The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Islamophobia … Baseless Hatred’?

Posted on | April 2, 2015 | 28 Comments

An astonishing phenomenon of the 21st century is the perversely ironic way in which the Information Age has actually increased ignorance. With all the knowledge in the world just a quick Google search away, many people have somehow managed to seal themselves off inside cocoons of confirmation bias, where they only encounter narratives that fit their preconceived personal prejudices. It is not simply a matter of people avoiding opposing opinions, but of filtering out facts in such a way that their worldview becomes wholly unrealistic. Paranoid hostility flourishes inside these online bubbles where kooks cluster, affirming their shared delusions and piling up “evidence” to “prove” their false beliefs to each other. It was while making my rounds in the online lunatic asylum that is Feminist Tumblr that I encountered this 157-word rant:

Islam, like all other religions/ideologies, should remain an open ground for criticism, but to say that Islamophobia is absolutely not related to racial persecution and racism in any way is an oversimplification.
Anyone on this earth could be a Muslim, but it’s the brown and black ones that being attacked and killed for being associated with Islam. Anyone could have some kind of tie to Islam, the ideologies presented in Islam, but it’s the brown men and women, the kids with “Middle Eastern” names, the Sikhs wearing turbans, Hindus wearing traditional attire that are being called “terrorists” at the highest frequency.
Ask an Islamophobic assailant why he hit a Sikh man with his car and he’ll tell you he did it because he hates Islam, he hates terrorists.
Islamophobia has criminalized the brown body, to say that it has nothing to do with racism would be to overlook the suffering of countless victims of such baseless hatred.

Stipulate that concerns about radical Islam do create a certain level of suspicion that is ethnic in nature, and that people may wrongly suspect a Hindu or a Sikh — or a Christian, for that matter — of being Muslim.

Anyone can ask Ali Akbar (a half-Arab/half-black Southern Baptist from Texas) about this kind of confusion. For that matter, you can ask Raheem Kassam, the spokesman for the U.K. Independence Party, who is the child of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, but who is himself a thoroughly secular young Englishman.

This raises the question of whether “Islamophobia” actually exists. The term “phobia” denotes an irrational fear, yet the history of recent decades offers enough rational basis for concern to make the word “Islamophobia” inherently problematic. One may perhaps distinguish between two phenomena — a vigilant concern about dangerous radicalism, on the one hand, and a simple-minded bigotry on the other — but making that distinction does nothing more than to say, “Ignorant people are ignorant.” To say that fair-minded and educated people should condemn ignorant prejudice isn’t controversial. What is controversial is to assert that “Islamophobia” is a more important problem than the actual dangers posed by radical Islam.

The flat statement that “Islamophobia has criminalized the brown body” is a falsehood, and to then throw in “the suffering of countless victims of . . . baseless hatred” as the emotional freight of an argument requires us to ask, “Are the ‘victims’ truly ‘countless’? Where is the evidence of this ‘suffering’?” In order to sustain such claims, it will not do to cite a list of incidents or anecdotes. No one disputes the fact that ignorant hateful people do ignorant hateful things.

What is in dispute is whether “Islamophobia” — specifically, the concern about Islamic terrorism — has generated such a spree of anti-Muslim violence and harassment as to produce “countless victims.”

FACT: Anti-Jewish hate crimes are four times more common than anti-Muslim crimes in the United States.

According to the FBI, Jews were the targets in about 60% of religious-bias incidents in 2013, the most recent year for which complete data is available. By comparison to the 625 anti-Jewish crimes, Muslims were targeted in 135 incidents (13.7%), and Catholics were the third-most commonly targeted group, accounting for 6.1% of such incidents.

Facts matter. We cannot let ourselves to be misled by propaganda, whatever the source or nature of that propaganda may be. When we know the facts, our skeptical curiosity ought to be aroused whenever we encounter tendentious claims. Who is it, we must ask, that deries the “countless victims” of “Islamophobia”?

Here is the profile of the Tumblr blogger who wrote that 157-word rant: Zanab, Nineteen, Female, Ontario, Canada. No rational person desiring information on hate crimes would deliberately seek out the expertise of a Canadian teenager, yet inside the online ideological bubbles of the Information Age, no one bothers to contradict this girl’s claims. If not for my habit of patrolling the weird universe of Feminist Tumblr, you might have no idea how these poisonous seeds of dangerous disinformation are being sown.





