Doctor Chris Allen is a British sociologist at the Institute of Applied Social Studies (IASS) of the Department of Sociology at the University of Birmingham. He was once classed, by Deutsche Welle, as an expert on the topic of contemporary Islamophobia.
Dr Allen has also been commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (a grand title for a handful of middle-class Leftists with beards) to write about “xenophobia” and “Islamophobia”. Chris Allen has also received funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to theorise (in a Marxist manner) about the nature and causes Islamophobia.
And as a result of the state’s cash rolling in, and his advancing career prospects, Dr Chris Allen (in 2010) began to argue that Islamophobia had become socially acceptable and was increasing in the UK as a whole. Allen's personal gravy train was given yet more speed when he was asked to be on the board of a "cross-government working group to tackle anti-Muslim hatred".
Dr Allen's book, Islamophobia, was published a couple of years ago. He also runs a blog called 'bigmouth strikes again'. This is his Facebook page.
In view of all the above, is it any wonder that Dr Chris Allen discovers at least twenty cases of virulent Islamophobia before each breakfast (along with his fellow well-paid Leftist Professors & Doctors of Anti-Fascism)? Alternatively, it may be that I'm being cynical: Allen's view that the UK is suffering from a plague of rampant and murderous Islamophobia may be completely sincere. On the other hand, this may all be about Allan's ever-burgeoning career and/or his (quasi-Marxist) political agenda.
The term ‘Islamophobia’ is said to have been coined by various people or organisations: from Tariq Ramadan (Muslim Brotherhood) to CAIR (Muslim Brotherhood) in the United States. Whoever coined it, was done so to forward a specifically Islamist agenda.
According to Doctor Chris Allen, the Quilliam Foundation once called for people to adopt the term “anti-Muslim bigotry” as a substitution for “Islamophobia”. The Quilliam Foundation believed that the term “Islamophobia” had played into the hands of Islamists who now use the term indiscriminately (never!). Doctor Chris Allen denies this. He believes that Islamophobia is not a response to either Islamism or Islamic terrorism. It's actually, Dr Allen thinks, a response to ordinary Muslims and mainstream Islam.
Dr Chris Allen demanded a “clear definition” of a term which was invented less than a couple of decades back. Will that clear definition also be the true or correct definition? Is Allen’s prime concern here semantic or political? When he says that the word “Islamophobia” can be “misused” - is that a political or a semantic misuse?
How does Allen want to “tackle” anti-Muslim attitudes? He does so primarily by arguing - if tacitly - that any reference to Islam and Muslims, as Muslims, must only be positive – not critical.
On another note: where is Dr Allen’s evidence that it is “socially acceptable” to express anti-Islamic attitudes and statements? (Unless any criticism of Islam and Muslims, as Muslims, is suspect.) What does “Islamophobia” being “a part of the fabric of everyday life in Britain” so much as mean? Did such Islamophobia exist before 9/11? I don’t think so; though one report which Allen cites dates from 1997.
It doesn’t follow that if you're anti-Islam that you're also anti-Muslim. So is being against Islam, not Muslims, also automatically “discriminatory” according to Chris Allen?
Here it is also explicitly stated that Islamophobia is a kind of xenophobia – but is it? How can one’s being against a religion, or even being against the followers of a religion, be classified as “xenophobic”, strictly speaking?
Why is Islamophobia “dangerous” anyway’? How close does these extreme and dangerous cases of Islamophobia, as Allen sees them, compare to the thousands of acts of Islamic terrorism each year in the world? How do they compare to the massive grooming of young girls in the UK?
Dr Allen cites the Monitoring Center. This organisation must have assumed that Islamophobia existed pre-9/11 – but is that true? In addition, don’t such bureaucracies (just like Tell MAMA today) need to create or event new cases of Islamophobia, either for career reasons or reasons of ideology (or both)?
In any case, not only is Islamophobia not tolerated in the UK - the exact opposite is the case. If a group or individual shows any sign of Islamophobia (even if imagined), then all sorts of individuals and institutions will come down upon him: politicians, political parties, councillors, Hope Not Hate, Unite Against Fascism, MPACUK, MCB, Tell MAMA, The Guardian, the BBC, the Huffington Post, the rights and race industries, the interfaith circuit, etc. Islamophobia has not been tolerated post-5/7 either, never mind before that date.
Dr Allen doesn't give the possibility of Islamophobia being “logical, rational and justifiable” (his words) a second’s thought. The assumption is that it simply can’t be the case – ever! - that anti-Islamism or counter-jihadism is logical, rational and/or justifiable.
Dr Allen explains this impossibility of non-bigoted anti-Islamism when he talks about a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. The clever or deceitful Islamophobe, I presume, is the wolf. Again, Allen seems to think that all criticism of Islam and Muslims is Islamophobic and also ‘racist’ or even ‘fascist’. This is clearly a far-leftist position. There seems to be no such thing as a benign, or truthful, or justifiable, or logical, criticism of Islam or Muslims as Muslims.
Because of the impossibility of non-bigoted anti-Islamism or counter-jihadism, Dr Allen then goes on to claim that it's not the case that people become Islamophobic in response to “Islamic extremism”. The hint is that Islamophobia is actually a response to ordinary Muslims and/or mainstream Islam (whatever that is). That is, Allen believes that Islamophobes are Islamophobic simply because they dislike Difference or the Other.
Following on from this, Dr Allen cites the supposed belief, held by Islamophobes, that all Muslims are terrorists. I've never met or heard of a single person who believes that “all Muslims are terrorists”. (They believe that the majority of terrorists are Muslim; but not that all Muslims are terrorists.) Even if someone were retarded or mentally ill that would not so much as make sense. For example, does anyone really believe that all the Muslims who run curry houses or cab firms are part-time terrorists as well?
Dr Allen also hints that this is the position the EDL falls for. He offers no evidence or even an argument for thinking this.
I believe that nearly all examples of Islamophobia are indeed responses, direct or indirect, to Islamic extremism. Again, Dr Allen is hinting that Islamophobia is really only a response to ordinary Muslims and mainstream Islam. How can that be? Before 9/11 there were virtually no anti-Muslim attitudes in the UK even though there had been Muslim communities before that date. Indeed Muslims and Islam were, if anything, largely ignored.
Even if it were true that 9/11, 7/7, etc. didn’t make much of a difference to the already Islamophobic, Dr Allen is assuming that there was no such thing as an Islamic extremism to react against before 9/11. But what about the Salman Rushdie book burnings which occurred before 9/11? What about the Muslim riots? More broadly, Muslim militants and extremists had been blowing things up since at the least the 1920s; after which time, Muslim terrorism continued on and on.
Yet again, Dr Chris Allen simply assumes that all criticism of Islam and Muslims is “prejudice”. And because it's all prejudice, by Leftist diktat, Allen also believes that such prejudice could never be justified or explained positively.
Doctor Chris Allan, 'Anti-Muslim Prejudice? It’s just Islamophobia in sheep’s clothing' (January 21, 2011)
Check out this strange video of Dr Allen speaking to Muslims about Islamophobia. The talk is hosted by the Islamic Society of Lancaster University. I say “talk” even though the first two minutes are taken up by chanted Islamic prayer. Following that, another Muslim indulges in a minute's worth of Islamic dawah (proselytising). It seems that Dr Allen has moved from fighting largely fictitious Islamophobia to embracing what amounts to Islamophilia.
Notice also Doctor Allen's fake mockney (or least Blairite Estuary English) accent. He uses some really extreme glottal stops. This is the accent which nearly all SWP and other Trotskyists seem to have. He's probably the son of a clergyman. Well, he looks like a clergyman who's let himself go.