Deconstructing Islamophobia

Finally, after four years of demanding one, the Counterjihad coalition at the OSCE (BPE, ICLA, and Mission Europa) has obtained an official definition of “Islamophobia”, courtesy of the Turkish representative at last week’s meeting in Vienna:

Islamophobia is a contemporary form of racism and xenophobia motivated by unfounded fear, mistrust, and hatred of Muslims and Islam. Islamophobia is also manifested through intolerance, discrimination, unequal treatment, prejudice, stereotyping, hostility, and adverse public discourse. Differentiating from classical racism and xenophobia [sic], Islamophobia is mainly based on stigmatization of a religion and its followers, and as such, Islamophobia is an affront to the human rights and dignity of Muslims.

Several questions come to mind when contemplating this definition:

  • Would residents of Woolwich who witnessed the beheading of Lee Rigby in the name of Allah on May 22, 2013 be guilty of Islamophobia if they afterwards feared Muslims and loathed Islam?
  • Would their fear be “unfounded”?
  • Consider the Muslims who in the name of Allah carried out the first WTC bombing in 1993, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings, the 2004 Madrid bombing, the 7/7/2005 Tube and bus bombings, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the 2009 Fort Hood terror attack, and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Then consider the families of the victims of these attacks and the people who witnessed them. Are they “Islamophobic” because they hate and fear the terrorists and the organizations that perpetrated these atrocities?
  • Do their feelings represent a “stigmatization” of Islam?

The Counterjihad Collective needs to elaborate on these ideas and come up with additional ones that will flesh out an effective response to accusations of “Islamophobia”.

Update: A reader in New York State sends these useful observations:

From the ordinary meaning of a phobia, Islamophobia would be an unjustified fear of Islam. But that is not OIC’s definition. Let’s list what is inadequate about the above OIC definition of Islamophobia.

  • The use of “a” in the first sentence means that it is not a proper definition at all: Islamophobia is just one subset of all contemporary forms of racism and xenophobia of the listed motivations.
  • Islamophobia is defined in terms of two other concepts, racism and xenophobia. There is nothing wrong in principle with using concepts B and C to define concept A, but it would be a bit kinder to the person trying to understand what you mean by “Islamophobia” to spell it out directly, without making him look up two other terms.
  • The use of “and” in the definition means that Islamophobia must include both racism and xenophobia. If you are a racist but not a xenophobe, or a xenophobe but not a racist, then you cannot be an Islamophobe. Similarly, “and” means that in order to be an Islamophobe, both your racism and your xenophobia must have all six of these motivations: unfounded fear of Muslims, unfounded fear of Islam, unfounded mistrust of Muslims, unfounded mistrust of Islam, unfounded hatred of Muslims, unfounded hatred of Islam. If any one of these six motivations is lacking, you are not an Islamophobe, according to the OIC.
  • It is not clear what the second and third sentences are doing there. Are they part of the definition, or not?

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

27 thoughts on “Deconstructing Islamophobia

  1. Perhaps the Turk would care to define UNFOUNDED in “unfounded fear,mistrust
    and hatred” . How could the rejection of a malicious,totalitarian ideology possibly be stamped racism and xenophobia….? I don’t like kommunism/socialism/nazism either….does THAT make me a racist and xenophobe?!

    • How can you not love socialism? “They” take away from others and share with you. What’s not to love?? Oh wait. Are you one of the Others whose money they confiscate for the ‘poor’?

      There is some satisfaction to see them finally cornered and forced to produce a definition for a word Muslims invented to begin with. They had no choice but to produce some conjunction of behaviors if they want any possibility of moving forward to punish offenders who brush against their hair-trigger sensibilities.

      What they labored so hard to avoid producing will prove quite useful because it leaves anyone who has witnessed the bajillions of human beings slaughtered in Allah’s name with a well-founded fear. A rational fear of those slavering mobs with a lust for setting things on fire and killings people.

