The question recently came up as to whether the term “Moslem” (as opposed to “Muslim”) is considered insulting or somehow anti-Moslem*. More specifically, I made the claim (though I did not put it this way exactly at the time) that “Moslem” was a dogwhistle signifying teabagging anti-Obama racist scumpuppies.
I have since been told by various teabagging anti-Obama racist scumpuppies that I was wrong, but I was told this in such a way as to convince me that I must be right, even though I was going on gut feeling at the time.
Subsequently, I decided to do some research.
I separately entered the terms “Muslim” and “Moslem” into Google, searching for “blogs.” I eliminated aggregation sites, and sites where English is not the primary language, in order to avoid transnational variation in spelling that may not have political meanings. I kept opening, inspecting, and sometimes eliminating sites until I got ten on each search term. This was NOT done with double-blind procedures, so I may or may not have eliminated some sites because of bias. I think I didn’t. You are welcome to redo the work and see.
For the term “Muslim” I found these sites:
Explicitly Anti Muslim
Religion-Critical, focusing on Islam
Religion-Critical, Not Anti-Islam
Ecumenical/religious studies and/or Critical of Islam Defamation
Neutral or pro-Muslim
The result? One could say that six sites were not specifically anti-Muslim in the sense that one hates all things Muslim and is prejudiced against Muslims, but several of these sites are either critical of religion generally or Islam in particular. Four of these sites are, simply put, anti-Muslim.
In contrast, when we look at the search term “Moslem” we get an entirely different picture:
Anti Muslim and Anti Obama
- Infidel Blogger’s Alliance
- Shooting the Messenger
- America Watches Obama
- Big Lizards
- Pitts Report
Quoted from anti-Muslim source in not-anti-Muslim blog
One site was neutral in relation to Muslims, one was a liberal, not anti-Muslim site quoting an anti-Muslim quote using the spelling “Moslem”, one was an anti-Muslim site, and the remaining seven were rabid anti Muslim AND anti-Obama sites.
In other words, “Moslem” as a spelling, in the English language in Western discourse and/or mainly US based culture, is a dog whistle signifying teabaggers and things teabaggy.
Case closed, bitches.
*By which I mean Islamic