Islamophobia: A Disingenuous Word to Protect a Barbaric Religion

Modern PC-culture eliminates criticism of a barbaric and militant religion under the guise of "racism" and xenophobia

Islamophobia. You've likely heard it thrown around by newscasters and on social media, but what does it mean?

Islam is of course a religion, while a phobia is an irrational fear, yet the word islamophobia is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the "dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force" while other sources often define it as hatred toward Islam or Muslims.

In modern society many groups add "phobic" to their designation to describe those that critique or make fun of them, implying that anyone who mocks or speaks poorly of them is afraid of them. Comedians for example are regularly called "transphobic" or "homophobic" for making jokes about being transgender or gay, as if being a part of the group makes one immune to anyone making fun of them and anyone that says otherwise is hateful or afraid of them.

Anyone that disagrees with their views are likewise labelled as such; even those who may disagree with those views but still believe in their right to behave in the way they choose are unjustly labelled as bigots, which is quite ironic as this practice is in itself a shining example of bigotry.

It's a little odd to see the word "Islamophobia" used so often when in fact the most persecuted religion in the world is Christianity, yet there is no word used to describe someone that dislikes or has prejudice toward Christians or their faith or those that are "afraid" of them.

Even more oddly, the word has become synonomous with racism in western media, with those labelled as Islamophobic slandered as being racist or xenophobic for their critical stance toward Islam.

This is particularly nonsensical given that Islam is purely a religion and has nothing to do with race - there is no Muslim race and no such thing as an "ethnic" Muslim. Nobody is born a Muslim, it is taught or passed down and requires adherence to the religion's views, and race plays no part in the religion; Muslims can come from any race and nation in the world.

It's a slanderous and completely erroneous claim that someone who disagrees with Islamic teachings or critiques the religion is doing so based on race, but it's not meant to be an accurate label; rather, it's a tool to shut down conversation and avoid debate.

Ironically, the left-leaning members of the media and liberal politicians are the ones that so often spout this nonsense, when their own platforms suggest that they themselves are deeply against the teachings of Islam and against allowing it to flourish - the left regularly attacks Christian groups for their stance on transgender people and gay rights, yet Christian views on those subjects are extremely tame and tolerant compared to those found in Islam.

Women's rights in particular are another extremely contradictory area - one cannot claim to support Islam and also women's rights and freedoms simultaneously, as they are directly opposing ideas. We will get more into the way Islam treats women shortly.

There's also a pervasive myth that all cultures and religions are completely equal; each just as good as any other, and conversely, just as bad. This is an incredibly naive way of thinking and is so easily shown to be a fake concept - if you believe this to be the case, what are your thoughts on Scientology - is that religion just as good (or conversely, equally as bad) as Buddhism for instance?

Oh, Scientology is a cult you say? Please explain why it's any different than the thousands of other religions out there - and if you think you can, you probably haven't researched religions very thoroughly.

The equality fallacy is in place to stifle discussion and if it were true, there would be no need for changing laws, of progress in society, of changing ways of thinking, because things would already be perfect. Those that would argue this idea imply that Iran, which executes people for horrible crimes such as speaking negatively against their government or being gay, is just as just and moral as western civilization. It's a laughably stupid concept that often betrays one's own politics (which always include social reform of some sort) and yet you'll hear it often repeated.

Critiquing a religion, just like critiquing virtually anything, is important to evolve one's understanding of the world. I'm personally not a fan of any organized religion, but I cannot say that I do not support many of the values of certain religions and see value in aspects of them; western civilization as we know it, one of (if not the) most free and prosperous societies in recorded history (no matter how much certain people claim otherwise) was founded on Judeo-Christian morals and values that are still fundamental to its success today.

Islam however, is unlike most religions.

It is militant and political in nature - violence is not only a vital part of its origins, past, and present, but the Quran and other Islamic scripture's explicit calls for violence and imperialistic expansion is nothing short of barbaric.

Those that rear their heads at such statements, I challenge you to read the Quran; if you haven't seen the source material and haven't learned about a topic firsthand, how can one defend it or deny the criticisms it draws? In fact, I have yet to see a single defender of Islam (that isn't Muslim themselves) that has actually read the Quran.

