This week at Magic City Morning Star (Thursday 13, 2014) I published an article sent in by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in relation to this year's IHRC Islamophobia awards, an annual recognition of the disservice done to Muslims and their faith by public figures. (Anyone know anything about Bethlehem?) The article states that:
|R.P. BenDedek Inner Mongolia 2010|
Although the awards are intended to be a tongue in cheek poke at public figures of all stripes, they do carry a serious message. Islamophobia is on the rise all over the world, particularly in the West, and the event serves to focus attention on the problem.
In the western democratic world we believe in free speech and the right to have and to hold one's own religious, political and social beliefs and cultures. The article sent to me was therefore published, and if that group wish to nominate public figures for 'Islamophobia Awards' then so be it. But I take exception to the expression 'Islamophobia.'
According to dictionary reference.com a phobia is a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. Its synonyms are 'aversion and hatred.'
According to Wikipedia the word phobia comes from the Greek word Phobos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear" and when used in the context of clinical psychology,
- it refers to a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational. In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.
- A specific phobia is a marked and persistent fear of an object or situation which brings about an excessive or unreasonable fear when in the presence of, or anticipating, a specific object; the specific phobias may also include concerns with losing control, panicking, and fainting which is the direct result of an encounter with the phobia.
The Wikipedia list of phobias does not include 'Islamophobia' and the word itself does not appear in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
In the IHRC article it is recorded that
Islamophobia can be described as stereotypes, bias or acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level and perceiving their views to be intrinsically problematic, violent or unethical.
It seems to me that today, the word 'phobia' is being used by too many people and ideologies as a synonym for simple 'fear,' and it is being used in an accusatory fashion.
Some people who know me well might describe me as 'Agoraphobic' since I actually and intensely HATE going to new places, doing new things, and meeting new people. Since however there is no irrational or other 'fear' involved, I could not be described as 'Agoraphobic.' I'm simply neurotic.
My daughter loves snakes. I hate the sods! I don't care if they are tame, defanged, harmless, small or beautiful; I've had too many encounters with the critters to want to be anywhere near them. The same goes for sharks. My fear is not irrational. It is quite rational. Nothing is more likely to turn off my emotions and switch on my 'logic' mode, than seeing a snake at very close quarters. Whilst others panic in a given situation, I become very calm and dispassionate.
And frankly, I don't see why in god's name I should have to 'prove' that I am not phobic, or better yet, beat my so-called phobia by going out of my way to encounter snakes and sharks. It's my life - not yours! You can come to China and eat snails, frogs, snakes and dogs if you wish and you may boldly and proudly declare that you have done it. But me? No thanks! I don't need to prove anything by eating or drinking what I think to be disgusting. I am not snail-phobic, frog- phobic, or snake phobic, and as for dogs, well, since I have been living in China I seem to have lost by 'dog-phobia.' That phobia was real and came out of being attacked by two dogs when I was about twelve years old.
Today, if you say anything at all negative about homosexuals, you are labeled - 'homophobic.' Well, maybe some people do have an irrational all controlling physical and emotional reaction to being near or around homosexuals. Most people however who are tagged 'homophobic' have no such reactions. They just have their personal preferences or ideological beliefs. That does not make them 'phobic.'
And this is why I object to the term Islamophobic. The IHRC definition of Islamophobic is, in my humble opinion, ideological B.S.
Quote: "Islamophobia can be described as stereotypes,"
How many people reading this would describe Chinese people as being short, with black hair, black eyes and brown or yellow skin? How many people would you guess to be 'Sinophobic' simply because they would stereotype Chinese people that way? I have lived in China for eleven years. I've met groups of extremely tall Chinese (veritable giants); groups of extremely small Chinese (veritable little people); Chinese with red hair and brown hair, naturally curly hair and even 'wiry' hair. As for eye color, there are the black eyed, the brown eyed, the green eyed, the hazel eyed and the 'blue eyed.' No - I didn't make that last one up. I have seen it for myself! I had heard of it before, but not until recently did I see it for myself. As for skin color, there are the black skinned, the dark skinned, the brown skinned, the yellow skinned, the pale skinned and the white skinned. I didn't make that last one up either. Stereotyping is normal. It is not a phobia.
Quote: Islamophobia can be described as ... bias
At school I loved ancient history. The last thing I ever imagined was living in China. Why? It is full of Asians with Asian culture. I am not Asian. I don't have any interest in Asian Culture. Does that make me 'Asian' phobic? Of course not although you will probably want to call me a racist or a xenophobe. Well if you say so then I must be. I have traveled in Europe, but never in the United States of America - and I don't want to either. I have known many Americans and I find their culture quite different to my own. I have no desire to go experience American culture. I'm obviously 'America-phobic' or just plain racist and xenophobic. Actually, hang on a second. I can't be xenophobic because if I was, I wouldn't have traveled in Europe let alone come to China to live. Nope! I'm not xenophobic. (Another often misused word.)
Many people today do not believe in God. Evolution is the answer to everything - not God. Funny thing though, is that 'fear and dislike' of the foreign, (xenophobia - but without the irrationality) is the first instinct of most of the differing species of animals on this planet.
As for my being racist, well, in the Wikipedia article on 'Racism' it says that:
The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept "race", and because there is also little agreement about what does and does not constitute discrimination.
So there! Before you shoot of your mouth about racism, you should first be aware of that little statement, and secondly you should study the various ways in which racism is explained. Personally, I would suggest that true racism is a 'clinical phobia' or 'anxiety disorder.' That term 'anxiety disorder' worries me a lot because it seems to me that western society is full of anxiety and angst and despair. It sure seems to me that many people simply cannot cope with hearing anything other than their own regurgitated ideology. Anything and anyone who does not fit my 'ideology' is something to be feared and destroyed. That's scary!
