Is Islamophobia Real?

There were three main arguments resorted to by those who argue Islamophobia is not real: one, that is a constructed term intended to have a chilling effect on critical debate, two, that religion is not a race, and three, that there is a real reason to have a “phobia” of Islam. Let’s go through them one by one, shall we?

patheos.com/blogs/mmw/2015/07/is-islamophobia-real/

I read the article. She seems level headed in her blog post here, but she doesn’t really refute the first point. Islamophobia being a “constructed term intended to have a chilling effect on critical debate” is what it’s mainly used for. And the author doesn’t deny that it is indeed used as a counter argument to those criticizing the hijab, or other practices/beliefs in Islam. I’m glad that she doesn’t see that criticism as “islamophobic” but many do, and she doesn’t deny this. That is a problem.

As for her point, criticizing a Religion should never be seen as racist. I think that calling criticism of a Religion “racist” is racist in its self because it assumes that only Arabs or brown people can be Muslims.

Finally, statistically (and it’s odd that Muslims never talk about these legitimate statistics regarding Muslim beliefs) on the beliefs in repercussions for adultery or apostasy are appalling and something that we should be concerned about. No I’m not afraid my neighbor is going to blow up a subway or kill his daughter for not wearing a hijab; but I am concerned that their personal beliefs as a collective group are quite contrary to ours as Canadians/Americans or Europeans.

The term may be over used at times, especially in debates. However someone would have to be living under a rock not to see that there are plenty of people who judge a perceived Muslim solely on that preception, not for who that person really is. I’ve certainly seen it myself in my own family and with people I work with. That would be a irrational fear of Islam as the term suggests.

The thing is religion does break along ethnic lines, even in Christianity. Be it between black and white; even various European ancestries. Indeed, there are the exceptions, but I think it would be naive to think that race does not play a part in people’s perception of a denomination or religion.

Please don’t take this as an attack, but I see the dichotomy in your post above. On one hand you say religion should never be seen as racist. Yet you worry later that, as a collective group, “their” beliefs are contrary to “ours”. Since “they” and “ours” does mostly break along ethnic lines, you might see how a possible perception of your statement would be one of racism, even if in the sub-conscience.

Phobia would suggest it is irrational. It is far from irrational. Even someone who has only bothered giving CNN/Fox a cursory glance in the last few years would find the term Islamophobia laughable.

Those who have gone beyond superficial news coverage and studied the history of Islam in detail, will not have any doubt whatsoever that “Islamophobia” is just another liberal media ploy to castigate critics.

So called ‘moderate Muslims’ are simply lapsed Muslims in the view of some. When they hit the midlife crisis and feel guilt over their mediocre adherence to their faith there is always the risk of radicalism, especially if they read the Quran. It contains more hate speech than any other religious book I know of; and those commands are not just constrained to narrow time periods in history, they are perpetual in many cases. Attitudes to women are especially nasty. I don’t see lapsed Catholics reverting, starting a slave market and blowing things up.

Are you even able to quote such passages with book, chapter, and verse? Do really think no one has ever put together a list of really negative things the Bible says about women?

Phobias are mental illnesses that impact the lives of real people and their loved ones in real ways. If someone was an Islamophobe, they might have difficulty walking down the street or even getting out of bed, due to a paralyzing fear that they might encounter a Muslim.

We can all thank the gay lobby for taking a legitimate and serious term referring to a debilitating mental illness (homophobia), and turning it into a stupid insult.

A phobia doesn’t HAVE to be a mental illness- the suffix can also be used to mean “aversion”. A lot of cell phones have screens with an oleophobic coating, for example, but they’re not afraid of grease. I don’t think fear of or aversion to Islam is an unreasonable response, given the events of the past 1,400 years.

The difference between examples of violence or alleged misogyny in the Bible and the Qu’ran is that while the Bible commands the Israelites to drive out the Canaanites from the land, that’s a time and place and people limited event. We can learn from it, certainly (the Fathers used it as an allegory for the vigor in which we must drive out sin, with Joshua as a type of Christ), but it’s not a command for Christians to commit violence against non-Christians indiscriminately. Indeed, “all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

To contrast, the Qu’ran, hadith, and sira are replete with injunctions urging Muslims to make converts by force. Islamic apologists will often point to earlier, Meccan ayat in order to appear peaceful, but these are abrogated by the chronologically later Medinan suras.

Examples: 9:5 “Then, when the sacred months have passed,
slay the idolaters wherever ye find them,
and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.
But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free.
Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”

2:191 “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”

4:74 “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”

Bukhari (52:260) - "…The Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’ "

Examples are easily multiplied. See how Mahomet treated the Banu Qurayza.

The question should be is Islamophobia justified. I don’t think so because otherwise you would not have the Roman Cathoilic Pope kissing the Koran. There are a lot of decent, law abiding Muslims and add to that that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. Of course, there are those who will argue that Islamophobia is justified, but then there are those such as Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, who argued that Jewish phobia is justified, and there are those have argued that fear of Catholicism is justified.

Use of the term “Islamophobia” implies fear,and racism
(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamophobia) -There may be many people who are Islamophobic, especially after the last 30 years of random attacks on Westerners, Muslims, Christians.

There are many more people who could be considered “anti islamic” and who
express an aversion and dissent of the beliefs of Islam, and are not afraid to give examples as to why and also to be a witness for Christ through sharing the Catholic faith.
They are not fearful and hateful. They are just called to stand up for their faith.

Sheepcat quoted a Qur’anic verse:

Examples: 9:5

“Then, when the sacred months have passed,
slay the idolaters wherever ye find them,
and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.
But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free.
Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”

You’ll note the context of this verse was when the Meccan pagans were at war with the Muslims and there had been a treaty drawn up that there was to be no fighting during the “sacred months”.

