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We need a new label

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by John Bastile (Malaysia), Oct 25, 2005 at 20:34

Islamophobia was coined to deter against any unwanted actions not to the favour of the muslims. In the wake of Islamic terrorism, the general sentiments against muslims range from "genuine concern for their welfare" to "hostililty with a sterotyped fear". Whether or not, I stand on the left or on the right on this issue, I would rush out from a train if I see a few bearded muslims with backpacks entering it. If they're holding on to their qurans, I'd jumped out from the train. Is this Islamophobia? To me, it's life preservation. I would do the same if I'm in a London train station and I saw an unattended bag (during the days of IRA bombings).

Any muslims who questioned their faith and seek reform can be easily branded as murtad or apostates. With much power given to their religious leaders - the mullahs and imans, "justice" can be served swiftly. The penalty for apostacy, similar to deserters of the military, is death. Fatwas will be issued. Salman Rusdie has to be killed. However, such power does not exist when dealing with non-muslims. Non-muslims have to be silenced in different ways. Perhaps through assasinations or murder. Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death because of a critical movie that he made. From messy killings, the majority has to be "silenced" with the term Islamophobia.

We need a new term to define where we stand on this issue. Islamophobia has been understood to mean "unwarranted or irrational fear of Islam". What term shall we use for "valid and rational fear of radical Islam?





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