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I once listened to the great Dutch Arabist Hans Jansen, who reminded us that the Koran actually commands Muslims to instill fear of Islam (Islamophobia) into the hearts of non-Muslims, using any means necessary to force them to submit to Islam’s might. The Koran and Islamic teachings thus make Islamophobia mandatory.
I agree with his insight, but only up to a point. First of all, many non-Muslims despise Islam at least as much as we fear it. Second, it is my understanding that the term “phobia” does not merely mean “fear of,” but more specifically an irrational and totally unfounded or at least greatly exaggerated fear of something.
Is fear of Islam really irrational, seen in light of Islam’s violent past and still-violent present?
Seemingly echoing The Communist Manifesto, Thorbjørn Jagland of the Labor Party, then the President of the Norwegian Parliament and today the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, warned in 2006 that a specter is haunting Europe, the specter of Islamophobia. He stated this just a few weeks after violent Islamic riots around the world and attacks on Scandinavian embassies over a few cartoons. By September 2012, this dangerous trend had escalated to attacks on German and American embassies and the Jihadist murder of the American ambassador to Libya.
The writers Sindre Bangstad and Cora Alexa Døving warn that a wave of right-wing extremist “Islamophobia” is sweeping Europe. Døving works for the Holocaust Center in Oslo and has several times gone far in suggesting that Muslims in the West are now being treated in ways similar to how the Nazis treated European Jews. This preposterous suggestion fortunately received some richly deserved criticism from the author Herman Willis.
Having rabbitophobia, a paralyzing fear of rabbits, could with considerable justification be classified as an irrational fear. Rabbits can potentially carry diseases, as can mice and many other animals, but apart from that they hardly constitute much of a threat to humans. Likewise, it is hard to find any rational justification for coulrophobia, a fear of clowns, apart from some bad childhood experience that somehow stuck to adulthood.
However, one could not sensibly be said to suffer similarly from greatwhitesharkophobia or crocodilophobia. That’s because big sharks and crocodiles are large predators that are genuinely dangerous. Having some healthy fear of them is perfectly sane and may help you stay alive. This doesn’t mean that great white sharks or big crocodiles will attack and kill humans every time they have the opportunity to do so, but they are perfectly capable of carrying out such attacks, and sometimes they do.
The same principle applies to so-called Islamophobia. An ideology that has as its stated goal to put the entire world under its eternal rule, by force if necessary, and to kill those who stand in its way, criticize it or leave it, is genuinely dangerous. Having some healthy doses of fear and skepticism of such a force is perfectly rational.
Islam has well over one thousand years of unprovoked aggression on multiple continents under its belt and today is well underway with a new wave of aggression, this time unfortunately also in Western cities and suburbs.
Did the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh suffer from a totally irrational fear of Islam when he had his throat cut in broad daylight in Amsterdam in 2004 by a proud and dedicated Islamic Jihadist who murdered him for mocking Islam?
Or did Theo van Gogh in fact die because he had too little fear of Islam rather than too much?
“Islamophobia” is a meaningless term. Just like the word “racism,” it is mainly used to harass Europeans and intimidate them into silence and submission in the face of the tsunami of mass immigration currently engulfing their countries. The simplest way to get rid of Islamophobia is to remove the term from our active vocabulary.
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