That’s what the London School of Economics Students’ Union — as best I can tell, the British equivalent of a student government here in the U.S. — resolved, with Islamophobia defined to include “hatred or fear of Islam, Muslims, or Islamic culture, and the stereotyping, demonisation or harassment of Muslims, including but not limited to portraying Muslims as barbarians or terrorists, or attacking the Qur’an as a manual of hatred.” Here’s the resolution:
1. In the right to criticise religion,
2. In freedom of speech and thought,
3. It has a responsibility to protect its members from hate crime and hate speech,
4. Debate on religious matters should not be limited by what may be offensive to any particular religion, but the deliberate and persistent targeting of one religious group about any issue with the intent or effect of being Islamophobic (‘Islamophobia’ as defined below) will not be tolerated.
5. That Islamophobia is a form of anti-Islamic racism.
1. To define Islamophobia as “a form of racism expressed through the hatred or fear of Islam, Muslims, or Islamic culture, and the stereotyping, demonisation or harassment of Muslims, including but not limited to portraying Muslims as barbarians or terrorists, or attacking the Qur’an as a manual of hatred”, …
4. To ensure that all Islamophobic incidents aimed at or perpetrated by LSE students either verbal, physical or online are dealt with swiftly and effectively in conjunction with the School ….
Here’s the problem: What does it mean to “believe” “in freedom of speech,” if you can’t express your view that the Koran is a manual of hatred, or that Islam — or Catholicism or Scientology or atheism or any other belief system — should be hated or feared? How you can have a sensible “[d]ebate on religious matters” about the worth or dangerousness of these belief systems if the view that some of the systems are evil is “dealt with swiftly and effectively” by the School and its student government?