Words are words, i.e. they can be clearly defined, and should therefore be applied – and understood – objectively, – right ?
Ideally yes, but in the real world they are – at best – subject to interpretation, and commonly, people twist and abuse words to suit their own ends, - more or less deliberately..
One such word is “Islamophobia”…
In an earlier post: Islamophobia and anti Semitism, – a comparison , - I stated that, “whereas racism is the height of stupidity, Islamophobia is common sense”. Accordingly, I have declared myself an “Islamophobe”, much to the dismay of some of my mainly leftist, humanitarian friends, who, I’m sorry to say, – have very preconceived, subjective and negative perceptions of “Islamophobia” and it’s “sufferers”, to the point of this [irrational] “mental disorder” being nothing short of plain stupid racism.
In a fit of.. friend-o-phobia.. I was confronted very recently by an otherwise loving and sympathetic friend in a rather unpleasant, lecturing and reproachful manner, teaching me that words are words, and are you an Islamophobe or not ?
I have already stated as much, and in the above mentioned article – Islamophobia versus anti-Semitism - I give a number of reasons why I consider said “phobia” to be entirely rational and common-sensical. I did not, however, invent this silly term which, in my view, only serves the purpose of stiffling highly justified criticism of religion, Islam above all, and I am using it mostly because I got sick and tired of being nailed as such, i.e. Islamophobe = right-wing scumbag bigot. – So YES, – call me an Islamophobe for all I care, but it would be more correct to call my “condition” an acute feeling of Islamo-nausea..
Literally of course, Islamophobia is fear of Islam. It is essential to stress, however, that such fear / phobia is NOT inherently irrational or abnormal:
(from Greek): phobia:
1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous. (My emphasis).
2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.
In other words: The irrationality of a phobia, – e.g. (Islamo)-phobia, – is proportionate to an awareness and reassurance that it (Islam) is not dangerous, – and that is exactly the point: Some of us infidels are lacking such “awareness” and DO perceive Islam as a dangerous ideology ! – The idea that Islam is a great religion, a “religion of peace”, is, to us, completely “religulous”, and qualifies as an Orwellian expression of “Newspeak”, if ever there was one !
Now, hard as it is being accused of being Islamophobic in the worst sense of this misnomer by friends and foes alike, it is nothing compared to the endurances of Ayan Hirsi Ali, whom English language Saudi newspaper “Arab News” refers to as the Islamophobe darling of the neoconservative crowd.
Actually, they are not entirely wrong in calling Hirsi Ali the “darling of the neoconservative crowd”, but who are Saudis to call others conservative (?!), and as for Hirsi Ali being Islamophobic, consider the following:
“.. she was circumcised as a girl by religious barbarians – (as 90 + percent of Somali girls still are) – has been in constant flight from theocrats ever since, and must retain a bodyguard everywhere she goes, – even her criticism of Islam is viewed as a form of “bigotry” and “racism”.
Now, let’s get this straight: Islamophobia is NOT “fear and hatred” of Muslims, It is an entirely rational aversion against Islam, it’s ideas and principles, and yes, if you like, Islamists, who are not – mind you – one identifiable group.
As far as I am concerned, “Islamophobia” is a term invented as a deliberate attempt to declare Islam inviolate and debase its critics as racists. You may of course strongly object, but should as a minimum acknowledge the highly disputable meaning of this misnomer. I’d like therefore, to finish this with some quotes to the effect that – in the real world – words are not (just) words:
“Use of the term “Islamophobia” as a catchcry and moral bludgeon is now ubiquitous and inescapable. It has become the rhetorical “weapon of choice” not only of many beleaguered Muslims but, with scholarly endorsement and immense “cultural authority”, by the exponents of hegemonic postcolonialist orthodoxy”.
Inventing Islamophobia to silence Muslims daring to question the Quran:
“Le terme d’islamophobie remplit plusieurs fonctions : nier pour mieux la légitimer la réalité d’une offensive intégriste en Europe, attaquer la laïcité en l’assimilant à un nouveau fondamentalisme. Mais surtout faire taire les musulmans qui osent remettre le Coran en cause, en appellent à l’égalité entre les sexes, au droit à l’apostasie et aspirent à pratiquer paisiblement leur foi sans subir le diktat de doctrinaires ou de barbus”.
“The term Islamophobia has several functions: to better justify denying the reality of a fundamentalist offensive in Europe, attacking secularism in assimilating a new fundamentalism. But especially to silence Muslims who dare to question the Koran, the call for gender equality, the right to apostasy and aspire to peacefully practice their faith without being doctrinaire or the dictates of beards”.
On radicalism and “The EDL” – pages 10-11:
The term [Islamophobia] feeds “a language of polarised polemics … to close down discussion on genuine areas of criticism …”
“Dr. Sanity” - The psychiatrist:
“The truth is that “Islamophobia” is not a phobia at all– it is a completely rational fear of an insane and irrational movement that threatens to swallow the world. Being afraid of the “religion of peace” after the innumerable acts of violence, terror and depravity committed in the name of its god across the globe is not an exaggerated response to its savagery; it is not at all inexplicable; and most certainly it is not illogical in the slightest. - Being afraid of ruthless moral savages who fanatically believe in Islam as they continually denounce and limit freedom of speech and thought; as well as spit on all the key values of Western civilization, is far from a phobia–rather, it is a natural response to the sad reality of Islam as it is practiced in much of the Middle East and around the world“.
“There is no such thing as Islamophobia. Bigotry and racism exist, of course—and they are evils that all well-intentioned people must oppose. And prejudice against Muslims or Arabs, purely because of the accident of their birth, is despicable. But like all religions, Islam is a system of ideas and practices. And it is not a form of bigotry or racism to observe that the specific tenets of the faith pose a special threat to civil society. Nor is it a sign of intolerance to notice when people are simply not being honest about what they and their co-religionists believe”.
- I Am a Proud Islamophobe
- Kirsten Powers slams vile lefties slurring Ayaan Hirsi Ali as an ‘Islamophobe’ (twitchy.com)
- Newsweek’s Muslim rage invites Muslim humor (salon.com)
- Jihad of Islamophobes (religiondispatches.org)
- Why Opposing Islamophobia is not a Defense of Extremism
- All the Islamophobia You Can Shake a Stick At