Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Is islamophobia real?

I'm a little nervous of my admiration for some of the work of Pat Condell.  I don't agree with everything he says, particularly on the topic of Israel (which is one are where Islam has a reasonable excuse for feeling aggrieved at its land being given to another nation).  However, nor do I agree with his critics who say that he is a 'foaming-at -the-mouth bigot'.

Typically he puts his message across in a calm and reasonable manner.  The latest of his videos is about islamophobia (or its non-existence).

It is worth a few minutes of your time to hear what he says.

Then leave some comments to tell me whether you agree.


Eric Haas said...

Yes, I think there is a such thing as Islamophobia. Muslims are an extremely diverse group, and there are people who look at the extremists and assume all Muslims are like that. Fears of Muslims overrunning Europe are fed by those who look at statistics of first generation immigrants and assume they apply to the second and third generation as well. The exact same fears that are expressed about Muslims now were also expressed about Irish Catholics when they first started to immigrate to the US (including the tendency to violence, and the imagined inability to assimilate with the local culture). When you look at the statistics for second and third generation Muslim immigrants, you find that they assimilate at pretty much the same rate as every immigrant group before them.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that cries of Islamophobia are sometimes just attempts to silence criticism. And Condell is right to criticize European countries for compromising fundamental rights in an attempt to avoid offending their Muslim populations.

Kenny Wyland said...

Is his point that phobia is the wrong word because its an irrational fear whereas fear of Islam is rational?

Plasma Engineer said...

(In my opinion) his point is similar to what Eric said. The use of the word 'islamophobia' generates a smoke screen which is intended to confuse 'the enemy' by making them feel guilty for accusing all moderate Muslims of the offences of the guilty Muslims. I have a few Muslim friends (even in rural Oxfordshire, which is about like being in rural Kentucky in some ways) and they seem very reasonable.

The problem is that Islam is truly the religion of deceit for some people, and we must not allow them to unmine human rights in the name of . . . human rights!

Kenny Wyland said...

Whether or not the use of the word is used to disarm an opponent doesn't really have any bearing on whether or not that word is attached to a real thing.

For example, I can use "racism" in an attempt to deflect a person's attacks or vilify them for attacking someone in an attempt to confuse the issue and take control of the debate.... and racism does exist, whether or not it is in effect in whatever situation we are discussing.

So, if his argument is that "islamophobia" isn't a real thing because it's used to manipulate a conversation... then, no, his argument is faulty. Whether or not it is used as a smoke screen has no bearing on its existence.

why zee said...

Informed rational freedom loving people have all the reasons in the world to fear islam. The twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. Even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

The evil koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.

Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

and some snappy infographics, great for emailing...

Kenny Wyland said...

Just read this from Sam Harris and remembered this post because Harris makes the same claim that Islamophobia doesn't exist.