“Islamophobia”

Islamophobia’ – Well, isn’t this word a wonderful little weapon for Islamists the world over?

 

Whoever thought of it must be laughing all the way to the Mosque. Go on. Try it. Next time you’re in any social situation, with any group of people, try challenging the violent ideology at the heart of Islam.

 

 Chances are, faster than you can say ‘fatwah’ someone will give you a reproachful look and state: ‘You’re the one with the problem. You’re Islamophobic‘.

 

It shuts down all debate and leaves many decent folk feeling like racists – even when they’re not. So let’s just deconstruct the word ‘Islamophobia’ shall we?

 

Phobia = an extreme, irrational fear that interferes with everyday life. It is a psychological, clinical term, and this is the correct definition. We all know what a phobia looks like; most of us have seen grown adults collapse into quivering wrecks at the mere sight of a spider/wasp/snake. Above all, a phobia sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid the object of fear.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not aware of a single soul who is huddled at home, frozen with fear, refusing to leave their house because of the existence of Islam… Nor have I seen a single person jerking to a halt in the middle of a street, shrieking in terror ‘There’s a Muslim! There’s a Muslim! Save me! Save me! Aaaaghhhh!’ before sprinting across the road and into oncoming traffic, just to avoid said member of Islam.

 

Indeed, often the very people accused of ‘Islamophobia’ are those who are extremely interested in Islam! They talk about it, read about it, blog about it, and study it – in a bid to better understand it. Hardly ‘phobic’ behaviour, is it…?

 

So let’s be blunt. The term ‘Islamophobia’ is meaningless. It’s foolish. In short – it’s nothing more than a linguistic sham. Because nobody has an ‘irrational fear’ of Islam.

 

What many of us do have is a rational fear of what Muslim terrorists do in the name of Islam. We also fear the hatred that Islam inculcates in many of its followers. And who the hell can blame us?

 

If people with red hair continually sauntered onto buses and trains, into restaurants and schools the world over, with bombs strapped around their waists, before cheerfully blowing both themselves and any living soul around them into tiny bits, then I submit that many of us would develop a rational fear of red heads!

 

But ‘islamophobia’? Oh, purleease. It’s just a device used by *some* Muslims – and the PC-at-all-costs, liberal brigade – to shut down vital debate. And if we let them get away with it? Then shame on US.

 

While we’re on the topic, let’s just clarify what does and does not constitute ‘racism’: I could, if I wanted, criticise and challenge and yes, condemn Islam all day long – and it would not be ‘racism’. Islam is a faith and an ideology. And no ideology is exempt from scrutiny. Nor does anyone have the right to stop me from assessing an ideology – not as long as I live in a democratic society.

 

But, if I then begin making unfair, negative, nasty generalisations about ‘all muslims’ then this would be racism. See the difference?

 Critiquing and challenging and condemning an ideology = not ‘racism’!

Condemning any group of people purely on the basis OF their religion = racism

 

Or to state it even more simply:  ‘All Muslims are terrorists’ = racism

Clearly there are millions of peaceful Muslims.

 

‘Most terrorists are Muslim’ =  not racism

Most terrorism is Islamic terrorism.

 

So just as I am free to condemn the beliefs of, say, the vile British National Party(BNP), or Scientologists, or the KKK, without anyone branding me a ‘racist’, so too am I free to condemn Islam.

 

Words have objective meanings. It’s time we remembered that, and worked to wipe out this lunacy which even now, is pushing for Islam to be legally ‘protected’ from criticism. So next time anyone tries to insist you are an ‘islamophobe’, shut them down. Fast.

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4 thoughts on ““Islamophobia”

  1. Pat Condell also thinks Islamophobia is a silly word.
    He suggests Islamonausea as a better construction.

  2. They took a page from the way Communists learned to dismiss all criticism by calling it “Red Baiting”.

    If you invest enough time in cultivating one word, you can dismiss all reasoned debate with a simple stupid slogan.

  3. Well, the word has a fairly obvious, if pretty artificial, etymology; we have for years used the term ‘homophobia’ to mean not ‘a fear of gays’ but a dislike of them, and so the phrase has lost its original meaning. In this form, it has since been reapplied to dislike of islam.

    You are quite right that it may serve as an ‘intellectual nervous tic’ as I believe Robert Manne said of all political correctness, one that absolves the speaker of the need to think – but other terms must also fall, if we are to abandon this one for these reasons alone. Anti-semitism means, literally, an opposition to the semitic, and the semitic peoples of course include Arabs, Jews, and I believe Yezidis and Iranians (and Arabic joins Hebrew, Aramaic, and several North African languages in the ‘semitic’ language group, too). This word, too, lacks a coherent link between its origin and its current usage, and it too can serve to dismiss criticism, however worthy or unworthy.

    I would not therefore see it got rid of, though. You understand what I mean when I use it. Just so with Islamophobia: while an abused term, and of uncertain parentage, it is not therefore a meaningless one.

    As someone born into a country (RSA) where one race ruled all others, it would be too easy to identify – for example – the dutch reform church as necessarily connected with racial cruelty. I could no doubt find passages from their holy book to suggest that racialist ideas were justified (tribal slavery in the old testament, for example). Yet the association was not a necessary one, but a contingency of history. Similarly, I think it is flawed to identify all Islam throughout its history with the politicised Islam of today; Since the Iranian revolution, the interpretation of Islamic law in both Sunni and Shia camps has changed dramatically. There is as little necessary connection between the violence in the Qur’an (and the Hadith) and that of modern terrorism as there is between the violence of Revelations and that of the crusades (both teutonic and in those to the Levant).

    We become biased against a faith or people when we no longer search for better reasons than ‘there is something wrong with them as a group’, and I am hesitant to endorse your apparent distinction between all Muslims being evil, and all Muslims merely conforming to a belief system that is evil. If it is that belief that makes them muslims, then there is no real distinction here.

    Some Christians say that they do not hate homosexuals, but homosexuality (the sin and not the sinner). This distinction and that between Muslims and Islam are equally meaningless, when in each case the former is only identified by the latter.

    -Will

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