A very good summing up.
Writing in LibÃ©ration last November, the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner noted that the idea of Islamophobia originated in revolutionary Iran. In Bruckner's view, allegations of Islamophobia allow Islamic radicals to blunt criticism of extremist Islam and rationalise the rejection of secular Western values. In short, "Islamophobia" is a gagging order. But ... Bruckner and the few journalists and academics who question the rhetoric of Islamophobia are a minority.The fact is, European societies have gone to great lengths to stifle any expression of anti-Islamic sentiment â€“ even, some might say, at the expense of freedom of speech.
In 2008, for instance, the right-wing extremist Pro Cologne political party organised an anti-Islam conference. Thousands of demonstrators from all walks life took to the streets in protest against this "Stop Islam" event, prompting the city of Cologne to pull the plug on it.
By contrast, when four years earlier Walter Hermann set up his so-called â€˜Cologne Wailing Wallâ€™ exhibit â€“ which includes a cartoon of a man wearing a Star-of-David bib and an American flag while devouring a Palestinian boy and holding a knife that bears the word "Gaza", alongside him a glass filled with blood â€“ in Cathedral Square, the bustling pedestrian zone in the middle of the city, it was allowed to stand without protest.