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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » What does it take to be Islamophobic?

   
Author Topic: What does it take to be Islamophobic?
Destineer
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There are a lot of claims and ideas out there about Islam that often go along with bigotry against Muslims, and are sort of borderline cases of bigotry in some cases. Where do you see the line between criticism of Islam as a religion among other religions, and Islamophobia?

Some examples of statements that I've seen called Islamophobic by some and OK by others:

The Park 51 Islamic community center was disrespectful to victims of 9/11.

Muslims are worse than many other religious or ethnic groups at assimilating into open/liberal democratic societies.

Muslim immigration is a threat to European secular culture.

On average, Islam has worse political effects globally or is more oppressive toward women than other major religions like Christianity, Judaism or Eastern religions.

Or similarly but maybe not exactly the same: the radical wing of Islam is more dangerous than the radical wing of other major religions.

Moderate Muslims don't do a very good job of criticizing radical Muslims.

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TomDavidson
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Interestingly, I don't think any one of those observations is "Islamophobic" in itself, although the Park51 one comes closest.

I think what turns it into Islamophobia is the frequently-appended (or implied) clause: "...and therefore Muslims are our enemy and cannot be trusted."

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theamazeeaz
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I had a roommate who identifies as a shia Muslim, and is about as Muslim as a non-observant Jew is Jewish.

-She does not believe in god.
-She does not fast during Ramadan.
-She does not pray 5x per day or at all.
-Her country requires women to cover their hair in public by law. -She does not do that here and refused to show me her passport because she was embarrassed to be seen by me wearing a head scarf in that picture.
-She has a PhD in Physics.
-Her sister (who also has a PhD) had a baby girl. She and her parents were thrilled to find out that was a girl (ALL were hoping for a girl, even her father), but she got in trouble for telling her sister she would not love the baby if it were a boy.
-She cannot say the words "12th Shia Imam" without a giggle.
-She thinks everyone in Saudi Arabia is crazy. And makes fun of them.
-She makes fun of the government of her home country constantly, and keeps up with politics.
-Her parents live in Toronto, and she donated money to Gawker to buy that video of Rob Ford doing crack.
-Her parents supported the communists before the 1979 revolution in Iran. The government tapped their phone lines when she was young.
-English is not her first language (and speaks with a moderately heavy accent), but she has read more works of literature in English than I have by a lot, and I am a book worm.
-She listens to NPR nonstop, and loves any show on the BBC.
-She donates to Planned Parenthood, and has an HRC sticker on her door.
-She hates Stephen Harper.
-She is obsessed with cats.


And yet, if I tell people I lived with a girl from Iran, they tell me she is a spy for the Iranian government and lying about being an atheist, and wants to kills us all.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Interestingly, I don't think any one of those observations is "Islamophobic" in itself, although the Park51 one comes closest.

I think what turns it into Islamophobia is the frequently-appended (or implied) clause: "...and therefore Muslims are our enemy and cannot be trusted."

I agree with Tom. The Park51 statement does come closest, especially those that called it a "Victory Shrine."

You can't lump Muslims in with those that are radical. There are misconceptions there, and while these misconceptions are present among all religions (All Catholic Priests abuse boys, all Mormons are polygamists, etc) it is more present concerning the Muslim religion.

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kmbboots
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Context is important but I would be skeptical of any conversation that started with "is X ____phobic?".
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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
I had a roommate who identifies as a shia Muslim, and is about as Muslim as a non-observant Jew is Jewish.

-She does not believe in god.
-She does not fast during Ramadan.
-She does not pray 5x per day or at all.
-Her country requires women to cover their hair in public by law. -She does not do that here and refused to show me her passport because she was embarrassed to be seen by me wearing a head scarf in that picture.
-She has a PhD in Physics.
-Her sister (who also has a PhD) had a baby girl. She and her parents were thrilled to find out that was a girl (ALL were hoping for a girl, even her father), but she got in trouble for telling her sister she would not love the baby if it were a boy.
-She cannot say the words "12th Shia Imam" without a giggle.
-She thinks everyone in Saudi Arabia is crazy. And makes fun of them.
-She makes fun of the government of her home country constantly, and keeps up with politics.
-Her parents live in Toronto, and she donated money to Gawker to buy that video of Rob Ford doing crack.
-Her parents supported the communists before the 1979 revolution in Iran. The government tapped their phone lines when she was young.
-English is not her first language (and speaks with a moderately heavy accent), but she has read more works of literature in English than I have by a lot, and I am a book worm.
-She listens to NPR nonstop, and loves any show on the BBC.
-She donates to Planned Parenthood, and has an HRC sticker on her door.
-She hates Stephen Harper.
-She is obsessed with cats.


