Islamophobia

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Islamophobia or Muslimophobia refers to fear, prejudice, hatred or dislike directed against Islam or Muslims, or towards Islamic politics or culture.

Quotes[edit]

  • We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called "Islamophobia" in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.
    • "The St. Petersburg Declaration" (March 2007), quoted in Paul Cliteur's The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism (2010), p. 276.
  • Because we live in a liberal democracy and therefore have certain double standards to maintain, any criticism of Islam or of Muslims always draws the immediate accusation of Islamophobia, a dishonest word which seeks to portray legitimate comment as some kind of hate crime.
  • This is what makes people in this country wary of Islam in many of its forms, in one place or another: the centrality and inescapability of religion, the loss of freedom of thought and expression, the harshness of sharia (Islamic law), the patriarchal suppression of women, including their inequality under sharia, the medieval punishments for apostasy, adultery and even theft, the insistence on a cruel form of animal slaughter, the violence and anti-Semitism of many sacred texts, the disinclination to integrate with the host culture and finally one can argue the incompatibility of theocratic Islam with democracy. To find all those things alarming as possibilities is not to be Islamophobic or racist. It is to be reasonable from a western point of view.

John Esposito, Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding (2004)[edit]

John Esposito, speech at the UN seminar Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding in December 2004
  • We find statements by religious, polital leaders and the media that incite Islamophobia. I'm going to give you some, otherwise we wind up talking in very true but general statements. And I think we need to hear the actual words, because these are the words that people, who are in churches, people who are watching the media, hear. And if they don't have a context within which to place them, they will draw us out of conclusions. While George Bush and Tony Blair may distinguish between Islam and extremism, Franklin Graham tells us that "Islam is a very evil religion. All the values that we as a nation hold dear, they don't share those same values at all … these countries that have the majority of Muslims." You might think of Franklin Graham as an individual, but if you are in the Muslim world, you know that Franklin Graham gave the invocation at the first inauguration of president Bush, that Franklin Graham a year and a half later was asked to speak on Good Friday at the Pentagon. That sends a signal. Pat Robertson: "This man [Muhammad] was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic, he was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam … they are carrying out Islam. I mean: This man [Muhammed] was a killer and to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent." Benny Hinn at a pro-Israel rally: "This not a war between Arabs and the Jews, this is between God and the devil." And there are many others.
  • While Islamophobia like anti-Semitism is centuries old, it too will not be eradicated easily or soon. Therefore we all have a critical role to play: Government policy makers, educational institutions and the media, religious and political leaders, educators, media people, believers and unbelievers, the private and public sectors and international organisations like the UN are charged today to address and promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialog to build a world based upon a modern notion of tolerance, that is grounded in mutual understanding and respect for others. For the end of the day Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance know no religious, racial, tribal or national bounderies or limits. The message at the end of the day is simple and clear: Islam is not the enemy, religious extremism is.

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