 

Comments

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    The only religion that trumps Islam is The Church of Gayfabulous!
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-y8QecuWvVWM/VRygcTp03FI/AAAAAAAAs7w/wrNy1_pAwnc/s1600/Gay%2BCommandment%2B1.PNG

    As far as Islamists throwing gays off buildings in Iraq, crushing them under walls in Afghanistan, or hanging them in Iran…out of sight out of mind!

  • Fail Burton

    To me this is such a weird thing. If people have to exaggerate words in order to make a point, why do they believe in the thing in the first place? I can’t think of how many times I’ve read people saying we are actually bombing “brown people” in Iraq, but one of those times was The Feminist Wire.

    I think the answer is in the very thing social justice warriors are themselves asserting: a biological hatred of ethnic and sexual groups hiding behind movements, but in their case words like “feminism” and the groups straight white males.

    Why do people purposefully make stupid comparisons about the American military being “terrorists”? No matter what one thinks, our armed forces aren’t putting on civilian clothes and purposefully targeting civilians with booby traps. It’s a different argument being stuffed into an inappropriate space.

    The stink of racial and sexual bigotry and supremacy permeates Third Wave Intersectional Feminism. Because they hide behind “social justice,” they have been remarkably successful in creating a free-fire zone where they can straight up say the most obnoxious things about whites, men and heterosexuals that doesn’t pass muster the other way around. A reviewer at an intersectional oriented literary magazine straight out crows on Twitter “It is no coincidence that my book review column features no white male authors.” Yet another reviewer at another similar venue doesn’t review men and says so, though the venue has nothing to do with feminism per se.

    Some idiot just called for everyone to take a break from reading white straight men. Blogs run articles about hating white belly dancers, when will whites stop making movies like Avatar and if Game of Thrones is too white.

    This new KKK has created quite the little con game for themselves and a lot of people are not only gulled but carrying the water on about “No Gender X-mas” who I guarantee you have never heard of De Beauvoir, Audre Lorde or Dworkin. That’s usually called mainstreaming hate speech.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Our esteemed host told the truth:

    An astonishing phenomenon of the 21st century is the perversely ironic way in which the Information Age has actually increased ignorance.

    The left rather successfully co-opted the description, “the reality-based community,” but they are the most ignorant bunch around.

    Then again, they’d have to be: a liberal who actually learned something about the world would no longer be a liberal.

  • http://www.ashrosetti.com Ash Rosetti

    My response is this:

    She’s buried chest high;
    Her arms can’t stop the stones that fly.
    Or wipe the tears that have already dried;
    For a crime she so persistently denied.
    She’s buried chest deep;
    The moderates asleep.
    No matter how hard she weeps;
    Worth half of a man, her testimony’s cheap.
    Allah has come up with such a fair rule;
    Dictators of history couldn’t be so cruel.
    Told by Mohammed;
    Teaching us Allah’s divine referendum.
    What becomes of those who have a sip of rum;
    Drinks to forget or wants to be numb.
    Or those who play the game of chance;
    Poker buddies escaping the religious trance.
    Allah’s prescribed in his merciful script;
    Their flesh be ripped, their blood be dripped,
    At the tip of a muslims whip.
    She’s buried chest high;
    Her arms can’t stop the stones that fly.
    Or wipe the tears that have already dried;
    For a crime she so persistently denied.
    And this is allah’s eternal reply.
    1400 years of backwards law;
    A tragic flaw of the primitive claw.
    The tribe of homosexuals;
    Koum lot as they say.
    Sharia is clear on how they should pay.
    The price for their gay display;
    Life doesn’t matter which way.
    Abu baker got them with a tumbling wall;
    Ali- Muhammed’s cousin and son in law;
    had people burned for their sexual call.
    An entire village children and all.
    She’s buried chest deep;
    The moderates asleep.
    No matter how hard she weeps;
    Worth half of a man her testimony’s cheap.
    Apostates remember those who have bled;
    To speak the word Muslims leave unsaid.
    Killed for the sake of those mislead;
    Submit now or be left dead.
    Allah has come up with such a fair rule;
    The devil himself couldn’t be so cruel.
    She’s buried chest high half way deep;
    While the moderates are still fast asleep.
    While the world stands silent;
    Her testimony’s cheap.
    Stones thrown by religious sheep.
    Witches were burned long ago;
    Till the flame of freedom began to glow;
    And we learned to say the word ‘no’.
    No know that your laws are unjust;
    Not worthy of respect only disgust.
    Beheading those with a knifes thrust;
    Oh but in Allah we blindly trust.
    She’s buried head high;
    In a heap of stones.
    No more crying no more moans;
    All that’s left is skin and bones;
    Allah has come up with such a fair call;
    The true justice of sharia law.

