The Islamaphobe label – trumping common sense

Bring  the label to a discussion or debate and your opponents tend to disengage, afraid to be charged with a “thought crime”.  It’s a tactic frequently used by those lacking  facts and/or logic to support their argument or cause.

A recent opinion article by Qasim Rashid on Time.com, “Debunking the Extremist Myth That Islam is Anti-Jewish” caught our eye.   The article is in response to  recent anti-Islamic bus ads in Washington D.C. by the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

It wasn’t the issue of the ads, Rashid’s book plug, or even the selected Qur’an versus he uses that stood out.  It was the second sentence that started with …

Islamophobes are fabricating the myth

While Mr. Rashid probably wanted the reader to focus on the primary topic of his article, he  failed in this case.   In fact, he  took away from whatever message he was hoping to deliver by using a label designed to silence all who dare disagree. 

Who exactly created – or should we say fabricated – the  term “Islamophobia” is subject to debate.

Some claim it was created  about 20 years ago by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) as a  label designed to feed on western societies’ tendency to fear being stigmatized based on bigotry.  The other claim is that it was originally coined by Iranian fundamentalists in an effort to make Islam inviolate. 

The bottom line:  the word was created by Islamists as a weapon to be wielded in an attempt to silence critics. 

Civil right’s groups have used this tactic successfully with the term “racist”.  The gay/lesbian lobbies with “homophobia.”  Terms that work as trump cards in a society so preoccupied with being politically correct that common sense can be lost.  Bring  the label to a discussion or debate and your opponents tend to disengage, afraid to be charged with a “thought crime”.  It’s a tactic frequently used by those lacking  facts and/or logic to support their argument or cause.

Just as civil rights charlatans need to push claims of racism in order to gain capital for their agenda, Islamists need to spread the perception of Islamaphobia.  It allows the support base to rally around a collective victim hood.  As “victims” in western society, political clout can be gathered that opens doors leading to footholds at varying levels of policy making.  This was pointed out in Boston Bombings: CAIR’s predicted response and real agenda and Boston Bombing: cue smoke and mirrors.

Keep in mind that we are referring to a religious group – not a race or ethnic minority.  Current estimates indicate Muslims (followers of the Islamic religion) make up 0.6% of the U.S. population, yet Islamic special interest groups have managed to obtain significant input and influence in matters of  law enforcement and national security.  Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have re-written training/procedural materials so as not to offend followers of Islam.  Communities instruct police departments and service agencies on how to be sensitive of the special needs of Islamic followers.  There does not appear to be similar policies nationwide to address the special needs of Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or Atheists.

In pushing the concept of victim hood, groups such as the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) would lead you to believe that Muslims in America are constantly persecuted by law enforcement and discriminated against with Islamophobia spreading  across the country.  CAIR has a special office dedicated to combating it and even publishes an annual report, that Cultural Jihad highlighted last year.

The FBI Hate Crime statistics for 2012 indicate that of the reported 1,340 victims of  anti-religious incidents, 11.6 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.  In comparison, 62.4 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias and 6.4 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.  A very important factor with these statistics:  CAIR is very aggressive in responding to and labeling crimes against Muslims and their property as “hate crimes”.  This tends to  skew numbers as anti-Islamic bias becomes over-reported while other reporting groups are traditionally under-reported.

Questionable crime statistics aside, what about the general atmosphere of of how Muslim’s are received and treated in America?

In 2010, CNN featured a report on 2 Muslims traveling 1300 miles across America, visiting 30 mosques in 30 days.  According to a highlight:

They discover a nation — not of intolerance — but one that embraces them

The only real hostility they apparently encountered was by other Muslims at a mosque in Mobile, AL.   One of the travelers even commented how he prejudged non-Muslims he encountered and had to put aside some preconceived notions he had.    Could it be possible that pushing a concept of islamaphobia actually encourages bigoted behavior by Muslims and the unfair stereotyping of non-Muslims?

For another perspective on islamaphobia in America, there is always this 2011 video commentary by Pat Condell:

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Back to Qasim Rashid‘s article in which he claims it is a myth that Islam is anti-Jewish.  A few passages from the Qur’an for reflection on this:

O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people. – Qur’an (5:51)

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. – Qur’an (9:29)

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! – Qur’an (9:30)

Apologists may claim these passages are taken out of context … it was during a time of war and does not apply to the Jews and Christians of today.

Modern historical facts paint a different picture:

– hardly a myth that Haj Amin al-Husseini was aligned with Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

– The Hamas charter identifies itself as part of the Muslim Brotherhood and calls for the destruction of Israel and killing Jews.  The funding and support of Hamas has been a main priority of most Islamic relief efforts (i.e. Holy Land Foundation, Helping Hand, etc. ).  Hamas sponsored children’s television has promoted anti-Jewish sentiments including “shoot the Jews”

– Saudi Arabia, an Islamic state and location of Mecca – the most sacred place and cradle of Islam – tends to discourage Jews from entering the country.  While the official Saudi position is that they do not ban Jews, there are a number of reports that Saudi authorities make it extremely difficult.  A 2012 U.S. Department of State publication advises that in Saudi death/injury judgements, Jews and Christians are only entitled to amounts 50% of what a Muslim would receive.  The report further states:

Textbooks for grades 10, 11, and 12 – slated for review and reform in 2013 – retained inflammatory and anti-Semitic material. For example, these textbooks stated that apostates from Islam should be killed if they do not repent within three days of being warned, and described Islamic minorities and Christians as heretics. Descriptions of Jews and Christians as apes and swine remained. These textbooks also stated that treachery is a permanent characteristic of non-Muslims, especially Jews, propagated conspiracy theories that international organizations such as Masons support Zionism, and presented historical forgeries, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as fact.

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