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.
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!