  • RS

    It’s one thing for groups like CAIR to disingenuously deploy the epithet “islamophobe,” but it’s another for secular Western philosophes to do so, given that Islamic societies are diametrically opposed to everything the secular Western worthy purportedly holds dear. Ignorance may explain the likes of your 19 year old Canadian correspondent, but cannot explain the attitudes of anyone who’s been paying attention to world affairs since 1979. I can only conclude that these defenders of Islam see it as an ally in the destruction of Western society and have the misbegotten belief that they will somehow be able to co-opt Islam or control it after Western society disappears. Such a belief is founded not on ignorance, but on stupidity.

  • Rob Crawford

    Remember that “reality based community” came from an unsourced quote. It was almost certainly an invention.

  • texlovera

    Pretty damned good.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Given that all of the people we are bombing are covered from head to toe including their faces and the speed of the aircraft delivering the ordnance, it’s entirely possible that all of the people we are bombing are white men. We just cant know but that would explain their misogyny.

  • Adobe_Walls

    There’s also a noble savage thing going on.

  • DavidD

    That’s just stupid. Sikhs aren’t Muslims and neither are Hindis.

  • Daniel Freeman

    Which was kind of her point, but then she grabbed it and jumped off a cliff with it.

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

    Stacy, thank you for bringing your mighty intellectual hammer down on the “islamophobia” hysterics. I wonder if you could be purseuded to jump down a new rabbit hole and give us another book? I promise that there is no shortage of crazy in the islamic supremacist & their enabler dupes camps.

  • trangbang68

    Looking at the latest atrocity by the demonic hordes of Islam, is it time for a demonstration project? I wonder what effect a couple of MOAB’s would have in downtown Mogadishu. The collateral damage would probably be minimal as it seems like most of the population of Somalia is here.

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  • Pingback: How Irrational Is ‘Islamophobia’? : The Other McCain()

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Channeling Rudyard Kipling?

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Islamophobia? It seems that the left suffer from Islamodementia.

  • robertstacymccain

    Unfortunately, Zilla, I must continue mining the ore of feminist insanity a while longer. The first edition of the book was, as I explain in the introduction, a “work in progress.” It was my decision to publish this fairly short (120 pages) edition in February as a sort of early preview of the work I’ve undertaken. In a few weeks, I hope to have a revised and expanded second edition available. After that, my plan is continue working until I have about a 250-page book available this fall.

    Quite simply, this project has become much more complex than I originally thought. There is really too much material to work with. This craziness has proliferated in such abundance that it is difficult to synthesize it in a coherent and accessible fashion. Rather to do it in a hasty and haphazard manner, I want to take the time necessary to do it right, to create a genuinely useful resource to people who want to understand the problem of radical feminism.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Mr Burton asked:

    To me this is such a weird thing. If people have to exaggerate words in order to make a point, why do they believe in the thing in the first place?

    Because they want to believe it! To examine the truth is to destroy all of the foundations of leftism, and, heaven forfend! then they’d have to become evil reich-wing Republicans.

  • DeadMessenger

    2 Timothy 4:3: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

    Written in the first century, and pretty much sums up the state of the world.

  • DeadMessenger

    Stupid grows exponentially, does it? There’s such a vast cohort (if I were a polysci major, I’d say “quagmire”) of stupid, that you’ll be at this until Jesus returns. =)

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  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Rousseau did not come up with it, but given the Jacobins loved him and the concept…well let’s just say it did not turn out so well for France.

  • Steve Skubinna

    It was a response to George W. Bush calling for supporting the faith based community in providing charity.

    “Charity” being one item the progressives are entirely devoid of.

  • NRPax

    Islamaphobia (n): Similar to homophobia. A fake condition with no medical or psychological evidence to corroborate its existence. Used exclusively by certain groups to help them be perceived as helpless victims and to explain irrational, violent acts by their members.

  • theoldsargesays

    Excellent!
    There’s nothing better than ancient history presupposing the ramblings of the idiocracy.
    (saved for future deployments)

  • Quartermaster

    That ignorance is also highly aggressive.