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Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Secularism | 4 comments

If “Islamophobia” Actually Existed

Pakistani Ahmadis bury their dead after a massacre

Pakistani Ahmadis bury their dead after a massacre

We have not forgotten the accusations of “Islamophobia” against Richard Dawkins (not least, by many atheists) when he spoke the truth about Muslims’ scientific underachievement. Of course this was mighty convenient, as it helped relieve Muslim-majority nations from the soul searching they would have to do otherwise. For example, they might be reminded that they value religious orthodoxy above science, as Abdus Salam, the Pakistani who is the only Muslim to win the Nobel physics prize ever, learned the hard way?

Hence, while “Islamophobia” accusations have been used for by Islamists (and their left leaning ideologue allies) to silence criticism of Islam where the more traditional methods of Islamic repression such as cracking down on blasphemy and apostasy are not practical, it is useful to ask ourselves what this feared word would represent, if it were but a straw man invented for this specific purpose.

In a brilliant piece titled “I left the US because of their hatred towards Muslims…here is my story” in the Pakistani paper “The Express Tribune”, author Kashif Chaudhry gives us a glimpse of American “Islamophobia”: America is where Muslims receive death threats, are constantly confronted by accusations of beings traitors, are openly discriminated against, get fired en masse, cannot even eat at a cafeteria, become victims of unpunished crimes, are not left alone even after they are dead, etc, etc.

The only problem: he is not talking about how Muslims are treated in the US. The claims, absurd on their face, actually portray realistically the picture of how Pakistan treats it own Ahmadiyya minority. (Which, hilariously, most commentator on that column missed altogether.) Since this minority hold views that orthodox Muslims consider heretical, and hence they are forbidden from even calling themselves Muslims or “posing as Muslims”, or calling their houses of worship (which are frequently attacked violently, leaving scored dead) “mosques”. That is right, there is a Muslim sect barring from calling its places of worship Mosques. In Pakistan! The Ahmadis are hated to the point that they get shunned and maligned, regardless of who they are or what they have accomplished, even if that happens to be winning a Nobel prize in physics. Why, did you miss that poor Abdus Salam was an Ahmadi? And as his friend, Steven Weinberg, the co-winner of the prize along with Salam put it, “I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.” Only in his country of birth Salam was not allowed to say he was a Muslim! And yet they have the nerve to cry “Islamophobia” at Dawkins rather admit that it is their own religious beliefs holding them back.

It is worth remembering that, all the cries of “Islamophobia” not withstanding, in the US over 50% believe that “belief is God is necessary to have moral values” and that “if enough people had a relationship with God, social problems would take care of themselves”, and hence, it is not surprising to see that, despite 9/11, Muslims have a net negative popularity rating of 9%, as opposed to Atheists’ 29%, who numerically (depending on how you ask) outnumber them at least 10 to 1.

  • ThePrussian

    Genius piece; thanks for picking it up.

  • Michael Sabino

    I acknowledge that islamophobia does exist. I think the problem lies in that any criticism of the Islamic faith is lumped in with the real life prejudices perceived Muslims (aka, anyone who’s brown) do face in the US.

    • NoCrossNoCrescent

      Eh, what? Muslims, aka anyone who’s brown?? Most racial minorities in the US actually aren’t Muslims, which makes equating distaste for Islam with racism pretty absurd.

      • Michael Sabino

        I’m re-reading my comment, and seeing that I was unclear. I wouldn’t equate a distaste for Islam with racism, however, there does exist an ignorant mass in the US who feel that anyone they *perceive* to be Muslim should be tossed into the fire. A “kill ‘em all, let god sort ‘em out” mentality.

        The problem is that valid criticism of Islam is often conflated with islamophobia (WHICH DOES EXIST).