Reclaiming “Islamophobia”

Islamophobia-rallyIslamophobia is a buzzword that has been around since the 1920s, but has recently become a common term used to decry any criticism of Islam. The suffix “phobia” means “fear”. Am I afraid of Islam?

They kill people who don’t believe in their magic sky wizard. They threaten (and sometimes succeed) in killing people for insulting their pedophile founder. Luckily, I’m not famous enough, or they’d have a jihad against me. If I lived in Europe in the Dark Ages, I’d be a Christianophobe, for the same reasons. They killed people who disagreed with them.

I mock all religions. Religion gets otherwise nice people to do horrible things. Do you really think that if they didn’t have a book they viewed as sacred encouraging them to spread their views, they would be this violent? Of course not.

I’m not afraid of Buddhists. They don’t kill people. I’m not afraid of Jews. Mostly, because I want to be on TV some day, but also because they don’t kill people. Islam does. The “religion of peace” kills other Muslims over who should be their leader. Let alone an atheist, like myself.

Oh, and let’s squash that idiotic “racist” accusation right now. Islam is a religion and a political position. It’s not a race. Any person of any nationality can join their silly little death cult.

Then, of course, there are the constant No True Scotsman logical fallacies. “Not all Muslims…” You hear it all the time. “It’s just the extremists…” Really? Let’s look at that. 83% of Palestinians and 62% of Jordanians approve of some or most groups that attack Americans. Between 20 and 40% of European Muslims believe suicide bombings are justified. A 2011 poll found that 1 in 10 native-born Muslim-Americans have a favorable view of al-Qaeda. One Third of British Muslim students support killing for Islam and believe anyone who leaves Islam should be killed. Depending on the country, between 50 and 90% of Muslims agree. 83% of Pakistanis support stoning adulterers and 78% support killing apostates. 78% of British Muslims support punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons. 1 in 3 Muslims in the UK strongly agree that a wife should be forced to obey her husband’s bidding. Two-thirds of young British Muslims agree that ‘honor’ violence is acceptable. Honor killing the woman for sex outside of marriage is favored over honor killing the man in almost every Islamic country. Over half of Muslims surveyed believed that honor killings over sex were at least partially justified. 52% of British Muslims believe a Muslim man is entitled to up to four wives and 61% of British Muslims want homosexuality punished. If you think this has nothing to do with religion, a 2007 PEW poll found that Muslim-Americans who identify more strongly with their religion are three times more likely to feel that suicide bombings are justified. (See source below)

This is clearly a religious problem and the negative actions taken in the name of Islam are generally accepted by most Muslims. Maybe very few actually commit these atrocities, but most support them. It’s not just the killings, or the bombings, or the beheadings. It’s an ancient set of traditions that need to be abandoned in a civilized society. We shouldn’t be a planet of warriors. We should be a planet of intellectuals. At this rate, Star Trek will never happen. We should be exploring space, not fighting over desert land.

Here’s more fun with stats. Muslim-Americans are four times more likely to say that women should not work outside the home. 49% of Muslim-Americans say they are “Muslim first”. 58% of Muslim-Americans believe criticism of Islam or Muhammad is not protected free speech under the First Amendment and 45% believe mockers of Islam should face criminal charges.

Islam is dangerous. As long as they believe that an invisible man wants them to kill everyone who disagrees with them, they will continue to be violent. And let me be clear. Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity. Christianity was doing the same thing 600 years ago. This is a problem of religion. It supports a Them vs Us mentality. If any criticism of religion or Islam in particular is instantly labeled “Islamophobic” or “racist”, we can’t have a dialogue. It’s an ad hominem attack to instantly silence opposition. It’s a way to try to equate criticism of violent and immoral acts with hatred of the people themselves.

That’s why I want to take back this phrase. I don’t care in which country you were born, or the color of your skin. I care about the ideology and the message you send. That’s what I’m fighting.

Am I afraid of Islam? I’m fucking terrified.


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