So now I come back to Islamophobia.
Quote: Islamophobia can be described as ... acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general.
"Not guilty your honor! I called that Muslim a dirty rotten liar because he is a dirty rotten liar, not because I hate Islam or Muslims." By some people's definition of Islamophobia, saying anything nasty about a Muslim should be a crime - even if it is true. You think I made that up didn't you? The fact of the matter is that it has twice already been declared in a court of law that the 'truth' is no defense in a 'hate speech' trial.
Many people who are called Islamophobic have never shown acts of hostility toward Muslims. But then again, how do you describe 'hostility?'
Quote: In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling...
What does intolerance mean? I am damned sure I would be intolerant if a factory, a whore house, or nightclub were to be built next door. I would be intolerant of a lot of things. I am sure intolerant of street preachers who try to latch-on to me and won't let me go. Does that mean I have an ideological and emotional position or stand on factories, whore houses, nightclubs and street preachers?
My country is not a Muslim country. It is a western Judeo-Christian based country with certain traditions and cultures that derive from that. Is my desire to see that continue - intolerant?
Racial profiling: As an ex-cop I sure as hell would not want to be running around pulling up suspects of all ethnicities and genders based on a politically correct perception that to state a person's gender, ethnicity or skin color amounts to racial profiling. People flying into countries from destinations where drug trafficking is common place ought not to be surprised if they are thoroughly examined. When Muslims all over the world are so eager to commit suicide bombings, the rest of the Muslim population ought not to be surprised if they are checked out for explosives. When the Catholics and Protestants were at war with each other in Northern Island, did anyone honestly not become suspicious of Irish people living in their home towns?
Quote: Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level
I don't give tuppence for the distinction between 'security threat' and 'greater security threat.' If someone is a threat, then they should be dealt with. Black, white or brindle; Asian or European; Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim; a threat is a threat is a threat.
Quote: and perceiving their views to be intrinsically problematic, violent or unethical.
Just this week in Australia it has been discovered that many young Muslim girls as young as twelve years old have been given in marriage to older men. Do those Muslims not know or not care about our laws? How many times must we read about honor killings? And how many verbal and physical threats have to be made and how many terrorist plots have to be uncovered before our politically correct elitists understand that Islamophobia is not an irrational fear.
What is called 'Islamophobia' by Islam is a rational, reasoned awareness of what is going on in the world and in our countries. If the only representatives of Islam to be seen or heard in the media are the nutcases, fanatics, murderers and religious fundamentalists, is it our fault if we perceive Muslims and Islam in a way that is not correct for the majority of Muslims?
So my personal message to IHRC and the Muslim community at large is this:
Cut your politically motivated politically correct B.S. and start taking a very public and loud stand for the things that Islam claims to believe in. Decry terrorism! Throw out Imams or anyone else preaching violence and hatred. Report to the security forces those about whom you have concerns that they are being radicalized.
Let's see and hear the ordinary Muslims stand up to protest against each and every terrorist organization.
I know lots of Muslims here in China. I have no fear of them. I don't encourage, recommend or incite anyone to hatred or violence. But I am an Islamophobe. My fear is that my own country has become so weak, gutless and godless that one day it will become an Islamic Republic. My fear is quite rational. Do I blame Muslims for this? No!
I blame Political Correctness Ideologues! People with heads so far up their 'you know where' that they have no understanding of what takes place in the real world.
I blame people who have taught our kids for years not to believe in God, but then bend over backwards to accommodate Islam.
I blame people who have taught our kids to have no respect for culture, tradition, authority, the flag or the country it represents.
I blame people whose sole aim is to destroy western civilization for the sake of an ideology which has already proven several times around the world, that it doesn't work -- communism!
If Islam ever takes over Australia, I want to be sitting in the front seat while all these good for nothing elitist ideologues cop a bullet!
Don't talk to me about Islamophobia! Let me talk to you about 'freespeechophobia'; the absolute meltdown that some people have when they hear someone say something that has not been approved of by the political censors.
The Hidden Agenda: Israel, Palestine and Egypt. by R.P. BenDedek February 7, 2014
It seems that Israel has conspired to keep the truth from us. Watch the video and see how Israel treats Muslims, Druze and Arabs of all persuasions. But what is Egypt today? First and foremost it is an Islamic Country, one that has been struggling to catch up with Western economic success. But it is not exactly a success story
Only the Arab Christians Understand Middle East Truth By R.P. BenDedek Jan 11, 2014
Often completely unaddressed in the West is the fact that Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world," states Open Doors USA President and CEO Dr. David Curry. Only in one place in the entire Middle East do the Christian Arabs get freedom of religion as well as equality...we see young Christian Arab citizens, wanting to join in alliance with the Jewish State. They already know that no one will be waiting for them out there, in the cold Christian winter.
U.N. stands for 'L-i-e-s' not United Nations by R.P. BenDedek December 28, 2013
"Anyone with a little intellect knew that the appointment was a farce but farce is standard fare for the U.N." In United Nations Rising Hypocrisy I wrote: "It seems rather strange that the United Nations staff fear for their lives, when in Palestine at least, the United Nations (and the rest of the world so it seems), thinks that all the problems, violence and poverty in Palestine are caused solely by Israel, and that Palestinian 'soldiers' are brave freedom fighters." In 2005 whilst studying in Wuhan City China, I was talking with a group of Muslims from Middle Eastern countries and I asked them what would happen if Israel agreed to all the demands placed on it. They burst out laughing and said: 'There would be no Israel!'
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls