‘Islam is not a monolith’ – Mohsin Hamid

By | May 23, 2013

It is somewhat depressing to have to say this, but in the light of the reaction to the Woolwich attack (see this article, contains today’s Guardian frontpage), and the fact that the attackers were promptly tagged as Islamic terrorists, it probably needs to be said over and over again:

There are more than a billion variations of lived belief among people who define themselves as Muslim – one for each human being, just as there are among those who describe themselves as Christian, or Buddhist, or Hindu. Islamophobia represents a refusal to acknowledge these variations, to acknowledge individual humanities, a desire to paint members of a perceived group with the same brush. In that sense, it is indeed like racism. It simultaneously credits Muslims with too much and too little agency: too much agency in choosing their religion, and too little in choosing what to make of it.


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