Irrational Fear of Islam?
Why "Islamophobia" is a meaningless term mainly used to harass and intimidate non-Muslims.
October 1, 2012
In his book How the West Was Lost, the Russian-born author Alexander Boot suggested that Westerners no longer live in a democracy but in a glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.
One could posit that we live in a world dominated at least as much by images, especially moving images in the form of television and movies, as by words, but words clearly matter. In many cases, those who coin new words, or manage to force the public to accept their definition of old words, win the struggle. In practice, this is done by those who control the propaganda flow, in the education system and the mass media.
We now have a term for an imaginary problem: Islamophobia. It has become the subject of international conferences and is treated as a threat to world peace. In contrast, racist violence against people of European origins, a very real problem from South Africa via North America to Western European suburbs, does not exist because we have no special word for it. This is word magic. “Tolerance” and “diversity” mean dispossessing Europeans from the countries their ancestors created, whereas “intolerance,” “hate” and “racism” imply any opposition by Europeans to their own dispossession and organized national destruction.
On Aug. 25 2012, the columnist Doug Saunders published an essay in The Globe and Mail, the largest-circulation national newspaper in Canada, entitled “The unfounded fear of Muslim immigration.” He there engaged in the (by now mandatory) exercise of mentioning Islam-critical individuals such as Bruce Bawer, Thilo Sarrazin, Geert Wilders, Gisele Littman (Bat Ye’or) and Mark Steyn alongside the confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Although the author added that these writers have never “explicitly advocated violence,” he seemed to suggest that they implicitly contributed to Breivik’s massacre by writing truthfully about how Muslim immigration is affecting Western countries.
Doug Saunders is the London-based European bureau chief for The Globe and Mail who “writes a weekly column devoted to the larger themes and intellectual concepts behind international news, and has won the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s counterpart to the Pulitzer Prize, on four occasions.” He is completing a book about the alleged myth that a tidal wave of Muslim immigration is threatening the Western world. He admits that in London he can witness a rapidly growing Islamic presence first-hand and that large sections of that and other European cities are now dominated by non-Europeans, but he claims this isn't a problem:
What unites the ideologies of al-Qaeda and of the "Eurabia" and "Muslim tide" writers is a common belief that there is one creature called "the Muslim" and another called "the Westerner." Yet there is no such distinction. Muslims are adopting the universal values of our society in the same way (not always easy [sic]) as other religious minorities. The shisha bar and the kebab shop are becoming part of Western culture, much like espresso and Yiddish expressions – but there is no threat to our core values.Less than a month after these words were written, violent anti-Western protests and riots swept across the Islamic world, targeting Western embassies while using an obscure movie as a pretext for this Jihad.
On August 26 2012, writer Nathan Lean published an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times using the Breivik trial as a verbal stick to beat those writing about Islamization into submission, claiming that “heightened anxiety over the presence of Muslims in Europe and the United States has ignited a string of attacks on the faith community.” That’s nonsense. On the contrary, nearly every week we see stories about Muslim immigrant gangs harassing the natives in European cities, sometimes even attacking the police armed with guns.
Lean specifically singled out such writers as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller for allegedly agitating a “climate of hate” in North America and beyond. He concluded his essay by stating that “The discourse of hate must be stopped before it affects other extremists.” As Spencer — who lives with death threats from Muslims due to his writings — commented at Jihad Watch, this is a barely concealed call for restricting freedom of speech.
Lean writes about the existence of what he terms an “Islamophobia industry” of evil right-wingers in the Western world who are nasty and spread prejudice against tolerant Muslims for no particular reason other than being mean. He has contributed to The Huffington Post, a very large and usually left-leaning news website and Internet newspaper, where he has stated that “Islamophobia is undeniably a form of racism.” Not surprisingly, his writings are being praised by the notoriously pro-Islamic author Karen Armstrong, who claims that virulent Islamophobia is now “endangering world peace.”
Nathan Lean soon after followed up with yet another article in the Los Angeles Times arguing that the general public led by enlightened activists must from now on “publicly shame” and “marginalize” Islam-critical writers, who, according to him, breed terrorism by warning against groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
I once listened to the great Dutch Arabist Hans Jansen, who reminded us that the Koran actually commands Muslims to instill fear of Islam (Islamophobia) into the hearts of non-Muslims, using any means necessary to force them to submit to Islam’s might. The Koran and Islamic teachings thus make Islamophobia mandatory.
I agree with his insight, but only up to a point. First of all, many non-Muslims despise Islam at least as much as we fear it. Second, it is my understanding that the term “phobia” does not merely mean “fear of,” but more specifically an irrational and totally unfounded or at least greatly exaggerated fear of something.
Is fear of Islam really irrational, seen in light of Islam’s violent past and still-violent present?
Seemingly echoing The Communist Manifesto, Thorbjørn Jagland of the Labor Party, then the President of the Norwegian Parliament and today the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, warned in 2006 that a specter is haunting Europe, the specter of Islamophobia. He stated this just a few weeks after violent Islamic riots around the world and attacks on Scandinavian embassies over a few cartoons.
By September 2012, this dangerous trend had escalated to attacks on German and American embassies and the Jihadist murder of the American ambassador to Libya.
The writers Sindre Bangstad and Cora Alexa Døving warn that a wave of right-wing extremist “Islamophobia” is sweeping Europe. Døving works for the Holocaust Center in Oslo and has several times gone far in suggesting that Muslims in the West are now being treated in ways similar to how the Nazis treated European Jews. This preposterous suggestion fortunately received some richly deserved criticism from the author Herman Willis.
Having rabbitophobia, a paralyzing fear of rabbits, could with considerable justification be classified as an irrational fear. Rabbits can potentially carry diseases, as can mice and many other animals, but apart from that they hardly constitute much of a threat to humans. Likewise, it is hard to find any rational justification for coulrophobia, a fear of clowns, apart from some bad childhood experience that somehow stuck to adulthood.
However, one could not sensibly be said to suffer similarly from greatwhitesharkophobia or crocodilophobia. That’s because big sharks and crocodiles are large predators that are genuinely dangerous. Having some healthy fear of them is perfectly sane and may help you stay alive. This doesn’t mean that great white sharks or big crocodiles will attack and kill humans every time they have the opportunity to do so, but they are perfectly capable of carrying out such attacks, and sometimes they do.
The same principle applies to so-called Islamophobia. An ideology that has as its stated goal to put the entire world under its eternal rule, by force if necessary, and to kill those who stand in its way, criticize it or leave it, is genuinely dangerous. Having some healthy doses of fear and skepticism of such a force is perfectly rational.
Islam has well over one thousand years of unprovoked aggression on multiple continents under its belt and today is well underway with a new wave of aggression, this time unfortunately also in Western cities and suburbs.
Did the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh suffer from a totally irrational fear of Islam when he had his throat cut in broad daylight in Amsterdam in 2004 by a proud and dedicated Islamic Jihadist who murdered him for mocking Islam?
Or did Theo van Gogh in fact die because he had too little fear of Islam rather than too much?
“Islamophobia” is a meaningless term. Just like the word “racism,” it is mainly used to harass Europeans and intimidate them into silence and submission in the face of the tsunami of mass immigration currently engulfing their countries. The simplest way to get rid of Islamophobia is to remove the term from our active vocabulary.