And yet, if I tell people I lived with a girl from Iran, they tell me she is a spy for the Iranian government and lying about being an atheist, and wants to kills us all.

[Confused] I think you need to find new people to talk to.
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umberhulk
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i think the immigration one is the closest, with park 51 coming at a close second

even if park 51 is dumber

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
I had a roommate who identifies as a shia Muslim, and is about as Muslim as a non-observant Jew is Jewish.

-She does not believe in god.
-She does not fast during Ramadan.
-She does not pray 5x per day or at all.
-Her country requires women to cover their hair in public by law. -She does not do that here and refused to show me her passport because she was embarrassed to be seen by me wearing a head scarf in that picture.
-She has a PhD in Physics.
-Her sister (who also has a PhD) had a baby girl. She and her parents were thrilled to find out that was a girl (ALL were hoping for a girl, even her father), but she got in trouble for telling her sister she would not love the baby if it were a boy.
-She cannot say the words "12th Shia Imam" without a giggle.
-She thinks everyone in Saudi Arabia is crazy. And makes fun of them.
-She makes fun of the government of her home country constantly, and keeps up with politics.
-Her parents live in Toronto, and she donated money to Gawker to buy that video of Rob Ford doing crack.
-Her parents supported the communists before the 1979 revolution in Iran. The government tapped their phone lines when she was young.
-English is not her first language (and speaks with a moderately heavy accent), but she has read more works of literature in English than I have by a lot, and I am a book worm.
-She listens to NPR nonstop, and loves any show on the BBC.
-She donates to Planned Parenthood, and has an HRC sticker on her door.
-She hates Stephen Harper.
-She is obsessed with cats.


And yet, if I tell people I lived with a girl from Iran, they tell me she is a spy for the Iranian government and lying about being an atheist, and wants to kills us all.

[Confused] I think you need to find new people to talk to.
Yeah, he could have talked to me [Big Grin]

I actually dated an Iranian girl briefly many years ago though she had lived in L.A. since she was 5 so she was pretty much full on American by then. No accent at all. She was also a hard core atheist.

I might have to look her up and have a chat. I haven't seen or talked to her since the late 90s and I would be curious to see how she is doing and if she has had to face any difficulties since 9/11.

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Elison R. Salazar
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The most important warning sign is: "Do they believe that any and all Muslims are actually lying to you about their liberal beliefs because the Quran says they can do so to create the World Wide Caliphate?"

That's the catch-22 that I think lets me know if someone is a bigot or not.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Interestingly, I don't think any one of those observations is "Islamophobic" in itself, although the Park51 one comes closest.

I think what turns it into Islamophobia is the frequently-appended (or implied) clause: "...and therefore Muslims are our enemy and cannot be trusted."

I agree with Tom. The Park51 statement does come closest, especially those that called it a "Victory Shrine."
Yeah, I probably agree too. My impression is that some people think of some of these as the sort of factual misconceptions that come from a place of bigotry. Kind of like how nobody except anti-Semites believes in a global Jewish conspiracy.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:

Moderate Muslims don't do a very good job of criticizing radical Muslims.

Quiz time! Name a muslim political commenter or anchor. Just any sort of commenter. Someone like Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin, but who also happens to be muslim. Besides Asaif Mandvi from The Daily Show.

And I assume you've heard about Craig Monteilh, the FBI undercover agent sent to entrap members of an Irvine mosque planning jihad... who got reported to the FBI for being a terrorist BY THE MOSQUE MEMBERS?

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Geraine
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Back in 2002 I was in Brazil. I boarded a plane in Sao Paulo to Manaus to spend a week in the Amazons. When I sat down I noticed about 30 people board the plane in full traditional Muslim garb.

I was freaked out and I think I may have even joked with my brother about them taking the plane down.

Turns out they were staying at the same resort, and upon speaking to them found that they were some of the nicest, most pleasant people I've met. They were a group of doctors from Iran that had come to the Amazons with their families on vacation.

That experience was an eye opener to me, especially since the media at the time seemed completely anti-Muslim.

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kmbboots
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Fareed Zakaria?
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