The Sanity of ‘Islamophobia’

Islamophobia is bogusby Edward Cline

November was “Islamophobia Awareness” Month. Pat Condell, the indomitable  critic of all things mystical and murky, especially of that paragon of tolerance  and peaceful coexistence, has recommended that the West designate December as  “Hatred and Violence in the Koran” month.


In a Gatestone article on the ubiquity of blasphemy laws in Europe, Soeren  Kern, in “Muslims  Pressing for Blasphemy Laws in Europe” (November 30th), cites the continued  campaign of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to enact stricter laws  that would prohibit and punish any speech that “defamed” religion or  religious beliefs -particularly, and most importantly to the OIC, anything  Islamic.

The OIC, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries, is pressuring Western countries into  making it an international crime to criticize Islam or Mohammed – all on  [sic] the name of “religious tolerance.”

Criticism, of course, can include all forms of speech that call into  question the foundations, legitimacy, irrationality, or fraudulency of Islam,  from cartoons that mock Mohammad to amateurish videos (“Innocence of Muslims“) to  scholarly disquisitions. The OIC’s disingenuous promotion of “religious  tolerance” makes as much sense as if Stalin and Hitler had promoted “political  tolerance” in the nations they had overrun. “Tolerance” in this context implies  that a tolerable thing is not life- or value-threatening.

But Islam has demonstrated repeatedly over fourteen centuries that it is not tolerant of other religions – because those other religions have  threatened its political power. Other religions that compete for men’s minds,  time and money are, to Islam, intolerable. Islam, all the guff about  “interfaith dialogue” to the contrary notwithstanding, is the “one, true”  religion. Wherever it has gone, wherever it has planted settlers or immigrants  or fifth columnists, Islam must, by its totalitarian nature, become supreme and  all-encompassing. We see this happening in Europe. All other beliefs, all other  creeds, must defer to it, by hook, crook, or scimitar. All must “submit,” which  is the literal meaning of the term Islam.

Whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood,  an Islamic organization that promotes the goal of a global caliphate (with a  little help from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton),  introduced the term Islamophobia to describe any and all criticism of  Islam, is moot here (see Robert Spencer‘s  excellent column on this subject).  Anyone branded by Islamic spokesmen or by the Mainstream Media as Islamophobicor an Islamophobe, is someone who genuinely fears  Islam and sees it as a threat to his life or his values. This fear is claimed to  emanate from madness or bigotry or racial prejudice. Islam, however, and  regardless of the “race” of its followers, is a system of theocratic  totalitarianism. One can be as “phobic” about it as one would be about Nazism or  Communism, for the same reasons.

There is no reconciliation or “middle ground” possible between the two intolerants. One or the other must submit. Islam says so. But Western  champions of freedom have yet to say it.

I’m sure that space limitations governed Kern’s catalogue of blasphemy,  defamation, and anti-freedom of speech laws, together with instances of their  enforcement on hapless citizens of various countries. Aside from the Dutch  Parliament’s repeal of its blasphemy law, one very minor recanting of voluntary  self-censorship was recently published by the Associated  Press, which has excised the terms “Islamophobia,” “Homophobia,” and “Ethnic  Cleansing” from its Style Guide, and gives one a very slight twinge of hope that  the MSM is getting a clue. The first two terms it claimed (with justification)  reflect a mental disorder and an “irrational fear,” and suggest politically  incorrect thought, punishable by law if some action is associated with it.

The Associated Press has nixed “homophobia,” “ethnic cleansing,” and a number  of other terms from its Style Book in recent months.

The online Style Book now says that “-phobia,” “an irrational, uncontrollable  fear, often a form of mental illness” should not be used “in political or social  contexts,” including “homophobia” and “Islamophobia.” It also calls “ethnic  cleansing” a “euphemism,” and says the AP “does not use ‘ethnic cleansing’ on  its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained.”

“Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a  psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been  used quite a bit in the past, and we don’t feel that’s quite accurate,” AP  Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO.

The third term is actually a legitimate one, for that is precisely what  describes a number of campaigns in remote and recent history. (See the conflicts  in Rwanda, Nigeria, and other African nations; the Armenian Holocaust, initiated  by the Turks; and etc.). The question remains, however, of how to properly  define “ethnic cleansing” or genocide. Does Judaism mean a “race” or a  “religion”? Are those concepts inseparably linked, or not? Does the term “Islam”  denote a race, or a religion? Does Christianity? I do not think there are enough  “cross conversions” of individuals from one religion to another, by members of  numerous “racial” groups, that would validate the AP’s decision to remove  “ethnic cleansing” from its style guide.

After all, if one is a Semite, one is not necessarily Jewish; one could just  as well be a Muslim, or an atheist, or a Christian, or a Buddhist. “Semites” are  men and so are imbued with the attribute of a volitional consciousness. But  Hitler’s concept of Judaism was founded on the faulty premise of determinism: if  one is Jewish, one is necessarily, intrinsicallyof a particular “race.”  Jews can’t help being what they are. “Race” is linked to the religion; it is in  a Jew’s genes (or his “blood”) to be “Jewish” and adhere to a particular creed.  Appended to this horrendous fallacy was the Nazi assertion that to be Jewish is  also to be a corrupting and destructive influence and the bane of all moral  men.

The obverse of this policy was that Aryans were intrinsically “superior”  physically and mentally but polluted with the “blood” of inferior races. This  was just as much a myth as Hitler’s Jewish race one, because all during the  abbreviated “Thousand Year Reich,” it glossed over the historic fact that what  is now modern Germany was a kind of Grand Central Station for several thousand  years as waves of other races passed through it on tides of conquest and  immigration from the four corners of Europe and even from Asia in the form of  the Mongols and Huns.

This was Hitler’s own irrational “phobia”; it justified in his own mind a  campaign of “ethnic cleansing,” which was the Holocaust. But even there, Hitler  wasn’t consistent. He sent to extermination camps Jews of various nationalities,  from Germany, Poland, France, Norway, and so on. Which was the deciding factor  in those expulsions to the death camps: the victims’ nationality, their  religion, or their race? So, the argument could be made that “ethnic cleansing”  is not necessarily synonymous with “religious” or “ideological” or even “racial”  cleansing, but that equivocation seems to be the rule of thumb today. Why should  we or the AP accept Hitler’s or Islam’s (or Hamas’s) murky, undefined notion of  “ethnic cleansing” or “genocide”? The concept’s definition needs to be  refined.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in  England  and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and  suspense  novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all  available on  Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have  appeared in The  Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other  publications.  He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security  Matters,  Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications. 

2 thoughts on “The Sanity of ‘Islamophobia’

  1. Plus “Islamophobia” is a propaganda term used to silent men and women who decide to utilize their right to Freedom of Speech.

    It’s just the coward’s way out of actually providing solid evidence against claims that websites like yours write.

  2. Pingback: How Muslims Celebrated Islamophobia Awareness Month | The Counter Jihad Report

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