Not Islamophobia, but a justified concern

Responding to a heartfelt essay by Army Girl, I would start by saying that Islamophobia should properly be defined as a “senseless reaction against Islam.” Defined thus, any fact-based objection to Islam is not Islamophobia, but justified concern.

Army Girl depended on Wikipedia’s Islamophobia article, which features the Runnymede list of the seven eight characteristics of Islamophobia.

  1. Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
  2. It is seen as separate and “other.” It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
  3. It is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive, and sexist.
  4. It is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, and engaged in a clash of civilizations.
  5. It is seen as a political ideology, used for political or military advantage.
  6. Criticisms made of “the West” by Muslims are rejected out of hand.
  7. Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
  8. Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural and normal.[12]

I urge all who are interested in finding out the truth of the situation for themselves to start by reading the Koran. It’s a relatively short book, and the message is easy to understand, if not to accept.

Robert Spencer has addressed the Runnymede list here. Twelve prominent Muslim free-thinkers signed a statement here rejecting Islamophobia as a meaningful label. Josie Appleton rejected the concept of Islamophobia as useful. Jenny James responded to the original article in 1997 with an article named When Fear is a Crime. Socialist Paul Anderson responded to the Runnymede definition by asking if he was an Islamophobe too. Trotskyite Harry of Harry’s Place believes that the Runnymede definitions are destructive:

It is precisely those who seek with the label ‘Islamophobe’ to shut off any discussion of oppression within a Muslim dominated environment who are accepting the idea that Islam and/or Muslims cannot change.

The Runnymede report itself was a reaction to Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa of death against Salman Rushdie. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine what could have possessed the Runnymede Trust to spring into action to defend Muslims from being embarrassed because one of their most prominent Muslim leaders sent assassins out to kill a writer living in England. In other words, a death fatwa led to a diagnosis of Islamophobia as the problem.

The response of westerners who love their civilization and do not wish to give it up must forcefully reject Muslim criticisms of the West for being too Western and not Islamic enough. The criticism implied by the promotion of the word Islamophobia is just such a criticism. The West is not seeking to be transformed into a Muslim system, or engulfed by one, or to accept Islam as its equal or superior, but to remain itself. Members of the Ummah of Islam itself are seeking to transform the West, as has become official public court testimony recently in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas.

The most compelling evidence of the Brotherhood’s true aims is contained in an internal memorandum written in 1991 by as senior Brotherhood leader and titled: “On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” In the document, the author is strikingly clear about the ultimate goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States:

“The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

[The Ikhwan in North America: A Short History]

Of the Runnymede list, numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are questions which can be resolved as factual or not by examining the Koran and other items of evidence.

Number 1 is supported by the Koran commanding Muslims to take no Christians or Jews (let alone atheists or polytheists) as friends or associates, and to treat all other Muslims as brothers. Would be reformers are jailed or killed, and apostates are killed promptly. Change is not a part of Islam, since change agents are killed.

Number 2 is supported by the same commandments as 1, plus the distinction between the Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb, the house of Islam and the house of War, and the perpetual war of Islam against everything else declared by Muhammed as his last act. At the end, after the Muslims kill all the Jews (aided by talking rocks and trees), all religion will be for Allah. Everyone else will be dead or converted. Though Islam holds some values in common with other cultures, its steadfast rejection of everything un-Islamic does separate it utterly and place it in opposition to the rest of the world.

Number 3 is supported by the evidence. Who cuts off the heads of their enemies? Who tortures enemies to death? Who declares that everyone who isn’t just like them is an enemy? Who still practices honor killings, female genital mutilation, human slavery in Sudan and Dubai and elsewhere, and perpetual warfare against all outsiders, who are called pigs and dogs and infidels? Who is stuck in the dark ages? Who calls modern Americans and Europeans Byzantines and Romans and Crusaders, I mean seriously? Whose religious law states that the legal testimony of women counts as half a man’s? Who prosecutes and jails or stones women for adultery when they are raped? Who makes music illegal?

Number 4 is supported by Jihad, which means struggle, but in the sense of My Struggle, or in German, Mein Kampf. Individual Muslims may not like killing, but they are commanded to kill infidels and apostates by the Koran. And terrorism is an integral method of carrying out Jihad. Muhammed personally commanded assassinations, suicide attacks, genocidal slaughter and mass rape of enemies.

Number 5 is supported by Muslims themselves, who will gladly state that the weakness of Christianity is that it is an incomplete belief system that does not bind every aspect of life in a web of law that can only be violated at great risk of death. Religious Muslims do not seek personal freedom, but perfect subjection to Allah’s word. And Salafist Sunni Islam is used by Arabs as a tool for Arabic imperialism, to spread the Arabic language and culture among non-Arab Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

In fact, many of the beliefs in the Runnymede definition are characteristic of such prominent Muslims as Osama bin Laden, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Does this mean that these famous Muslims are actually Islamophobes? Or does it indicate there is something fundamentally dishonest about the people who use the word Islamophobia?

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