“Antisemitism is not just a form of racism, it is a unique derangement that is based entirely on lies and demonisation. The same cannot be said of what is considered Islamophobia” says Melanie Phillips.

The implication here is that racism is not a derangement based entirely on lies and demonisation, that there are elements of rationality in racism. This is not true even on the most basic logical premise since racism is assigning negative qualities prejudicially to individuals in a group (demonising) on the assumption that all members of that group have those negative qualities.

Phillips’s statement about the way ‘Islamophobia’ is used to shut down legitimate criticism of Muslim communities is not something I would take issue with but the very same fomulation she uses can be applied to the way ‘antisemitism’ is used:

“Any criticism of Israel is considered antisemitic .. and is used as a means of shutting down legitimate criticism of the Israeli government. The term antisemitism itself is used to cover legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and specific Jewish institutions or individuals; criticism on the grounds of their behaviour an not of their Jewishness.”