Cathy Young on Islamic Extremism and Islamophobia


Which is the more serious problem today, Cathy Young asks: Islamic extremism or anti-Islamic bigotry? The Nation, the leading magazine of America's left, has a blowout special issue on "Islamophobia: Anatomy of an American Panic." Its articles address a real and serious issue—but nowhere in The Nation will one find recognition that extremism in Islam is a particularly serious problem. One author dismisses the issue by stating that "every group has its loonies." Another writes that while misogyny and religious repression in some Muslim countries should be denounced, it can be done without generalizing about Islam. Concerns about bigotry should not deter legitimate debate about problems in modern Islam.