Islamophobia isn't a real thing

The far left (and the right, to be fair) just loves to make up words to vilify people, and that’s what islamophobia really is. Why do I say this? I don’t like Islam. I also don’t like Christianity. I find Hinduism laughable. So some might call me an islamophobe. But nobody would call me a christiophobe or a hindophobe. And there are people who hate me for being atheist. In fact, last time I checked there were 7 countries in the world where being atheist actually incurred the death penalty. Yet there has never been an athiophobe.

Personally, I think this name-calling is not only petty and ignorant, but it diminishes the importance of a real problem, antisemitism. Those using the word try to reason that if there’s a word for hating Jewish people then it’s only fair that there should be a word for hating Muslims. But there is a big, big difference there. Being Jewish isn’t only a religion, it’s also an ethnicity. People aren’t antisemitic based on what church one goes to, they’re antisemitic based one’s ethnicity.

Those using this attack are often aware of this and like to try to link a dislike of Islam to race as well, further making themselves look like fools and further downplaying the significance of the real problem of antisemitism. If you speak out against Islam, a horrendous religion (in some of its most followed versions) which allows people to be killed for leaving it in parts of the world, they call you a racist. Because obviously no white people could ever be Muslim, right? So if you hate the religion you must hate the majority of people who practice it.

You can hate Islam without hating Muslims in the same way that you can have a strong distaste for the Jewish religion without being antisemitic. And some of the practices of orthodox Jews are pretty damned stupid. Like inventing a telephone where you put a stick in various holes to dial it on the sabbath because, somehow, using this complicated piece of crap is not “work”, but pushing simple buttons is. And there’s some belief which involves running a string around a Jewish community because as long as the string remains unbroken they are allowed to violate some of the rules about working on the sabbath or some such magical nonsense. These things are stupid with the Jewish faith, but have nothing whatsoever to do with the Jewish ethnicity. A person can be a Jew (ethnically) and not be a Jew (religiously).

But Islam is all religion. Anyone can be a Muslim. Race is irrelevant except in people’s minds. I would argue that the very belief that I am racist because I have disdain for Islam is, itself, a very racist thing because it is stereotyping people of Arabian decent. As if only Arabs could be Muslim and they could be nothing else. That seems to me to be a pretty hurtful racial stereotype which, I’m sure, causes real issues with our atheist Arab friends.

I would also point out that America is very good at “Americanising” immigrants. They become Americans within a generation or two. As a result American Islam is all touchy-feely, having very little to do with Islam in other parts of the world where they tend to believe it’s okay to kill people they disagree with religiously. So the idea that “Islam is a religion of peace”, yeah, that’s BS. It CAN be, and it is in America, for SOME of its followers. But 7 Muslim majority countries have laws allowing Muslims to kill people for not being Muslim and many more have laws which will get you imprisoned for leaving Islam or simply saying you disagree with it. I don’t know of any Muslim majority countries where the laws show that Islam is, in fact, “peaceful” or “tolerant” in any way. Yeah, when you’re in Rome you do as the Romans do. But when you’re home, the Romans had better watch themselves!

I wish I had more time to comment here, but YES – this is very true, and a huge frustration I have with many of my fellow liberals.

I was in a conversation here on this very topic a couple of weeks ago. But I can’t find the thread. (Can someone provide a link?)

Anyway, long story short: I know, and respect, actual Muslims.

As a liberal, I deeply value tolerance.

And BECAUSE I know and value Muslim people, AND as a liberal I value tolerance, I HATE Islam. (Because most of the people who suffer from Islam are Muslims themselves.)

(To be very clear: I also hate Trump’s rhetoric and policies around Islam and Muslims. He has no comprehension of religion or geo geohistory. He has no idea of what he’s doing.)

Islam is a unique animal. It is not simply a “religion,” but an ideology. It is different, theologically, from any other world religion, in ways that make it a threat to the world, and in ways that make it impossible to “reform,” modernize or liberalize on a large scale.

As a former Christian, I dislike Christianity for many reasons. But I get frustrated by both atheists and liberal Christians’ whataboutism whenever Islam is mentioned. “Christianity is just as bad, if not worse!” “What about the Crusades?” Etc. Etc.

No. This is a false equivalency. The two are different in kind.

I am tied up on something else right now, but here is a very brief explanation I wrote on Quora about how Islam and Christianity are different:

https://www.quora.com/Isnt-Christianity-enslaving-people-just-like-Islam-in-the-name-of-religion/answer/Teresa-Bryan-Peneguy-2

 

 

 

 

You guys know I have a cougar crush on The Cosmic Skeptic. Here he is on liberal hypocrisy around Islam … but ONLY on the issue of free speech. He doesn’t even get into theology in this one:

https://youtu.be/Z19eLF51bmM

 

Another good atheust YouTuber is Genetically Modified Skeptic. He, too, has a particular problem with Islam because he is a liberal:

 

https://youtu.be/2rqHQfN-lwo

Defending trump here with his banning of all Muslim immigration. Wonder where that came from.?? Let me see… could it be…

Infidels regard of Islam should not exceed Islam’s regard for Infidels.