I'm not saying you have to read up on every single thing about a topic in order to form an opinion, but in this case considering the Quran is pretty short and is the key pillar to all sects of the religion, at the very least reading it before arguing for or against it is a pretty minimal requirement.

Here, I'm going to delve into the nature of Islam, its teachings, and how it has grown to spread throughout the world over its bloody 1400-year history.

The Origins of Islam

The creation of Islam started with its founder and "prophet", Muhammad. Muhammad was born around 570 CE in Mecca to a noble family in the Quraysh, an Arab merchant tribe. Sometime around 610 CE Muhammad began receiving "divine revelations" from god through the angel Gabriel; those revelations would later form the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

Muhammad spread the "word of god" to the people in Mecca, warning them of the impending judgement day and the need for society to be reformed. Muhammad preached that there was a single god, Allah, and that he had been chosen as his prophet to spread the truth to the people. His initial approach was largely peaceful as he sought to gain influence in the city through his words alone.

Muhammad managed to court a sizable following in Mecca, though he met increasing opposition from powerful figures in the city. Muhammad was left mostly unprotected after his influential uncle passed away, leading Muhammad and his followers to leave Mecca shortly after in 622 CE and settle in Yathrib (later renamed Medina). There, Muhammad was accepted as an arbitrator of the various communities composing the city, where he would use new Quranic verses to guide the law and religious practices of the area.

The verses of the time propped up his status as the latest in the long line of Biblical prophets, but also distinguished his message from Christianity and Judaism. It wasn't long before war broke out between Muhammad and his followers and the Meccans, along with Jewish tribes in the Medina area.

In 629, Muhammad came out victorious and secured Mecca and the allegiance of his old Quraysh tribe; tribal chiefs throughout the area entered into agreements with Muhammad and his Islamic tribe, some through simple alliances, others through acknowledging his prophethood and agreeing to follow Islamic practices, which of course included paying a tax to Muhammad's government.

Muhammad passed away in 632 after a long battle with illness, with his companions writing down his revelations over the years and compiling them into one book after his passing - the Quran (though there are multiple different recitations that have minor differences, Caliph Uthman's Codex is generally the one used to this day).

Along with the Quran, the hadith were also created - while the Quran is the primary holy material used by Muslims, the hadith are essentially reports of statements or actions of the prophet Muhammad, though not all are accepted as accurate by all sects.

Think of it this way - the Quran is the word of god, while the hadith details the life and actions of god's prophet. The Quran is ultimately above all else, but as god's messenger, Muhammad is viewed as the perfect Muslim and is to be looked up to and emulated, with his judgements obeyed and viewed as righteous (this is also outlined specifically in the Quran).

Diving deeper into Islamic scripture, one of the biggest differences between Islam and most other religions is the extremely political and militant nature of Muhammad's teachings and the interpretation of the Quran.

The Bible in essense is a series of stories one can extract meaning from, with very few explicit commands - the ten commandments of course being one of the exceptions, and those were believed to have been spoken by God himself. In contrast, Islam applies the reverence of the ten commandments to the entire Quran as all of its verses are said to be the word of god (even though they were relayed through Gabriel before getting to Muhammad).

Since it's the word of god, any alteration to the Quran is therefore strictly forbidden and considered blasphemy - this is why one is supposed to learn Arabic in order to read the Quran, as translations are in fact altering god's words.

That fundamental difference in interpretation raises many issues about Islam, given that dozens of passages in the Quran quite explicitly call for the murder of non-believers.

In fact there are over 100 explicit calls to violence featured in the Quran, most often directed toward non-believers, like these for example:

"I will cast fear into the hearts of the unbelievers. Therefore behead them and cut off all their fingertips."

"Slay the unbelievers wherever you come upon them, take them captives and besiege them, and waylay them by setting ambushes."

