Islamophobia

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Islamophobia is the fear, hatred of, or prejudice against the Islamic religion or Muslims generally.

Quotes[edit]

  • Islamophobia is often based on stereotypes about the religion (e.g. terrorism and misogyny), which are 'channelled' into attacks on Muslims. Hence, Islamophobia can be defined primarily as a hostility towards Islam, rather than Muslims, though it must manifest itself (secondarily) as hostility towards Muslims.
    • Malcolm Brown, quoted in Racism (2003). London, New York: Psychology Press. p. 197.
  • 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.
  • Not Muslims but Islam is the problem.
  • The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has launched the term “Islamophobia”, which was immediately adopted by the US, the EU, academic bodies like the American Academy of Religion, and then the media and the chattering classes in the West, in India and elsewhere. Its users translate it as “hatred of Islam” but it really means “fear of Islam”. It treats warnings against the threat Islam poses to rival convictions as well as to freedom and democracy as a psychic disease on a par with claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) or arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders). It is an excellent way to poison the debate by declaring your enemies insane.
    • About the use of the term Islamophobia. Elst, K. October 4, 2014. Politicians praising Islam? Non-Muslims, seek shelter! And Muslims, too! [2]
  • Islam has been one of the main targets in the Chinese government’s campaign against the Uyghurs, and Islamophobia is being tacitly encouraged by Communist party authorities. Students, peaceful academics and even ordinary people for the simple reason for being Muslims are being jailed, with a massive high-tech surveillance state that monitors and judges every movement, subjecting the widely marginalised Uyghur people to a brutal siege. Internment camps have been set up with up to a million prisoners being indoctrinated and ‘re-educated’, leading to empty neighbourhoods, with major mosques in the major cities of Kashgar and Urumqi standing deserted. Prisoners in the camps are also being compelled to renounce God and embrace the Chinese Communist Party doctrines and prayers, religious education, and the fasting in the month of Ramadan being increasingly restricted or banned. Those who disobey are reportedly subject to torture such as solitary confinement, deprivation of food, water and sleep, and even waterboarding. The reason that so many are being held is because most are arrested for no discernible reason, other than to curb religious practice and erase Uyghur culture.
  • There is no such thing as Islamophobia. Bigotry and racism exist, of course—and they are evils that all well-intentioned people must oppose. And prejudice against Muslims or Arabs, purely because of the accident of their birth, is despicable. But like all religions, Islam is a system of ideas and practices. And it is not a form of bigotry or racism to observe that the specific tenets of the faith pose a special threat to civil society. Nor is it a sign of intolerance to notice when people are simply not being honest about what they and their co-religionists believe.
  • Needless to say, there are people who hate Arabs, Somalis, and other immigrants from predominantly Muslim societies for racist reasons. But if you can’t distinguish that sort of blind bigotry from a hatred and concern for dangerous, divisive, and irrational ideas—like a belief in martyrdom, or a notion of male “honor” that entails the virtual enslavement of women and girls—you are doing real harm to our public conversation. Everything I have ever said about Islam refers to the content and consequences of its doctrine. And, again, I have always emphasized that its primary victims are innocent Muslims—especially women and girls. There is no such thing as “Islamophobia.” This is a term of propaganda designed to protect Islam from the forces of secularism by conflating all criticism of it with racism and xenophobia. And it is doing its job, because people like you have been taken in by it.
  • This is very urgent business, ladies and gentlemen, I beseech you: resist it while you still can and before the right to complain is taken away from you, which will be the next thing. You will be told, you can’t complain – because you’re Islamophobic. The term is already being introduced into the culture, as if it’s an accusation of race hatred for example or bigotry, whereas it’s only the objection to the preachings of a very extreme and absolutist religion.
  • Islamophobia has grown since 9/11 and it is alarming. ... One of the reasons for Islamophobia; in 1989 this book was published maligning, ridiculing our Prophet (PBUH). The west could not understand what was the problem. They don’t look at religion the way that we do. And so; in their eyes Islam was an intolerant religion. It became a watershed.
  • After the outbreak of Covid-19, one was hoping that the global calamity will be combated on top priority without any consideration of race, ethnicity and religion. [...] Overall, during the last couple of months, the hate-filled atmosphere has taken a sharp upturn and the popular talk is veering towards shun Muslims and boycotting their trades. This does remind some of the boycott of Jew traders before the "final solution" was put into action in Germany. Already the myths, stereotypes and biases against Muslims in particular and partly against Christians abound in the society. A hate-creation mechanism is already in place. This mechanism has become robust during last few years. The roots of this mechanism are fairly deep and it has been actively nurtured by communal elements. That a human tragedy like Covid-19 could have boosted divisive processes was unthinkable a few years ago. To create a negative image, to manufacture stereotypes and biases against the minorities, a large network of trained people, owing allegiance to Hindu nationalism have spread far and wide, deep into the vitals of society.
  • To add to this, social media was brought into operation with thousands of trolls, fake news and what have you. Today’s speed of hate-creation has only become possible because of the ground "work" done over decades. It is in this light that many Muslim intellectuals have come together as a think-tank, which they call Indian Muslims for Progress and Reforms. One hopes that they will be able to push for reform and open the pathways for jobs for the Muslim youth while countering the media that demonises them. Apart from these contemporary steps, one wishes to urge upon them to study and reflect upon the foundations on which the present hate-ethic is being spread.
  • [C]riticism of Islam is often taken to be criticism of Muslims. That is... false. One can criticize the Quranic command to beat disobedient wives without criticizing Muslims. The accusation of Islamophobia... often fails at this point. Islam is not Muslims, and one can criticize Islam while affirming and loving Muslims.
    • Nabeel Qureshi . Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward (2016)

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.

M[edit]

  • "....People like Cenk Uyger and Reza Aslan have made a career out of equating the criticism and intolerance for Islam to “attacking” 1.6 billion Muslims and portraying them as a singular group of worshippers. Uyger and Aslan claim the entirety of the Ummah are persecuted by atheists – while conveniently forgetting how much the Ummah propagate hatred and violence towards vocal atheists worldwide which is precisely the cause of so many attacks on Bangladeshi atheist/secular bloggers’ and the impending violence vowed upon more atheists and secularists around the globe...."

See also[edit]

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