Banning all Muslims from entering the US was something different. Besides being unconstitutional.

I don’t agree with Raymond Ibrahim on most stuff, but when it comes to the problem of comparing Islam to Christianity and Judaism, he articulates it very well here:

 

https://www.meforum.org/2159/are-judaism-and-christianity-as-violent-as-islam

Defending trump here with his banning of all Muslim immigration. Wonder where that came from.?? Let me see…. could it be………..
It would be great if @Player was able to write in full sentences, because I never know whether he is agreeing or disagreeing or if he even has a point.

But re Trump’s Muslim ban… there can be bad ways of solving real problems. Islam is a real problem, but the Muslim ban does nothing to fix it and actually is likely to make it worse.

To understand why, it is necessary to discuss things with more nuance and complexity than folks like Player can handle.

By almost exclusively charging international extremists as terrorists, the Justice Department inflates the perceived threat of those actors, compared to those with right-wing domestic ideologies. The press has reinforced this notion; a recent University of Alabama study found that terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists receive 357 percent more media coverage than attacks committed by non-Muslims.

 

By almost exclusively charging international extremists as terrorists.....
Whoops, @Player forgot to include the source of that paragraph.

He copied and pasted it from this article, by The Intercept:

Terrorism’s Double Standard

Player, I’m confused. Why did you post that? To agree, or to disagree?

The Intercept is considered a far-left source:

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-intercept/

…and the mainstream media has run zillions of articles saying the same thing.

To be clear, most of us on this thread are liberals who are criticizing other liberals for not recognizing the threat of Islam.

However, I am guessing that several of us ALSO think that right-wing violence (white nationalism, etc) has not been taken seriously enough by the Right, as the Intercept article indicates.

Player: this topic is far too complex to try to discuss with people who just post “opposite, so there!!” all the time, as you do.

It is possible to hold complex views on complex topics.

You can’t actually participate here with anything meaningful on this topic.

Given that you almost always post AGAINST us on every topic, I thought maybe you got confused.

There is more

 

When a white supremacist gunman killed more than 20 people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday, he claimed a dubious honor for his cause: Right-wing terrorism is once again responsible for more deaths on U.S. soil (107) than jihadi terrorism (104) since 9/11, according to data collected by New America. (In fact, right-wing violence had been responsible for more deaths for most of this period, but jihadis had been responsible for more since the Pulse nightclub shooting of 2016.)

Again, @Player forgot to provide the source. He got it from Right Wingers Are Americas Deadliest Terrorists in (the liberal) “Slate.”

Now I see where Player is confused. He is mixing up two completely different issues.

It is TRUE that currently, right-wing terrorism is a much bigger problem in America than Conservatives acknowledge. It is also true that there has been no major act of terrorism inside the US, perpetrated by enemies outside the US, since 9-11.

It is ALSO true that Islamic violence is a much bigger problem around the world than most liberals will acknowledge. And I don’t mean “acts of terrorism,” but actual war, as well as day-to-day life under Sharia Law for many millions forced to live under it.

Two different topics.

 

Seems you mixed up " the problem"

I wouldn’t call islamophobia fake but the accusation of it is almost always used to shut down any criticism of problems with middle eastern immigration to the West.

That makes it hard to take seriously.

Yeah but the so called problems are fake news

@thatoneguy

I wouldn’t call islamophobia fake but the accusation of it is almost always used to shut down any criticism of problems with middle eastern immigration to the West.
Yes.

To clarify:

“Islamophobia” should refer to an irrational fear of Islam, or Muslims. And there IS such a thing.

But the charge is usually leveled at the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

A few years ago, I lived in a high-rise apartment with LOTS of units (I don’t know the number). Half the tenants were Asian, East African and Indian immigrants attending UW Madison or working at UW Hospitals and Clinics, who were obviously Muslim (as evidenced by their dress).

For three years I shared hallways, elevators and the laundry room with women in Hijab, and even occasionally in Nijab. And … so what? I never had any “fear” of these women, nor their husbands or children. Before that, I knew Muslim families from my Interfaith activities. I have eaten dinner in their homes and gone to peace marches with them.

If any of these people would have been mistreated or harmed because of their being Muslim, I would be furious.

None of the above would be true if I were “Islamophobic.” Yet there are plenty of Americans who WOULD feel afraid to live in that apartment or socialize with Muslims in Interfaith events. There are Americans who would not want them living next door or working alongside them. THAT is Islamophobia, and yes, it exists.

However, criticizing a religion and its leaders is often referred to as Islamophobia, and THAT is false.

 

@player You don’t understand the topic.

To clarify:

“Islamophobia” should refer to an irrational fear of Islam, or Muslims. And there IS such a thing.

But the charge is usually leveled at the wrong people for the wrong reasons.


Thanks for saving me the trouble of typing. It probably would have taken me more words and not been as clear. I’m pretty sure that there were conservatives who were irrationally afraid of Muslims and prejudicially blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few before there were liberals who were using this special label for them. And yes, some of them have overused the label and overprotected people who did not deserve it.

@Lausten

100%.