Home Australia PETER HITCHENS: Call something a “phobia” and you stifle all debate… that’s why the left loves it

PETER HITCHENS: Call something a “phobia” and you stifle all debate… that’s why the left loves it

by Elijah
0 comment
I have had some very interesting times disagreeing with Muslims, writes Peter Hitchens. Qualify such disagreements as a



<!– <!–




Why can you have a phobia of some things, but not others? Why is “Islamophobia” a word and idea in constant use, while “Christianophobia” is not? Because today there are many people who view the Christian religion with bitter and hostile contempt, and its position in our society is increasingly diminished, often thanks to official actions of Parliament and the courts.

Why is there “homophobia” but not “heterophobia”? The old belief in heterosexual marriage and parenthood is increasingly dismissed as an outdated and possibly oppressive arrangement. It has been systematically stripped of its former privileges.

I have heard those who still follow this old-fashioned lifestyle be rudely dismissed as “breeders.” But no court will award you compensation for that type of discrimination. Making fun of the elderly, as if age were an obvious defect, is becoming more popular every day. However, there is no such thing as “senophobia.”

A few years ago I felt that the term “anti-Semitism” did not serve its purpose. Many people who don’t like Jews (and there are quite a few) refuse to consider themselves anti-Semitic. They associate the word with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, or with Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists. They don’t believe they are like that.

PETER HITCHENS Call something a phobia and you stifle all

I have had some very interesting times disagreeing with Muslims, writes Peter Hitchens. To call such disagreements a “phobia” is to end the discussion and attack freedom of expression.

So I tried to introduce the word “Judophobia” into the language, to give Jew-hatred the same pariah status as everyone else. It was never successful, although it is probably a more truthful description of this strange mania than the other ways in which “phobia” is used. I’m not even going to try ‘marriage phobia’ or ‘family phobia’ or ‘britophobia’, although there are bigoted opinions that deserve these names.

Some Latin or Greek experts might also come up with a fancy, medical-sounding word to describe the disdain our elite classes have for women who stay home to raise their own children.

The truth is that the invention of all these “phobias” is a brilliant political trick. It works because he is very difficult to fight against.

Most people are distressed and scared to see their opinions classified as some kind of mental illness. Any point of view or position that the new liberal elite disagrees with is not treated as an opinion. It is treated as a disease of the mind, a terrible disorder, to be met with disdain and excluded from the national conversation.

There is no logic as to which opinion is called a phobia and which is not, except the current opinions of that elite. Take “Islamophobia”, today a serious accusation that, once made, can ruin a person in a day.

My sad opinion is that there are some people on the political right who hide racial intolerance behind supposed opposition to Islam. I don’t have time for them. I do not like. His behavior facilitates the triumph of the rival fanaticism of the left. Because Islam is not a race. It is a religion that you can choose to follow or not follow. It is (like Christianity) a set of political, moral, and historical opinions with which it is perfectly reasonable for others to disagree.

I have had very interesting moments disagreeing with Muslims (mostly at the Islamic university of Deoband in northern India, but also in many other places). To classify such disagreements as a “phobia” is to end the discussion and attack freedom of expression. But that is what the left in this country has decided to do, and what they have been busily doing for at least two decades.

During that time it has become increasingly difficult to speak your mind, even if your opinions are free of prejudice and hate. This is an old technique of the left and I don’t know where it will end.

Many years ago, as the Cold War began to draw to a close, I had the great privilege of meeting one of the bravest people who ever lived. His name is Anatoly Koryagin, a Soviet psychiatrist who protested against the abuse of psychiatry to classify opponents of communism as mentally ill. This is a common problem on the left. They think they are so good that they must be right and that anyone who opposes them must be crazy.

Koryagin was imprisoned because he had written about the misrepresentations of psychiatry in the British medical journal The Lancet. He protested with a hunger strike. They force-fed him, drugged him with dangerous “anti-psychotic” chemicals and, of course, beat him. At one point, his wife managed to visit him but she could not recognize him.

Thank God many protests eventually achieved their release, but I have always thought that this event was the slimy bottom of every political opinion that makes its advocates think they are too good to oppose.

You may also like