Escape the monolith

By Ophelia Benson

The day after the terror attack near Finsbury Park Mosque, the BBC interviewed Massoud Shadjareh, chair of the ironically named Islamic Human Rights Commission.

The IHRC is in fact not so much a human rights organization as a public relations firm with one client: a reactionary theocratic version of Islam. In 2015 it distinguished itself by giving Charlie Hebdo an award for “Islamophobia” two months after 12 members of its staff were murdered by the Kouachi brothers, who shouted the obligatory “Allahu akbar” afterwards. The Independent wrote at the time:

The awards, which were devised by The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), took place at a ceremony on Saturday and saw the gong go to the French satirical magazine for ‘the world’s most Islamophobic person or publication’ in 2015.

It beat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US president Barack Obama and American television host Bill Maher to the title …

A spokesman said: “The annual Islamophobia awards have come to be known as a tongue in cheek swipe at those in public life who have perpetrated or perpetuated acts of hatred against Muslims and their faith.”

Hilarious, especially when you remember the twelve butchered editors and cartoonists in that Paris office.

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