Jewish Chronicle condemned by Muslims for Islamophobic article
"The Islamic world is given a free pass on the grounds that it is the historic victim of the west. The taunt of Islamophobia is used to silence any criticism of the Islamic world, including Islamic extremism," she wrote.
"The concept of 'Islamophobia' is thus profoundly anti-Jew. To equate it with the dehumanising, insane and essentially murderous outpourings of Jew-hatred is obscene."
JC editor, Stephen Pollard, published a statement on Tuesday defending his choice to publish the article.
"The Jewish Chronicle exists to publish a range of views which, as editor, I consider to be worthy of discussion," he wrote. Melanie Phillips’ piece reflects an argument about the origins and utility of the notion of Islamophobia, as opposed to anti-Muslim bigotry, that is part of political debate today."
"The Jewish Chronicle does not seek to provoke but to inform and prompt sensible debate. So when there is such a reaction I take it very seriously and I apologise to any reader who is angered or upset by the piece," Pollard added.
But Phillips' article was roundly denounced as Islamophobic by Muslims and members of the Jewish community.
The main democratic body representing Jews in the UK, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a tweet that "anti-Muslim prejudice is very real and it is on the rise. Our community must stand as allies to all facing racism".
Miqdaad Versi, media spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), tweeted his disdain at Phillips' article.
"This latest article is not a one-off but part of a pattern of behaviour - an editorial line on Muslim-related issues as the thread shows. Shameful does not begin to cover how awful this is," he said.
He noted that when 51 Muslim worshippers were massacred at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March, The Jewish Chronicle published a "similar hate-filled piece" by Melanie Phillips.
"The very platforming of Phillips & making Islamophobia to be up for debate (again) is awful in & of itself."