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Islamophilia is a controversial neologism employed by some politicians, sociologists and journalists to describe unwavering and uncritical admiration of Islam, generally associated with an admiration of Islamic civilization. Islamophilia, like its antonym Islamophobia, is not included in renomated dictionaries.

However, many proponents of the term argue that it has existed historically as well, in instances like the wave of orientalism that followed Disraeli's premiership and his support for the Ottoman Caliphate of the time.

Others have also drawn upon purported historical instances of Islamophilia. Karl Binswanger remarked on the "dogmatic Islamophilia" of many orientalists. Jacques Ellul complained in 1983 that "in France it is no longer acceptable to criticise Islam or the Arab countries." As early as 1968, Maxime Rodinson had written, "An historian like Norman Daniel has gone so far as to number among the conceptions permeated with medievalism or imperialism, any criticisms of the Prophet’s moral attitudes and to accuse of like tendencies any exposition of Islam and its characteristics by means of the normal mechanisms of human history. Understanding has given way to apologetics pure and simple."


In The Guardian, the British publicist Julie Burchill opposes 'Islamophobia' and 'Islamophilia', asserting that Islamophilia is born from a certain culpability of its fellow-compatriots when they evoke the exactions of people of Muslim origin.[1]

On several weblogs and discussion platforms, as well in printed media the word is used in a likewise manner by controversial publicists like Robert Spencer[2] and Daniel Pipes.

The Indian-born British writer, lecturer and broadcaster, Kenan Malik discusses Islamophilia in an essay titled Islamophobia and Islamophilia, in which he states "Whatever Islamophobia may exist [in the UK] is matched by what can only be called institutionalised Islamophilia."[3]

Publicist Koenraad Elst described the British establishment as 'Islamophilic', saying "In the United Kingdom Islamophilia runs amok. The July 7 bombings, which killed 55 people, seem to have reinforced the taboo on criticism of Islam."[4]

The word "Islamophilia" was used in a cover article of Dutch opinion magazine Elsevier about the Qur'an.

Journalist Gerry van der List used the word "Islamophile" in the quote "the Islamophile theologe Karen Armstrong".

The word is frequently used in conjunction to Islamophobia in order to express the desire to stay in between those two extremes. [5]


Author Robert Aldrich supposes that Islamophilia of colonialists was rooted in their homosexuality.[6]

Andalusian regionalists are reported to exhibit Islamophilic viewpoints in order to stress their regional identity.[7]

Julie Burchill supposes that Islamophilia is caused by a fear of being racist.

Robert Redeker hypothesizes that the French intellectualist establishment replaced their admiration for the Soviet political system with Islamophilia.[8]

Author Bat Yeor regards the Islamophilia of non-Muslims which live under the "protected" status of a dhimmi, as one of the symptoms of dhimmitude: criticizing Islam can have severe repercussions for dhimmi's, as manifest in e.g. Pakistan, where several Christians have been sentenced to prison terms and even death on accusations of blasphemy. Thus according to her, fear is an important motivation.

Theo van Gogh hypothetized that the eulogy of Dutch politicians of Islam was motivated by the wish to control tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims.


Julie Burchill claims "mindless Islampohilia" is "considerably more dangerous" than Islamophobia owing to what she claims has led to a whitewashing of Islamic History and its use as a way of stifling debate.[1][9]

Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes blame Islamophilia as the cause for failure to address problems within the Islamic world or with Islamic communities.

Mansoor Hekmat cites comparable concerns, while he acknowledges that Islamophilic viewpoints of non-Muslims can be of benefit for Muslim immigrants.[10]

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Julie Burchill The Guardian (18th September 2001), Editorials and Letters
  2. Robert Spencer - Rape in Islam: Blaming the Victim - FrontPageMagazine, January 22, 2003
  3. Islamophobia and Islamophilia - Kenan Malik, February 28, 2008
  4. Koenraad Elst - Van Gogh Is Dead. Islam Counts Its Blessings - The Brussels Journal, November 2, 2005
  6. Robert Aldrich - Colonialism and Homosexuality - Routledge, December 23, 2002, ISBN 0-415-19615-9
  8. Michael R. Shurkin - France and Antisemitism, p.4 - ZEEK, November, 2003
  9. Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia: Debate and disagreement - Insted, updated November 5, 2010
  10. Mansoor Hekmat - Islam, Children's Rights, and the Hijab-gate of Rah-e-Kargar - June 1997