' best friends—they like it or not. Pampering them, saying ‘Islam is peace’ and stuffs like that, is unhelpful to them and their future generations, as is to their neighbors. We have enough evidence already to be confident that this thinking of our is right. Many devout Muslims, whose introduction to our Website was bitter, have turned our best friends, our staunch defenders. The stories like those of Joanne and Susan makes our confidence rock solid.
We are creating better humans out of Muslims by helping them out of Muhammad’s dehumanizing, violent and cruel cult. We are, surprisingly, making better humans out of some non-Muslims too, Joanne’s case being one. We are creating friends for Muslims out of their haters, enemies, amongst non-Muslims as well.
Call us racist, Zionist or whatever you may; we will take it as a complement, and quite happily too.