By Jacob Collins |Online Editor|
Islamophobia is not as pervasive as the media and others would like you to believe.
Islamophobia is commonly used to censor opponents to the Islamic religion and label them as bigots.
Islamophobia is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as, “hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture.”
However, there is a distinct difference between hatred or fear of Muslims and opposing their religion.
I would say it is justified to fear a religion that mandates that thieves should have their hands cut off, adulterers or people who consume alcohol should be flogged, or homosexuals and apostates should be stoned to death, which are still used as punishment in Islamic countries today.
Let me make it clear that I do not have a hate or prejudice against Muslims.
But I do have a problem when the Islamic religion or any religious belief for that matter is imposed upon society, which is usually done by force.
Those who say Islamophobia is a pervasive problem in America or try to separate ISIS from Islam, try to argue that Christians don’t claim that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is a Christian organization or that people don’t hate Christians for the KKK.
This is essentially a cop-out and a red herring. The KKK is a Christian organization that has done horrible things but you cannot use the KKK to try and take the blame off ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) or say that “ISIS aren’t real Muslims.”
To do so is illogical, and that type of argument is so commonly used it is called the No True Scotsman fallacy. ISIS are Muslims and they, like other extremist organizations, are following Islamic teachings from the Qur’an.
Those who say that ISIS or other extremist groups are contradicting the teachings of Islam are misinformed or have not done enough research into the subject.
As opposed to the genuinely peaceful religion of Jainism, which mandates its followers be strictly non-violent towards both people and animals, Islam mandates its followers to defend the faith with violence.
Evidence of this is everywhere. When a YouTube video was published that contained an offensive depiction of Muhammad in 2012, it led to riots in numerous Muslim countries and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi.
In 2006 when a Danish newspaper published cartoons criticizing the Islamic religion, rioting broke out in many Muslim countries and a terrorist attack occurred. More recently, a similar incident happened to the French publication Charlie Hebdo, which I wrote about in an op-ed piece in Jan. 2015.
As Sam Harris has put it, Islam is full of bad ideas.These ideas include aforementioned ridiculous punishments used for “justice” in the Islamic world, the concept of holy war and the spread of Islam and the pious opposition to free speech.
It is clear that Islam fundamentally disagrees with concepts that are fundamental to a free society.
Of course there are bigots that will use violence or threats of violence against Muslims, and they are just as bad as the Islamic jihadists.
Let’s not use the term “Islamophobic” to censor or brand people who have a clear and reasoned opposition to the religious belief and not the people themselves.
It is ironic that these same people that jump to defend Islam are people that, if they themselves were Muslim, would be mercilessly oppressed by it.
Many leftists that actively support liberal values such as freedom of speech and equality for women would be oppressed in Islamic society.
In many countries of the Middle East women cannot drive, cannot vote, or even leave the house without a man.
As mentioned before, Islam’s doctrines seem to be vehemently opposed to the open exchange of ideas, especially those that may criticize religion.
I hope I have made it clear that not all Muslims are violent extremists, and that I am not prejudiced against Muslims, however that it is possible to have completely reasonable opposition to the Islamic religion itself and that this should not and does not make you an “Islamophobe”; a term that should be reserved for people that have extremist or violent views of Muslims which are in the minority compared to the vast number of non-violent and non-Islamophobic people that still have a reason to be opposed to the religious beliefs that the Islamic religion proposes.