Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Caused Islamophobia?

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Islamophobia didn't start here.

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Islamophobia didn't begin when 202 innocent nightclubbers were killed, and 209 injured, on Bali.

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According to Muslims, "Islamophobia is the view that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West, is a violent political ideology rather than a religion, that its criticisms of the West have no substance, and that discriminatory practices against Muslims are justified," but Islamophobia did not begin with the slaughter of innocents at Beslan. Of the almost 400 killed (209 Muslims), 186 were children. Many of the survivors lost arms, legs, hands, and/or eyes.

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Islamophobia is defined by some as a prejudice against, or demonization of, Muslims. Of course it didn't begin with the bombing of Madrid commuter trains in 2004 that killed 191 and wounded 2,050.

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Although the term "Islamophobia" has been used to silence critics of Islam, including Muslims who want to reform it, its use didn't start after London subway trains and a bus were bombed, killing 52 commuters and injuring 700 in 2005.

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Although "Holy Warriors of Egypt" killed 88 and injured 150 at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in 2005, Islamophobia didn't start here either.

After looking at these pictures, and realizing that hundreds, more to the point thousands, of pictures could be displayed of atrocities committed by Islamic extremists, the question still remains, "When did 'Islamophobia' start?"

According to the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), "Islamophobia is the worst form of terrorism."

The foreign ministers of the OIC apparently have paid attention to the ACLU and learned that the best defense against criticism is to proclaim victim status.

"The Western bloc hates us because we're Muslims. Look at these atrocities against Muslims! Look at these Danish cartoons! Look at this quote Pope Benedict XVI read that criticized the Prophet! Of course after such provocations our peace-loving Muslim brothers had to riot and kill mostly other Muslims. Only a bunch of Islamophobics would condemn us for that!"

(The above is, of course, a made up quote. However, in the tradition of CBS, where forged documents, quotes, and film are used to illustrate a "greater truth," I follow CBS's lead and do the same. The only difference is I openly label my fabrications as such, and don't try to pass them off as genuine.)

I examined a lengthy list of complaints that claimed Muslims are victims of Islamophobia, and have arrived at a few conclusions. The first is that the alleged Islamophobia didn't result in any deaths other than at the hands of angry Muslims. I would find Muslim claims that they are being unfairly labeled as violent more believable if their reactions to criticism were not so violent.

I would find their protests against being labeled intolerant more believable if Muslims did not proclaim fatwas on Muslims who want to change religions, or denounce their religion. I would not call Muslims intolerant if they allowed other religions to be practiced openly in Saudi Arabia and other countries, just as we allow Muslims to worship openly in the Western bloc.

I would believe Muslims claims that they respect human rights if they actually allowed all Muslim women freedom of choice in education, employment, mode of dress, choice of marriage partner, freedom to walk unescorted, and to even drive a car (and a lot more, of course).

(About equal rights, the ayatollahs of Iran consider them "a Judeo-Christian invention" and inadmissible in Islam.)

So what is this Islamophobia, this worst form of terrorism?

First, it is a myth.

Then it is a device to label all criticism of Islam, even by Muslims, as discrimination and racism.

Finally, since a phobia is an "irrational fear," the only irrationality I have noted in this examination of Islamophobia is on the part of Muslims who think the Western bloc has not been given ample cause to fear militant Islamists.

Calling what is in essence a fear of Islamic terrorism by the Western bloc to be the worst form of terrorism is one of the most irrational things I have ever heard.

It's Islamophobia-phobia.

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