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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Mistaken Use Of The Term "Islamophobia"

The following article was written by Ali Sina, and originally published on the apostate's site, Faith Freedom. An apostate is someone who was once a Muslim, but then rejected the religion (became a non-Muslim). In an Islamic state, becoming an apostate is a crime punishable by death. Here is Ali Sina's article:

One friend alerted me to a discussion going on in Wikipedia on the neologism “Islamophobia.” Someone has suggested that this category should be deleted because the term Islamophobia is divisive, inflammatory and it is frequently used to inhibit very valid criticism of Islam.

This suggestion, of course, as it is to be expected, has been rejected by Muslims who have Islamized everything including Wikipedia. This friend asked my opinion. Here is what I think:

Islam is an ideology. Rejection of an ideology cannot be classified as phobia. To call the opponents of an ideology phobic is a fallacy. All ideologies have their critics and opponents but we do not hear Christians calling the critics of Christianity Christianophobe, communists calling their critics communitophobe or Hindus calling theirs Hinduphobe. The term "Islamophobia" is both technically and logically incorrect and misleading.

According to Dictionary.com Phobia is “a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.” Therefore the neologism "Islamophobia" implies that Islam is not dangerous and the fear of it is irrational.

This claim has not been established and it is not universally agreed upon. There are many who argue that Islam is indeed a dangerous ideology and they have their logical arguments to prove their claim. Irrespective of whether the critics of Islam are right or wrong about whether Islam is dangerous or not, calling them “phobic” implies that their criticism has been already refuted and the irrationality of their fear of Islamic threat has been established. Therefore their disagreement with Islam is not logical but a mental disorder.

All ideologies have their opponents. It is sheer arrogance to call criticism of any ideology, phobia. This implies that the truth of that ideology is already established and anyone opposing it is adopting an irrational position and is in need of psychological help.

Only Muslims are capable of this much irrationality and arrogance. We all recall Muhammad Abdullah, the Afghani man who converted to Christianity and who was facing execution. When the government of Afghanistan was pressured to release him, to save face they accused him of being insane and not fit to stand trial. In the mind of Muslims only an insane person would disagree with Islam. This is sheer arrogance.

Buddhism is by all accounts a peaceful religion as non-violence is the core of it. Despite that Buddhism has its critics and we never call them Buddhistphobes.

The neologism Islamophobia makes absolutely no sense. It is derogatory and is used in a pejorative way to discredit the critics of Islam from the outset.

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