When it comes to the term ‘Islamophobia’, the views are almost polarized – either it’s being used to silence any criticism against Islam, or it’s being dismissed entirely based on the assumption that Muslims don’t face any oppression – especially in the west. The problem often is the term is so ill defined. Lets start by defining what ‘Islamophobia’ actually is.
If Islamophobia is defined as irrational prejudice and hatred against Muslims – then sure, Islamophobia does exist, and I do have serious problem with it. I don’t even have to point out the error in judging people based on their religion (be it Christians, Muslims or Jews), and all the bad press Islam gets (sometimes rightfully) does promote such prejudice against Muslims unfortunately – and a good share of this are the right wing fundamentalists, which is the epitome of Irony. Christians who criticize Islam based on Quran crack me up too – because despite the vile, homophobic, misogynistic garbage in there – I don’t think anything in it EVER compares to the Old Testament – which quite easily is the most horrifying and sickening scripture I’ve ever read. It’s irrelevant if they follow it or not, because that’s the same deity they follow, and I’m not sure they’re at a position of moral superiority to claim Quran “evil” if they consider those stuff to be “okay”. And just like vast majority of Christians, neither do most Muslims take the vile parts literally.
Coming back to the topic – the problem with the term Islamophobia is people, often Muslims, blur the lines between genuine criticism against Islam and hatred against Muslims. Now I’d like to point out that Muslims are also indirectly affected by this – simply shouting Islamophobia when someone criticizes Islam would in effect cause people to ignore the genuine problems that Muslims face – i.e. racism and bigotry for instance. So please stop doing that – no religion is sacred and beyond criticism, every religion deserves to be scrutinized and criticized – same is the case with Islam. I’m sure the distinction is pretty clear here. Although I’d like to express my concerns on the lack of well informed critics on Islam who are unbiased – and I really get pissed off when people endorse right wing hypocrites with an agenda, who devote their lives in promoting prejudiced crap and racist organizations like EDL. Also, I would really advice my fellow ex-muslims to stick to rational criticism instead of spewing hatred – which is really pointless and makes you no different from the bigots. It also really makes it even harder for anyone who intends to criticize Islam rationally. At this point, I’d recommend videos of vloggers like TheRationalzer, captaindisguise and Klingschor for getting fair, unbiased information on Islam for skeptics and atheists – and the TheJinnAndTonicShow is an excellent show which features all of the above – I highly recommend watching the show.
I do care about this, because I know what my ex-muslim friends go through – mostly it’s agony. They have faced abuse, are shunned from their families, and have to endure this for the rest of their lives – and I’m not even talking about “fundamentalists” here, neither are these Isolated incidents. Why? Because they are absolutely convinced that Islam is true, and what they’re doing is an insurmountable sin. One of my friends had to helplessly see his grandmother, who is mentally ill being exorcised for ‘jinn influence’. Many well educated “moderates” might manage to reconcile their faith with modern science, but unfortunately vast majority of people do take religion far more seriously. And don’t give me the “Islam is not the problem” crap – you have no way of convincing them otherwise because you know that their belief is more ‘true’ to the scripture than watered down versions – or at least, it’s fair to say there is no “true Islam” as such, so theirs is as valid an interpretation as yours. So I will continue criticizing religion – including Islam – and I know where to draw the line. Even the harshest criticism against Islam doesn’t make anyone any Islamophobe. Get the distinction clear.