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"Islamophobia" =df fear of Islamism - does not work

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by Robert (United States), Oct 31, 2022 at 01:26

Dear Dr. Daniel Pipes,

We have a problem. I used to believe that Islamism is a neologism and a pejorative.
I just looked it up on our most respected American English dictionary (Merriam Webster).
Her is what it says (online):

Definition of Islamism
1: the faith, doctrine, or cause of Islam
2: a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam

First Known Use of Islamism
1747, in the meaning defined at sense 1


And as I've complained to you before, I do not approve of the distinction you make between the Religion and the Ideology, particularly since you yourself are not a Muslim (an outsider is not in a position to say what a faith is). But also, the term "Ideology" carries historical French Revolution coronations (Napoleon even used it when it was still a mere Neologism).

My recommendation is that you use the (religious) "Cult." Whether or the usage is justified regarding Islamic rooted phenomena I think is much easier to say. And we do have a practice of calling certain Christ sects we reject in the USA by the term "cult" in its pejorative sense.

In that case (if that is accepted) we may call "Islamophobia" to be the "fear of Muslim cults."

But I still think you are too reserved if you do that. I say that because of an examination of the history of Christian - Christian religious sects pop up like Sun storms, but they are suppressed by the majority as heresies.

So perhaps what needs to be done is identify Muslim heresies, such as the Muslim Brotherhood or ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Must of these groups identify themselves by name. So rather than call this an Ideology, I would prefer that it be called a Muslim heresy. And it should not be impossible to identify Muslim theologians who issued fatwas to that effect.

I think all religions have a tendencies to morph into practices beyond the bounds of Religious Freedom. When that happens, state authorities resend to them as cults beyond beyond the of tolerance. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions (countries) where the state religion is defined by law the bounds of tolerance are too narrow. But no modern state will tolerate Human Sacrifice - to state the obvious. In fact, it is Abraham who gave us - Jews, Christian, and Muslims - the alternative, Circumcision; but for Christians, it was Jesus Christ who was sacrificed on the Cross.

According, Islamophobia should be defined of Muslim Cults which commit terrorist acts of Murder, etc. The fact is, however, that in the modern world, it is one of the worlds major religion, Islam, which sprouts these kinds of "Jihads." It is not so with Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. And in the case of Iran, we see the violence against women who show their hair in public by not wearing a hijab. I fear that many beautiful woman will be force or brainwashed to wear a handkerchief on their because someone else religious text allegedly commands it. And this in fact is what happened as a consequence of the 1979 religious revolution in Iran. Should I not fear that spreading to other countries?

So, actually, one should fear Islam, one of the worlds major religion, which in fact produce 9-11. To call it merely an ideology, and not true Islam, is only something a Muslim can say, and not me because I'm not a Muslim, obviously.

But you, Dr. Daniel Pipes, as a scholar of Islam, are in a far better position that me, to identify these dangerous violent Muslim cults that are in fact parts of actual contemporary Islam - as long as you cite the Muslim "preacher" who issued the Fatwa, if any, to discredit these cults. Nevertheless, Osama Bid Laden was a Muslim and fearing him - or his like - is legitimate Islamophobia.


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