Though the Quran actually starts out more peaceful and tolerant in Muhammad's earlier verses as he sought to gain influence (before he was forced to flee Mecca in 622), as you continue reading you will find that violence and jihad (a fight or struggle against enemies of Islam) begin to dominate the pages of the "holy" book.

Non-believers, or infidels, are seen as the natural enemy of Islam and those who will not renounce other religions and teachings and accept Allah as the one and only god have committed sin according to Islam. This enforces how the Islamic faith has spread - through violence and bloodshed.

Defenders of Islam will pull from an early passage in the Quran that states "There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error." yet this very passage is so regularly contradicted both in the Quran itself and by Muhammad's own actions one has to wonder why it's there in the first place. Even the name of the religion contradicts that passage - Islam quite literally means "submission" in Arabic, not "peace" as many falsely proclaim (the Arabic word for peace is salaam).

For proof of those contradictions one can look at the life of Muhammad.

While he was at war with Mecca and even following his victory, Muhammad regularly sent his lieutenants to raid caravans, ordering his men to fight them "until they accepted Islam or were killed". Muhammad ordered or accepted upwards of forty assassinations of his political opponents, including mere poets who had dared challenge him in verse.

In the case of three Jewish tribes which rebelled against his rule in Medina, two of the tribes were banished while the third was condemned to death by his companion with the full endorsement of Muhammad. Roughly 900 male members of the tribe (as young as 13) were beheaded; the women and children were sold into slavery, with some of the women turned into concubines for Muslim men (including one woman that Muhammad later took as a wife).

Those that defend Islam typically refer to one of several passages that expressly forbids anyone from killing an innocent person; it may sound convincing at first, but further research will show you that an innocent person is defined in Islam as only those who accept Allah as their god.

Verses like "Do not take life, which Allah made sacred, other than in the course of justice" sound great until you learn that justice in the Islamic faith includes murder of non-believers. Starting to get the jist of it?

Critics and supporters of various faiths alike always accuse the opposite side of the debate of "cherrypicking" verses, and it's true you can pick out parts of any religion to make them look good or bad to the uninformed. That's why reading the source material yourself is important, so that you can see the whole picture rather than snippets.

It's why defenders of Islam have a hard time defending it against former-Muslims (who are threatened, attacked, and even killed in many countries) or those that have actually read the source material - because while there are some contradictory aspects of the Quran and supporting scripture just like in any religion, the majority of the material endorses violence, oppression, and misogyny and even many of the "positive" verses like the instructions not to kill innocents fail to resonate when you learn the definitions of terms like "innocence" in Islam.

Those who have read the Quran know it is violent and political in nature, and most religions discourage lying, so why lie so openly? That's simple - because they can.

Muhammad encouraged deceit in three situations - to reconcile two quarelling parties, between wife and husband, and in war.

The last one is particularly important, because of jihad - the war against the enemies of Islam. Jihad has been declared since the days of Muhammad as a rallying cry for Muslims - war against the infidel goes on in perpetuity until "all chaos seizes, and all religion belongs to Allah".

So, in essence, because that war is constant, lying to deceive one's perceived enemies is always permitted.

You can see clear examples of this (called taqiyya) all the time, from militant Islamic groups like Hamas lying about Israeli forces in Palestine, to London Mayor Sadiq Khan's wife being "westernized" including wearing typical clothing and appearing to fit in during his election campaign to hide their religious devotion only to then cover up and don the veil once he was elected.

Another interesting deception is one that has been mindlessly been parroted ad nauseum by western media. "Allah hu akbar" is a phrase often repeated by Muslims and is regularly heard shouted by terrorists prior to or during an attack. Most people believe it means "God is great" in English because that's what's reported often in the media; the actual translation is "God is greater" and it's specifically to imply that Allah is greater than other religion's "gods" or idols.

It's no coincidence that the vast majority of terrorists say this before they commit their suicidal attacks to fulfill their martyrdom - they are doing so to eliminate other religions and assert the superiority of their own and fulfilling their duty of jihad.

Islam places jihad or "holy war" as a top priority, and even goes so far as to label Muslims unwilling to fund or help with the holy war as "hypocrites" that will be punished for not fulfilling their duty.