      So far, the only victim the world has seen who didn’t succumb to fear as he was about to be killed was that Italian in Iraq. Fabrizio Quattrocchi showed the rest of us how to do it…and he made his final moments memorably honorable. So much for that piece of propaganda.

      I’ve often thought of Mr. Q.’s final moments. Do you think it was being forced to dig his own grave that served to work up his righteous Italian ire? What ever gave him the courage and wit to rip off that head shroud so we could see his face? He was supposed to whimper, you know. Instead, he definitely earned that Gold Medal for Civil Valor when he shouted to his executioners,

      “Vi faccio vedere come muore un Italiano!”.

      And by gosh he did indeed show us how to die.

      If they rilly rilly don’t want increasing numbers of ‘phobes popping up, then the jihadists will have to stop beating people up and chopping off their heads. If they can’t quit this bloody compulsive behavior, then they ought to seek professional help.

      Meanwhile the rest of us can continue to dust our little Fabrizio Quattrocchi shrines.

      • I didn’t want to watch Mr. Q’s beheading but… having heard so much in the press about Daniel Pearl I really needed to see what everyone was talking about.
        You are right D, what a brave and gallant man and yet, if memory serves, he was a truck driver. Nothing extraordinary about him, just earning a living for his family but in the final measure he was one of the most brave men I have ever seen. It broke my heart to watch that man die.
        As for Islamophobia, you can call me into the ranks. I never want to be murdered in a soccer stadium. I never want to wear the burka; I much prefer summer dresses or tank tops and jeans. I don’t even like scarves. FGM. no thank you, getting beaten by my husband, ditto. And of course, I would rather not be blown up on a bus, train, or plane.
        I am a hard core Islamophobe, sorry.

      • Re your first paragraph: I heard a businessman from (high-tax and welfare) Sweden interviewed on the BBC a while back. Asked whether he resented so much of his income going to the State, he said: “Of course not; the State is us.” Socialism should not be a term of abuse if people freely choose it.
        Totally endorse the rest of your post.

  2. As Robert Spencer often rhetorically inquires, “What race is Islam again?” The conflation of racism and Islam-aversion would be silly if it were not so malign. By doing so, the Islamic propaganda machine slipstreams its odious creed behind the West’s longstanding and quite valid rejection of racism, hijacking the protections afforded by the latter to advance its invidious agenda.

  3. Let me see if I have this correct. The Islamists want to take over the world, turn all non-Muslims into 2nd class citizens (The people of the Book; not sure what is in store for the others), murder all homosexuals, turn women into property, turn the clock back 1400 years, send the entire world into a new Dark Age that will never end, end all scientific inquiry as well as destroy all forms of art.
    I don’t want that. Therefore, I am a Islamaphobe. Viva la Islamaphobia!

  4. The last two years, I’ve been working on “Daily Life Language of Violence”. In one chapter, I write about the use of different “isms” and “phobias” (In the World of art they are maestros in using isms when they want to behead people they don’t like! Populism, opportunism, nationalism – there are hundreds of possibilities.).
    So – when you see the use of for example “islamophobia” in a text – remember that the main intention of the writer is to violate the readers.

  5. To hell with islamophobia, we still haven’t been presented with a universally accepted definition of racism.

  6. It doesn’t even take listing all those spectacular atrocities to justify fear and loathing of Islam. The broad masses and their ideological base are of much greater concern, really. Just… read the Koran. If that’s not a life changing experience, have your eyes examined.

  7. What concerns me most is use of the phrase “adverse public discourse”. As a Christian, I am daily subject to “adverse public discourse” about my faith – comments about being stupid (maybe), non-rational (it’s *faith* DUH), sky fairy etc. Nobody uses the phrase “Christianophobic” about this “adverse public discourse”.
    So want I want to know is this; will I be accused (i.e. pilloried) as an “islamophobe” if this definition is adopted into the mainstream and I then say There is no way to the Father in Heaven except through the Son, Jesus Christ? Clearly it’s “adverse public discourse” about islam since it denies that religion is a route to salvation of the soul. This is an attempt at the purposeful, creeping removal of our freedom of speech and, especially, of religious expression (supposedly enshrined in the ECHR) by conflating something benign (criticism of a religion) with something bad (racism). It is clearly an attempt to place islam above criticism, and muslims above non-muslims.

