Islamophobia Political Cartoon

The Misunderstanding Over Islamophobia

One of the hottest topics of the past 2016 election cycle was the role of Islamophobia. While liberals accused many Trump supporters of Islamophobia and xenophobia, conservatives retorted that progressives fail to acknowledge radical Islamic terrorism. So who is right? Or, do both sides contain some truth?

The Liberal Argument

Conservatives hold highly hypocritical attitudes concerning Christians over Muslims. Many conservatives are quick to decry a mass shooting, stabbing, or other violent attack as religious terrorism. At least, that only happens when the perpetrator is a Muslim. Attacks by white Christians, meanwhile, are often usually committed by people that are “mentally unstable”. The media might recognize them as white supremacists or terrorists, but their actions are never representative of Christianity. In the eyes of the right, the actions of a few tarnish the entirety of Islam. Of course, Christianity is not considered any sort of danger after Christians commit similar crimes.

The right views these attacks as some sort of war between Islam and the West. They couldn’t be more wrong. Islam is facing a war against ISIS, which is in no way representative of Islam as a whole. The death tolls within the Middle East due to terrorism exceed tens of thousands, yet conservatives are solely obsessed with the relatively few terrorist attacks on U.S. or European soil. Somehow, these few attacks make the entirety of Islam the enemy, even where other Muslims are most often the target globally.

Worst of all, the right justifies taking rights away from Muslims simply because of the actions of a small minority. President Trump has proposed outrageous policies justifying discrimination against them, including mosque surveillance and required identification. While he has gone back on these propositions now, they still set a dangerous precedent. They infringe upon the basic rights of Americans. Would monitoring the actions of a church or synagogue be any less ridiculous? And the absurd idea of forcing Muslims to publicly identify themselves mirrors Nazi Germany’s identification of Jews. Muslims here are ordinary United States citizens like anybody else, and should not be oppressed based on prejudice.

 

The Conservative Argument

The policies of the left show a clear bias against Christianity. Liberals are eager to criticize Christianity over anything that opposes their agenda. Whether it involves beliefs opposing gay marriage or the Catholic Church only allowing males to become priests, attacks on Christianity’s supposed “intolerance” are incessant. Many liberals even want to infringe upon religious freedom and force Christian priests to marry same-sex couples in religious marriages against their beliefs.

Of course, the left, especially feminists supposedly supporting “women’s rights”, look the other way when it comes to Islam. Human rights and the oppression of women in the Middle East are conveniently ignored for the sake of “tolerance” of Islam. Women are routinely beaten and subjugated, and even forced to wear the hijab in countries like Iran, yet liberals forgive those because they don’t want to appear Islamophobic.

Liberals refuse to recognize the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Somehow, Muslims swearing glory to their god and allegiance to ISIS as they mass murder Americans have no connection to Islam? The left utterly fails to acknowledge the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, with liberal political leaders completely unable to utter the phrase. If we cannot recognize the obvious root causes of terrorism and identify our enemy, how can we win the war on terrorism?

Additionally, liberals constantly dismiss any other opinions as bigoted. Progressives whine “xenophobia” or “Islamophobia” whenever conservatives support different policies. Any immigration policy that doesn’t involve open borders and flooding the country with refugees is dismissed as bigotry. In fact, FBI director James Comey admitted that the federal government cannot thoroughly conduct background checks on refugees from war-torn areas like Syria. Nevertheless, the left continues to shut out any alternative policies as inherent Islamophobia. This politically correct climate is designed to shut out conservative ideas from discussion.

 

Conclusion

Which opinion has more validity? Or is the truth buried in some combination of the two? Is our real problem our inability to communicate and see each other’s points of view? Post your opinion in the comments below!

 

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2 comments on “The Misunderstanding Over Islamophobia

  1. Of course portions of the liberal argument ring true, yet they do not consider the big picture. The attacks by a relatively few terrorists should not be presumed to represent the entire religion. No society, religion or group should be categorically lumped together, where the individual is automatically guilty by association. Theoretically, both liberals and conservatives would agree with that statement. In practice, however, we humans (on both sides) tend to do the lumping together anyway, degrading independent thought and reason. Regarding the topic at hand, terrorist and their sponsors (though financial means and encouragement) should be held responsible, not all members of a group to which they happen to belong. However, the argument that terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals is no different than a Christian shooting up his or her workplace or a person attacking a school as in the case of Newtown, CT is ignorant at best, and more likely dishonest. The issue is the motivation of the attack. There is no recurring problem of a nominally “Christian” shooter killing his co-workers while screaming “die for Jesus,” whereas the reverse is unabashedly true for Islamic terrorism, especially in attacks in the West. So it is right and proper to differentiate the two types of attacks. Clearly the radical Islamist believes (or announces he believes – who can know his heart) that his actions are being done in the name of Islam. It is quite likely that a significant majority of Muslims disagree with the terrorist’s actions; however, that does not change the fact that the terrorist believes he is acting as a believer, nor does it negate the fact that ISIS and other radical groups have millions and probably many tens of millions of supporters at heart, even if they are not acting on it. Therefore, the more fundamental issue is not whether West uses terms like radical Islamic terrorism or not. Rather the true issue is that there are two visions – and really many more as the flavors get more nuanced – for what Islam is: a version that believes that infidels should be subjugated or destroyed; and one that more closely follows the “religion of peace” mantra described (predominantly) by liberals in the West. It would seem that both sides claim to be the “real” Islam, and the other a bastardization. The more peaceful side claims the radicals are ignoring all of the good tenants of the religion and are not true Muslims (and hence the liberal argument that Islamic terrorists are not “Islamic”). The radicals on the other hand claim that the peaceful types are “Islam-lite” and are wimps for being unwilling to wage the war commanded of them. (Some radicals, in fact, believe the “Islam-lite” Muslim is just as bad as the infidel, which leads in part to some of the intra-Islam attacks.) It is difficult and potentially disingenuous for a non-Muslim to dictate who is “right” in their interpretations when both sides claim the high ground in their adherence to the religion. We may desire for the peaceful adherents to be “correct,” but that doesn’t change the minds of any of the radicals.

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  2. Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers, then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world.

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