Sheepcat also may need to include the following verses (Quran 9:6-7) after the one quoted above:

[LEFT]***"And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah . Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.


"How can there be for the polytheists a treaty in the sight of Allah and with His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al-Haram? So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]."

(Sahih International)

I only add this because we should be fair in considering the context and that there were conditions of mercy and acquittal involved.
[/LEFT]

And someone would have to be living under a rock to not think that people think Christians are Religious nutbars, Catholics worship Mary, being a Muslim means you’re a terrorist, Mexicans are taking jobs, people with depression are exaggerating, whatever. There’s ****** people in every group with any number of prejudices.

Regardless, making it about race is what’s racist. Muslims shouldn’t be playing the racism card if they know Islam is not a race; it’s a pathetic low blow meant to intimidate others out of criticism.

Can someone be racist and hate Islam? Yes. Should someone automatically be considered racist for hating Islam? No. It’s nothing more than a bad ideology with its own set of discriminatory rules for Christians, Jews, Polytheists and the Muslims themselves. It’s an awful, hateful book and we should be allowed to expose it in the same way one might expose any other political ideology; whether it includes God or not.

Yes, I see how the perception of what I say will be deemed “racist.” I see it, because I see that people are ignorant and often don’t understand what racism is, and how criticizing what I think is a bad ideology is not racism.

Again I turn it around and say that indeed those who call me racist for saying what I say about Islam makes them racist, or just not very smart.

9:29?

Of course Islamaphobia exists. Sure it often gets confused with legitimate criticism of a religion, but when people start throwing the term “Muslim” around as a slur, as it happens so often regarding a certain political figure, you begin to realize that being Muslim is like being the boogeyman for a lot of people.

Dronald,

Thanks for your post…

I’m assuming the reference you made is to the Qur’anic verse Surih 9 verse 29:

“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, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Some think it is a reference to all time… It isn’t. It refers to the impending war with the Byzantines… who realized that Arabia was becoming united. The Byzantines had Arab tribes in the north that were their clients and so the rise of Islam in Arabia was a threat to them.

An expedition was raised to go north and reference is made to the Battle of Tabouk … The outcome of which is somewhat in doubt but the Arab tribes in the north left off their alliances with the Byzantines.

As to the Jizya this was a tax the amount was not specified in the Qur’an and allowed Christians to practise their religion and not be drafted…They were exempt from military service. The Arab historian Phillip Hitti pointed out that the Byzantines of course taxed rather heavily and by comparison the Jizya was rather minimal. Muslim rulers were later quite satisfied to receive a tax and were not anxious for mass conversions at the time.

I’m Islamaphobic, not in the sucking my thumb and rocking in the fetal position sense, but in the generally understood sense. I’m also racist. I actively try to not let my inner fear affect the way I interact with others, but I am sure that I am not 100%…maybe not even 75% successful.

It’s been ingrained in me since birth, and it’s hard to shake. And…there were actual situations that fed the fear, meaning it did not appear totally irrational during the time it was ingrained in me.

To give a neutral metaphor…I was mauled as a kid by a white and brown long haired dog, now I startle and feel uncomfortable when I am around white and brown long haired dogs.

I can consciously recognize that my fear is ungrounded. What I should fear are stray dogs or dogs that have been poorly trained as attack animals and then not kept properly confined because that was the cause for the mauling. But…I still shy and startle and don’t want to be around them.

That event also left me shy of dogs in general until I get to know them. And that has been the case with groups of people who I have a shy/startle/fear response to. Once I get to know someone as an individual, my feelings often change. When they don’t, unfortunately that feed into the fear already ingrained in me.

Probably not necessary to point all that out, it’s psychology 101, but I’m not going to pretend I’m among the truly pure and magnanimous people who don’t have any phobic, racist etc feelings.

I can understand this.

When someone has a genuine phobia they are rightly treated with the greatest compassion. I am phobic of spiders and when i tell people they pity me. But when some is acused of ‘Islamaphobia’ or ‘homophobia’ they are not treated with any compassione. So i dont buy that the people who go around acusing people of having these phobias actually beleive it themselves. They are both just used to shut down any rational criticism.

If being very concerned about islam means im ‘islamaphobic’ then being ‘islamaphobic’ means being sensible. Im proud to say i am sensible. What concerns me most is not just the quotes from the quran, as mentioned above, but rather the fact that Mohammad is seen as the perfect example of a man. Yet he married a six year old, was a polygamist and was bassically a war monger. He beheaded 600 jews… Imitate that? Yea im concerned!!! We see many Muslims, God forgive them, imitating these things. Boko huram killing Christians, Isis fighting with everyone, and child brides in Yemin.

But being a Christian I love Muslims as fellow children of our Heavenly Father!! They have nothing to fear from my ‘islamaphobia’. I am as concerned for them as i am for those they hurt. I would like to rescue them from the hatred of Islam while there is no hatred in my ‘islamaphobia’, only concern.

It’s real, but the word ‘Islamophobia’ is almost never used properly. Most of what is known as Islamophobia is not actually a phobia. A phobia is a big fear of something-- it has no connection to a form of hatred. The Qur’aysh were Islamophobic; they were afraid of its radical monotheism, Tawheedm which was contrary to the rampant polythiesm at the time. Because Islam shunned idol worship, that made the Qur’aysh feel that Islam would turn their slaves against them, because they were given rights under Islam.

Most early muslims were poor, slaves or former slaves because the Message spoke to their hearts. The least of society were exalted, whereas most of the rich Qur’ayshees were arrogant. That’s what Islamophobia comes from; it’s a fear of Islam-- not a hatred of Islam. Most people who hate Islam are not afraid of it at all, so they aren’t suffering from a phobia.

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