1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Racism and Islamophobia

Reader comment on item: Anti-Muslim Racism?

Submitted by Simon (Australia), Nov 22, 2005 at 20:43

It is interesting to elucidate how far the term racism has been stretched beyond its original meaning and particularly risible that any criticism of cultural mores now, apparently, is deemed to fall within the rubric of racism.

The charge of racism is made as an all-purpose pejorative label which is intended to place the charged on the defensive and divert the debate away from any meaningful territory.

The phenomenom of the gag-label is all too familiar ( see for example: fascist, reactionary, sexist, homophobe and the gag-label of the 21st century, Islamophobe ) and can only be addressed by rebutting it once then disregarding it therafter.

Therefore, you should now draw a line and cease defending yourself against charges of racism.

In relation to " Islamophobia" you recently posed the highly pertinent question: what is the appropriately rational level of fear of Islam. May I suggest that an appropriate analogy is that of an arachnophobe.

An arachnophobe has an irrational fear of spiders: they perceive the presence of spiders when there are no indications, no empirical evidence, for such presence; they see a spider's web, any web, and instead of walking around it they become paralysed and/or hysterical with fear when in practical terms there is no threat to them unless they walked into it.

It is not arachnophobia however to fear putting your hand into the web of a spider known to be lethally venomous - it is the most rational and intelligent of human responses. Conversely one would be stupid or insanely reckless to put one's hand into such a web.

It is not Islamophobia that would deter an person dressed in ultra-Orthodox Jewish garb from walking down the street of a Muslim neighbourhood of any Western city, it is a basic rational human judgement of the likely risk of personal harm.

In light of recent threats, not that they were necessary, it is not Islamophobia ( or indeed racism!) for Israel to regard Iran as a threat to its national security.

In light of the London bombings by British citizens of the Islamic faith, who hitherto had not appeared on any security "radar", it is not Islamophobia for the British to apprehend that more home-grown Muslim terrorists may emerge from obscurity and create fresh carnage.

It is insanely reckless for Western societies to disregard the threat from a religion which openly states in text and in speech that its godly mission and duty is to forcibly subjugate the non-Muslim world - Dar al Harb - to make it part of the Islamic world - Dar al Islam. It is insanely reckless for Western societies to accept the formulation of words " Islam is a religion of peace" without bothering to ascertain what is meant by the term "peace" by those who make the claim.



Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Racism and Islamophobia by Simon

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)