We all have them: crazy uncles or senile grandparents raving about one conspiracy theory or the other on the dinner table. "Man landing on the moon was a big hoax," or something about Kennedy's assassination. We'd smile and continue eating our leftover mashed potatoes smothered in gravy, then politely ask to be excused on account of work early the next morning, the car ride back home full of mirthful post-dinner analysis of the crazy dinner table conspiracy talk.
So when we first read about Bat Ye'or, a lady with no educational qualifications to speak of, who came up with the crazy conspiracy theory entitled "Eurabia," we here at LoonWatch barely reacted. If a zany lady comes up with some insane theory, we're certainly not going to take her seriously, at least not any more than the crazy old McCain lady.
The sad reality, however, is that Bat Ye'or is now being used by leading Islamophobes as a primary source for their research and subsequent analysis. So who is Bat Ye'or? Well, first of all, her name is not Bat Ye'or. That's just her "screen-name." For many years, she kept her real identity a secret, and only wrote under this moniker, which is Hebrew for "daughter of the Nile." She also had another screen-name, which was Yahudiya Masriya, Arabic for "Egyptian Jewess." Her real name is Gisele Littman, and she's vitriolically anti-Muslim and anti-Islam.
She has written a handful of articles and books–with the basic theme that Muslims have savagely oppressed Non-Muslims ("dhimmis") throughout history. These resources written by her are used as reference sources by famous Islamophobes like Robert Spencer (the face behind the xenophobic websites Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch). Spencer hailed Bat Ye'or as "the pioneering scholar of dhimmitude, of the institutionalized discrimination and harassment of non-Muslims under Islamic law." Daniel Pipes, an Islamophobic professor, cites her work numerous times. She has emerged from relative obscurity to fame, her work being the backbone of Islamophobic (mis)characterization of Islamic history.
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