"...it is wrong, and historically infantile, to speak about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the same breath. This isn’t to say that there is no anti-Muslim prejudice. Of course there is. Some people are deeply suspicious of Muslims and even view them as the despoilers of our apparently hitherto pristine European civilisation. And some Tories – very minor Tories – appear to have shared memes or articles that contain such views. That’s bad. But anti-Semitism is different."
"Anti-Semitism is older. It is far more entrenched in certain European circles. It is far more historically given to mass acts of violence, from pogroms to extermination. And – the really crucial bit – its re-emergence always tells us something important about the destabilisation of society and its descent once again into irrationalism, conspiracism, scapegoating, and fear of modernity. That is why the recent return of anti-Semitism, as a reformulated Socialism of Fools, leading to the casual spread of pseudo-radical conspiracy theories and even to horrific anti-Jewish violence and graffiti in countries like France, Belgium and Sweden, deserves our serious attention. Because this return of the old hatred speaks to an unhinging, a moral disarray, a crisis of reason. And yet if we focus too hard on this, and try to have a reckoning with it, the opinion-forming set will breathe down our necks: ‘And Muslims? What about them? You don’t care?’ It looks increasingly like a tactic of distraction."
"Anti-Muslim prejudice unquestionably exists, but Islamophobia is an invention."