Imagine my surprise, bemusement, and ultimate joy when I was told that I had been nominated this year the most august prize of “Islamophobe of the Year,” an inconsistently presented award offered by the farcically named “Islamic Human Rights Commission” (IHRC).
To be sure of this honour’s pedigree, it is worth noting, as Douglas Murray has, that the IHRC has supported the annual “Al-Quds day march where Hezbollah supporters and others march through the centre of London calling for the destruction of the Jewish state”.
Douglas has also been nominated and has set about getting his vote out for this all-too tantalising ‘achievement’. But I want you to click through to the IHRC website and vote for me, because nothing will annoy these fools more than the inevitable mockery they face for nominating anti-extremism campaigners for being “the worst offenders.”
I can imagine their faces already as they read this article and take to Twitter to vent their outrage: “Raheem Kassam thinks Islamophobia is a good thing!”
Well quite patently not, given the fact that my name is Raheem Kassam and I grew up in a Muslim family. But I suspect that this “self-hating Muslim” idea — or “House n****r,” or “Uncle Tom,” as I have so often been called — is the icing on the cake for them.
I don’t doubt that discrimination against Muslims exists. It does exist, and it is palpably wrong. But in seeking to conflate the fact that I campaign against Islamist extremism and believe that many have taken the “Islamophobia” neologism and turned it into something that is effectively meaningless, they give their heinous worldview away further.
There can be no further evidence of this than the recent excoriation of one of my fellow award nominees, Maajid Nawaz, who recently had to deal with all manner of accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ simply for stating that he, as a Muslim, was not offended about a cartoon that depicted the Prophet Muhammad.
But apparently we’re both Islamophobes now, and in contention for the award of “Islamophobe of the Year.”
What was my alleged offence, you ask? In 2009, I set up and have since held a position at the counter-extremism pressure group Student Rights, which helps root out extremism in all forms on university campuses in the UK.
Forgetting that we have highlighted far-right speakers in addition to the wave of Islamists that fraternise at UK universities, the IHRC in its wisdom has decided that as an ostensibly self-hating Muslim, I am as eligible for the award as Britain’s Home Secretary Teresa May, who had the temerity to extradite Tahla Ahsan, who recently pleaded guilty to two counts of “conspiring to provide and providing material support” to terrorists.
It is not often that I will lobby to be placed in the same category as President Obama, who has also been nominated for “for mostly everything,” or indeed French President Francois Hollande, nominated “for the invasion of Mali,” but on this occasion I think I can make an exception.
I have long been a fan of spurious awards disseminated by organisations with track records such as that of IHRC. And so I implore you, for the sake of hilarity, for the sake of undermining their entire point, and for the sake of the look on their faces when any of us who have campaigned for our own victory wins, vote for this Breitbart contributor to be the IHRC’s “Islamophobe of the Year.”
Douglas Murray promised to donate any cash prize(!) to the Barnabus Fund, which is providing support for Syrian children, specifically raising awareness of the plight of Christians in the country.
Though I would likely follow suit, there is a part of me that really wants to promise any proceeds to Pizza IDF.
For some strange reason, I have a feeling that the IHRC won’t be sending any cheques my way.