    • “Sky fairy,” “sky wizard,” “zombie Jesus,” “flying spaghetti monster”… Atheists have gotten REALLY obnoxious in the last decade, and I think it’s entirely due to the Internet. They managed to come together with the above phrases (and many others) which has given them a common lexicon of ridicule – a very powerful tool for emboldening their “congregation.” All this unending ridicule of Christianity has made atheism extremely cool.

      Sad that spewing ridicule is a better marketing tool than charities and hospitals.

  8. There’s another element in this – the idea that opponents of Islam are ‘afraid’ of Islam. I’m not afraid of it, irrationally or otherwise, therefore my opposition to it cannot be Islamophobic. I don’t like Islam, I don’t want it to have any bearing on either my life or that of my family, friends, and neighbours, but far from fearing it, I look forward to the day when we take the fight to it.

  9. Next time, we could submit a paper describing how “Islamophilia” destroys democracy 🙂

  10. Now that we have a definition of “Islamaphobia” will the Organization of Islamic States accept the following definition of “Kuffarophobia” or “Jewophobia?”

    (Kuffar or Jew)ophobia is a contemporary form of racism and xenophobia motivated by unfounded fear, mistrust, and hatred of (Kuffars or Jews) or their non-Islamic religion. (Kuffar or Jew)ophobia is also manifested through intolerance, discrimination, unequal treatment, prejudice, stereotyping, hostility, and adverse public discourse. Differentiating from classical racism and xenophobia [sic], (Kuffar or Jew)ophobia is mainly based on stigmatization of a religion and its followers, and as such, (Kuffar or Jew)ophobia is an affront to the human rights and dignity of Kuffars or Jews.

    • Clever. And perfectly logical, but would the liberals and Islamophiles allow the argument?

  11. The conflation of race and culture is a heritage from the Nazis, most prominently one Alfred Rosenberg, which is still conveniently used whenever it serves someone’s purpose. The accusation with racism for cultural criticism is phony and abysmally evil. It should be fought viciously with slander charges. It is absolutely unacceptable to let them get away with this and, by doing nothing about it, have the general population believe this was right.

  12. My personal definition of a phobia is “an unreasoning fear of something.” My wife is phobic about a certain kind of bug and its mere presence will send her running screaming from the room. No matter how much I point out that it cannot possibly hurt her, she is still “phobic.” Now with islam, I say it has given the civilized world plenty of reasons to look askance at it, therefore it is not a phobia.

    • The official definition of “Islamophobia”, reads more like an ultimatum bound up as an accusation conveying a criminal charge.

  13. While I have never encountered a case of “Islamophobia” in real life, I maintain that there IS probably such a thing, as least in theory. For instance, if I were afraid that Muslims were going to molest my sheep or my goats, this would be an irrational, unrealistic fear…because I have no sheep or goats.

  14. Pingback: More on Islamophobia | Gates of Vienna

  15. Are their treatments or cures for Islamophobia? This might trigger a revolutionary new branch of medicine requiring broad and deep research of its origins, causes, manifestations and consequences. Tomes need be written for the stricken to consult, for Government policy guidance and new industries to take advantage of its implications. Obama needs to appropriate stacks of cash to stimulate the critical efforts needed to deal with this menace to the survival of mankind.
    I can picture a new breed of in demand specialist. Can Dr. Ham Mad Mohamed (PBIH), PHD, with a specialty in the study and treatment of invasive Islamophobic neurosis in Infidel countries, and visiting head of the department of Pre-Modern Islamophobic research and study at the University of Islamicfbullchit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia be far away?

  16. Pingback: Stalking the Mythical Islamophobe, Part 1 | Gates of Vienna

  17. Pingback: Deconstructing Islamophobia (ICLA Mission to OSCE) - Liberties Alliance :: Liberties Alliance

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