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Islamophobia - What Is in A Name?

The term “Islamophobia” is understood to be the hatred of Islam and Muslims and has come to the forefront in the last several decades. However, since September 11, 2001 (“9/11”) and the emergence of ISIS worldwide, use of the term Islamophobia has increased dramatically as has the hatred it implies. Beginning with the 2016 campaign for the US presidency and the subsequent presidency of Donald Trump, Islamophobia rhetoric has fanned the political flames, especially among the extremist right in the US and Europe.
This commentary will not address in detail the multiple manifestations of Islamophobia in the US and in Europe, but will simply focus on the insidious and deceitful use of this word.
The word “phobia” is Greek in origin and means “fear”. Fear of being in tight quarters is called claustrophobia. Fear of being in large open spaces is called agoraphobia. Fear of spiders is known as arachnophobia. People who suffer from a specific phobia try to avoid the subject of their fear.
Typically, a phobia is a human anxiety disorder that is treatable. There is nothing bad per se with tight quarters, open spaces or spiders. So a phobia is a human disorder rather than the object of the phobia itself. However, the use of the term Islamophobia conveys the idea that we are to fear Muslims and Islam. This is a very dangerous path, indeed.
It is worth noting that claustrophobia, for example, can be due to a genetic predisposition. People suffering from this phobia are not totally responsible for their reactions since they cannot control them. But in the case of Islamophobia, genetics play no role whatsoever. Islamophobia is purely an acquired feeling of hate of Islam and Muslims. The repeated use of the term Islamophobia hides the insidious encouragement of negativity towards Muslims, portraying Islam and its followers as dangers to society.
When the Jews were the victims of Nazism in Germany during World War II, the terms used to describe the Jew haters were “anti-Jewish” or anti-Semitic”. We did not hear the terms “Jewisophobia” or “Semitophobia”. Still, today, anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic are the terms used to describe those who hate Jews. For those that hate Christians, we do not hear the term “Christianophobia”. So why Islamophobia? Is it by design that the term Islamophobia has been coined to exacerbate hatred against Muslims, and to target them as pariahs who should be rejected?
A world free of hatred toward all people of every faith or affiliation is a worthy goal in the era of political and social turmoil. The task should be to eliminate religious hatred rather than exacerbate it. Since the term Islamophobia is a catalyst for more hate and division, let us drop this term once and for all. Replace the word Islamophobia with anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim.

10:55 - 29/07/2020    /    Number : 754498    /    Show Count : 65


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