Melanie Phillips: The Letter the JC Didn’t Publish

(Submitted 22 December)

van der zyl phillips letter

We were astonished and disappointed to read the criticisms of Melanie Phillips in the letter (Dec 20) by Marie van der Zyl, Jonathan Goldstein and David Delew and in the article by David Toube. All four wrongly accused Ms Phillips (Dec 13) of suggesting that hatred of Muslims doesn’t exist. On the contrary: She wrote that ‘prejudice against Muslims should be condemned, just like prejudice against Hindus, Sikhs or anyone else’.

Ms Phillips’ point was that unlike accusations of antisemitism, accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ are used to silence criticism – in this case criticism of the Islamic world, including extremism. Her point was proved last week. Kay Wilson is a victim of an assault by an Islamist terrorist who killed her friend. Kay survived, badly wounded. Last week she gave a talk to students from UCLA. Kay statesThey had no questions about how I coped with the attack, or what it means to have PTSD, or what it was like to face my attackers in court, or what my relationship is like with my dead friend’s parents, or how did this event make me think of G-d, Instead, they were offended that I named my assailants as “Islamic terrorists”. I was accused of “Islamophobia.” ‘

Ms Phillips’ argument  has been supported by no less than Haras Rafiq, Chief Executive of Quilliam.  Speaking in Oxford at ISGAP last summer, he warned of accusations of “Islamophobia”.

Ms Phillips also wrote in support of Colonel Richard Kemp who withdrew as a speaker from the CAA ‘Together Against Antisemitism’ rally as a result of smears against him. We were also appalled that he felt he had to pull out. Kemp was supported by Ghanem Nuseibeh – Chair of Muslims Against Antisemitism. The rally should have gone ahead with Kemp but without any speaker who believed the smears.

Jonathan Hoffman
Mark Pickles

Postscript:

This week’s JC includes this apology to Colonel Richard Kemp.