The Troll of the Month is an incident we choose every month to expose racist and anti-religious haters and to show positive outcomes in the fight against intolerance in Europe.
Melanie Phillips is a British author who writes for various platforms, including The Times, The Jerusalem Post, and The Jewish Chronicle. She mainly covers political and social issues, and is known for her conservative perspective. She is also known for having a strong anti-Muslim rhetoric, which can be found in her writing time and time again.
In December of 2019, Phillips’ articles were hosted on two separate platforms in the UK, and she used both of them to spread anti-Muslim ideas. For The Times, Philips wrote about the Islamic principle of ‘taqiyya’, claiming that all Muslims are taught to deceive and making little distinction between Muslims and Islamic terrorists. The piece lacked theological research and made sweeping claims which resulted in a very anti-Muslim narrative. For the Jewish Chronicle, Phillips wrote a piece titled: “Don’t fall for bogus claims of ‘Islamophobia’.” The piece took the position that claims of Islamophobia are a “taunt” and “profoundly anti-Jew.” Not only does this disregard any victim of Islamophobia, but it also pits Jews and Muslims against each other in the fight against religious hate speech.
Phillips has a long history of spreading such ideas. In 2006, she published a book titled: “Londonistan: How Britain Created a Terror State within.” The book makes many alarmist claims with strong anti-Muslim undertones. Reviewing the book for The Independent, Kenan Malik states: “If you want fear and hysteria, nobody does it better than Phillips.” In 2018, Phillips wrote a piece for The Times titled “Islamophobia is a fiction to shut down debate” in which she makes claims similar to those made this month, essentially saying that Islamophobia is not real and cannot be equated with antisemitism.
Melanie Phillips and her ideas are nothing new, and large platforms continue to give their reach and audience to her. It begs the question: when has someone spread enough hate to be denied an audience?