LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I refer to the letter by Peter Forsythe (Figures show strong backing for extremists, 14 August) claiming “63 million Muslims in 11 Muslim countries support IS according to Harvard professor Niall Ferguson” but aren’t we referring to the same Niall Ferguson who a month after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, described himself as “a fully paid-up member of the neo-imperialist gang”.
Over the years, leading journals such as The Atlantic have published articles pointing out holes in Niall Ferguson’s arguments summarizing Ferguson’s specialty as “counterfactual history”. Numerous other articles have also been published by the New Statesman, Aljazeera and The Huffington Post, among others equally raising questions about his credibility.
In fact if this fear mongering “63 million” number were true, surely no one would be left alive today. Consider what 19 misguided self-claimed Muslims achieved on 9/11 killing 3000 people in one fell swoop, let alone the carnage that followed afterwards.
In 1943, the Nazi party became a political force after Hitler’s Nazi Party received 43.9 percent of the votes. Should the 17 million Germans that supported the party therefore be implicated for the crimes of Hitler?
Before the illegal Iraq invasion in 2003, 47-60 percent of the US public supported the invasion. Are 136 million Americans therefore responsible for the chaos that ensued since the epic mismanagement of Iraq, the direct loss of over 2-3 million lives since and the generational damage the West has wrecked in the region?
Repeating a lie, exhaustively repudiated will not make it true Mr. Forsythe.
Last but not least, criticising Islam or Muslims does not make one an Islamophobe. Spreading uneven generalizations and lies about Islam and Muslims and to cut, paste, smear and repeat false narratives, already discredited about Muslims and Islam certainly makes one.
If white males are not asked to apologise for their crimes against humanity in the form of war and arms proliferation or all Buddhists asked to condemn the radical monks in Myanmar attacking Muslims, why should all Muslims be implicated for the actions of those who claim to be Muslims and yet behave contrary to the vast majority of Muslims worldwide?
It appears major media and critics can in fact hear Muslims scream but only when they scream threats and vitriol. Words and acts of altruism, compassion, love, tolerance, and pluralism fall on deaf ears.