With Islamophobia being the latest reason for hate in the United States, hating Muslims has become a feeling which, to many Americans sadly, is completely acceptable. With Islamophobic bigots like Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida, who plans on burning copies of the Islamic holy book, the Koran, on September 11, to those who are against the building of an Islamic Cultural Center in New York, calling it a ‘Ground Zero Mosque’, Islamophobes are everywhere. With almost 50% of Americans, in a new poll, saying they view Islam unfavorably, Islamophobia is alive and well in America. So here’s how to tell if you’re Islamophobic.
1. If You Insist the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Should Not Be Built – Yep, you’re an Islamophobe. Firstly, it’s not a ‘mosque’ and secondly, it’s several blocks away from ‘Ground Zero’ (whatever that means), so to even identify it as a ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ shows exactly where your sentiments lie. The building in question is an Islamic Cultural Center, which happens to be several blocks away from where the World Trade Center buildings fell, and will include facilities for people of every faith.
2. If You Think Burning the Koran Is Allowed Under the US Constitution – Many Americans seem to view the upcoming burning of the Koran by Terry Jones and his crazy whackjob followers as ‘allowed’ under the US First Amendment. It’s not.
Under either ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘freedom of expression’, hate speech or freedom of expression promoting hate is not protected when it may incite violence, no matter how much many Islamophobes think it should be. In fact, any speech, gesture or conduct which may incite riot (hello…you don’t think burning Korans is going to incite riot in other places in the world against US citizens?) against a protected group (and that includes religious group, ie: Muslims) is not protected.
Also, when an act impedes freedom of religion (which burning the Koran does, as Muslims become afraid to say they’re Muslim), that infringes on the first amendment rights of Muslims who, in most cases, are just as ‘American’ as you are.
So, if you think burning the Koran should be protected, not only is there something seriously wrong with your judgment, you’re also an Islamophobe.
3. If You Think ‘Islam Promotes The Stoning of Women’ – I’ve lost count of the number of ignorant Americans I’ve seen on message boards all over the internet saying Islam should be banned as it condones the ‘stoning of women’. No, it doesn’t.
Nowhere in the Koran does it say Muslims can stone women and, even in those instances where it happens in some Muslim countries, it makes the news because it IS so exceedingly rare. Believing this is just as stupid as saying the Christian Bible promotes the putting to death by electric chair or hanging of people who commit crimes. No, it doesn’t. The American government does that.
If you think Islam promotes the stoning of women, you’re an Islamophobe.
4. If You Think All Muslim Countries Are Restrictive To Women – No, they’re not. A few are. Many are not. But, again, even though the extremist governments of some countries use their warped version of Islam as a way to control women, that’s not what the Koran says or the Islamic religion itself.
In Muslim countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Dubai, women have just as many rights as in any western country and, if those rights aren’t always the same as those in western countries, its because their culture and their history is different. Just because they’re different than the US, doesn’t mean they’re wrong, it’s just different. In fact, spousal abuse, forced marriage and women’s inability to move where they want are directly against what Islam teaches.
If you think all Muslim countries are restrictive to women, you’re an Islamophobe.
5. Islam Promotes Pedophelia – No, it doesn’t, but with an ignorant Dallas minister (what is wrong with so many of these American so-called religious leaders, whose acts and words are anything but ‘Christian’?), many Americans now think it does.
This all stems from the prophet Mohammed, almost 2,000 years ago, taking a 9-year old girl as his wife. Firstly, this was centuries ago, when this was common not only all over the Middle East, but in Asia, Europe and South America too. Secondly, what was ‘acceptable’ two thousand years ago, in every culture, often isn’t acceptable today. Nowhere in Islamic teaching does it promote men taking 9-year old wives. And, if you think this, you’re an Islamophobe.
6. If You Think All Muslims Are Terrorists or Terrorist Sympathizers – With 99% of the Muslim world against terrorism in any shape or form (many Muslim countries have terrorism in their own countries and, believe me, they don’t want it anymore than we do), to think all Muslims are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers is ignorance and bigotry in its most basic form.
That 19 Muslim men got on planes and flew them into American buildings doesn’t mean all Muslims are terrorists, or that all terrorists are Muslim (as much of the rest of the world can attest to). Nineteen extremist scumbags who hated America got on planes and flew them into American buildings. That they were Muslim had little to do with it, particularly that their extremist version of Islam was against everything Islam teaches.
If it had been 19 Chinese men that got on those planes, would the 1.3 billion Chinese people on the planet suddenly be terrorists or terrorist sympathizers? See how incredibly stupid this is?
If you honestly worry about Muslims being terrorists and watch carefully that Muslim guy sitting next to you on the plane because he looks a bit shifty – yep, you’re an Islamophobe.
Seriously, Americans, get a grip. Stop living in a world of fear and treat people like the PEOPLE they are, and not as members of some scary, dark and swarthy group that might just one day blow you up. It’s crazy and you’re an Islamophobe.
49% of Americans view Islam unfavorably – ABC News