The Myth of Islamophobia

Phobia (noun) : 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.

Islamophobia is a myth.

The war against Islam is as legitimate as a war against any other inhumane, oppressive and intensely patriarchal regime.

I can hear the Ben Afflecks and Bin Ladens of this world already beginning their inarticulate responses to this apparently rash statement. There is a typical knee-jerk reaction to statements like the above (both by fundamentalists and extreme left-wingers), a reaction that is neither rational nor correctly reasoned. The groups mentioned above scream discrimination and racism at the top of their lungs, but if one analyses their responses, particularly when considering today’s realities, it becomes clear that neither of these two accusations have any merit by themselves.

A phobia, as defined above, is abnormal and irrational fear of something. How is the fear of Islam irrational? Does this fear not have some grounding in reality? Admittedly, there are those who overreact slightly when they see a bearded Muslim man or a burqa – clad woman. But is there not a legitimate reason behind that fear that is felt by the general populace when they see a blatantly Islamic person?

No one wants to feel fearful, particularly not of another person. But when one has been consistently exposed to the threats and terrors posed by people of a certain religion – people who remorselessly claim accountability for terrible actions and proudly defend their behavior as in furtherance of the purpose of their religion – is it not rational to feel fear when you see these people. Would it not be irrational not to fear them, when they have so clearly declared that their very purpose to populate the earth with the children of their religion, that those who do not follow their religion are infidels, and must be killed? And yet, we who so rationally criticize them are labelled discriminatory, or racist, or Islamophobes.

The second part of the definition of phobia is that one has an irrational fear of something, despite knowing that it is not dangerous. Anything in extremes is dangerous. Fundamentalism of any kind is dangerous. A Christian or Hindu fundamentalist is as dangerous as a Muslim – theoretically. Where Muslim fundamentalists “triumph”over those of other religions is their sheer numbers. Every day, new Muslims are recruited to ISIS. Terror training camps are the norm in Afghanistan and Pakistan – all for Muslim youths. The majority of all terrorist activities have been committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam.

To those who do not agree with me – I challenge you to tell me if there is another absolutely fundamentalist state, based in religion, which executes people for no fault of theirs. I challenge you to find another religion which has so many extremists, so many people who follow their supposed Holy Book to the letter. Even the apparently “moderate”Muslims do not condemn their fellow Islamic brothers for their actions. Instead, they sit back tight-lipped and offer weak defences of their apparently peaceful religion.

Do I deny that there are fundamentalists in other religions? I most certainly do not. There are Hindu and Christian and Jewish fundamentalists, I’m sure. But they have not formed their own fundamentalist, violent state. They have not reverted to the Dark Ages in the form of their punishments, and they for the most part, have confined their fundamental beliefs to relatively smaller issues. I do not deny the existence of communal violence. But again, this occurs on a much smaller scale, and often involves Muslims on one side. In all honesty, Westboro Baptist Church protesting at the funeral of a gay soldier cannot be equated with the beheading of several journalists in ISIS.
What is shocking is that ISIS shows no sign of slowing down. Everyday you hear of people from supposedly emancipated families in apparently progressive countries going to the Islamic State to join their war. This is indicative of the reach of fundamental Islam – it ignores factors of race, age, sex and upbringing and infects the mind of impressionable young people. It pulls people into its grasp, and they cannot come out. Reports are emerging of young men who joined ISIS some months ago who want to return, but simply cannot – for fear and for simple logistical reasons. These young people are now condemned to live the life that once seemed so attractive but on closer inspection, was revealed as intolerant and tyrannical.

There are so many aspects of Islam that are bothersome: The sheer number of extremists that it attracts; the unwillingness of its followers to accept the faults in their Holy Book or of their Prophet; their inability to adapt their teachings in a modern context; the oppressive treatment of its women; the hypocrisy of its followers; and its utter intolerance of outsiders. It is these aspects, which I plan to explore in detail in later posts, that instill the fear of Islam in me.

If a phobia is an irrational fear of something that I know not to be dangerous, then I am not an Íslamophobe. Because my fear is rational. Because my fear has gained legitimacy. Because Islamic fundamentalists have given legitimacy to this fear of mine.

Islamophobia is a myth.

Note: This blog is not written to further my personal agenda, for I do not have one. I never was anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim (there is a fundamental difference between the two) but present circumstances have made me change my views. I will attempt to dispassionately and logically prove that Islam is a legitimate threat to society. I will not go so far as to say that they must be eradicated, for unlike Islamic fundamentalists, I do not believe that killing people is the best way to attain one’s goals. I do, however, advocate strict intolerance of Islam and its practices, particularly those practices that are oppressive, as well as a boycott of strictly Muslim nations. Is this harsh? Perhaps. But to those who do not agree with me, I challenge you to justify yourself in the face of present-day realities.I encourage and enjoy spirited debate on this topic, and do not expect everyone to agree with me. Should I be presented with a compelling enough argument, I am open minded enough to capitulate to the author of the arguments. However, I do believe that this blog will present logical, compelling and unbiased arguments against Islam.

Feel free to email me, whether it is to throw brickbats, voice agreement or simply just talk about your views at – [email protected]

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1 Response

  1. Shay says:

    As Sam Harris says it more eloquently. its not fundamentalism that is the problem but the fundamentals. There is no equivalence that ‘all fundamentalists are bad’. A fundamentalist Jain is probably more harmless than a ‘not so fundamentalist’ Jain simply because the fundamentals of Jainism is non-violence to even insects and animals – a strict practising Jain wears a muslin cloth around his mouth and nose to avoid breathing in any small insects.

    Try not to confuse and draw such equivalents that don’t exist. Totally agree about the phobia part though. Its not a phobia if its true.

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