El Inglés uses the recent controversy over Boris Johnson’s remarks to introduce some little-known historical examples of Islamophobia.
Boris and the Burka
by El Inglés
Boris Johnson is at it again, it seems. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen, Britain’s most/least-admired/hated (delete as appropriate) white, straight, male, privileged, politician has caused a stir by saying that Muslim women in burkas look like ‘bank-robbers’ and ‘letter-boxes.’
Given that no bank robber in the history of the world has ever actually looked like a letterbox, it seems clear that at least one of these two epithets must be inaccurate. Here, we will put that to one side and focus on the response to his comments.
One Lord Cooper, of whose existence I was unaware until fairly recently, communicated the following via Twitter in response to Boris’s comments:
‘The rottenness of Boris Johnson goes deeper even than his casual racism and his equally casual courting of fascism. He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment.’
Lord Cooper, which actually means Lord Barrelmaker, and is therefore a very weird title, had effectively accused Boris of being a fascist. Woop-de-doop. Another day, another fascist under the bed. So far, so original.
Let us ask, though: was the charge actually fair in this particular case? It is no secret that Boris is a gigantic, attention-seeking bellend. Could he also be a fascist?
Whatever exactly one thinks of Johnson’s comments, we need to be clear about one thing: anti-Muslim feeling has by no stretch of the imagination been limited to fascists, historically speaking. People of all different political backgrounds have despised Islam equally. Let us consider a few examples here.
Ho Chi Minh — Communist and Islamophobe Extraordinaire
Ho Chi Minh was a hugely talented Islamophobe. According to his unauthorized biography Not That Type of Ho…, Ho was arrested for attacking a group of Algerian men with a meat cleaver during his days in Paris in the 1920s. He was quoted in his police statement as having said:
‘Why so many ****ing Muslims in Paris? Why they park all over sidewalk so no can pass? Why they shout at me and lady friend when we walk down street? Next time I kill even more, ****ing hate ****ing Muslims.’
That hard-left sentiments and anti-Muslim bigotry often walk hand-in-hand is made abundantly clear by this tale of borderline psychotic Islamophobia.
Jane Austen — World-famous Victorian novelist and grand wizard-level Islamophobe
Jane Austen’s position as a greatly-loved English novelist seemed unassailable until 2014, when previously unknown letters of hers exposed her as a raving anti-Islamic nutcase. The following is a particularly choice demonstration of her unrelenting anti-letterbox bigotry.
‘I happened upon a most unlovely bearded bollockhead of a Mohammedan a few short days ago, whereupon I did immediately start screeching the vilest of slurs at him: goat****er, sand monkey, and others that quite escape me at present but that yielded great pleasure at the time. I went home feeling rather pleased with myself and enjoyed a celebratory scone with extra jam. Goat****ers everywhere these days, darling, you simply can’t imagine.’
Pancho Villa — Mexican revolutionary Islamophobe
Not only an unreconstructed sombrero-wearer and tequila-drinker, Pancho Villa was well ahead of the curve as an Islamophobe too. An undercover documentary released on YouTube in 2013 constituted incontrovertible evidence of this. At one point, a voice, subsequently identified as Villa’s, is heard to say:
‘You haf to remeber wid de Moosleems dat dey dreenk de blod of two infeedels every day jos’ to stay alive, ese. We talkin’ bout som baaad hombres, hermano. In Mexico, we shoot on sight, no questions asked. No Moosleems in Mexico ese, an’ we aim to keep it dat way….’
Edward the Third — Launcher of Hundred Years’ War against the French, and precocious Islamophobe
Edward the Third, when not busy battling the Valois dynasty for the French throne, was a tireless opponent of the Islamic religion and its adherents. Historians recently unearthed one of his angrier diatribes about the Muslims swarming his capital city. We quote from a post he made on Facebook in 1363: