There seems to be a perception among people in the Western World that criticism of Islam is directly linked to racism. While it does apply to some people, especially those of the more right-wing anti-immigrant variety, it doesn't apply to all. I am a secularist and an agnostic and I would consider myself to be a liberal in many respects. I am also open to immigration because I believe that it is healthy for the country (so long as immigrants make an effort to integrate and not to segregate themselves). But I dislike Islam and what it stands for. To me it comes across as misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, very rigid, militant, highly sensitive to criticism, and in some ways quite supremacist. And yes, I am aware that not all Muslims are rigid fundamentalists, and that some are very rational and open individuals, but radical Islam, perhaps the world's most backward social ideology, is vocal throughout the world and now in Europe as well, and it does spring from the fact that many of Islam's teachings appear to be misogynistic, homophobic etc. Christianity also has its extreme side to it (although admittedly less militant than radical Islam) and criticism of it is rarely branded as racist or "Christophobic". I find this to be quite hypocritical, particularly on the part of atheists and agnostics, who rightly criticise Christian fundamentalism and extreme but are often uneasy or silent when it comes to criticism of Islamic fundamentalism.
I deplore racism of any kind and it to me is a symptom of ignorance and tribal hatred, and should be condemned openly. Racism itself is completely phoney because it is scientifically accepted that there is only one human race, and 19th century pseudoscientific racialism is complete rubbish. But religious extremism is something which is openly visible to us and does threaten the rights and safety of others if its isn't kept in check. Islam is not a race, it is a religion. This is evident by the fact that Islam is practised by many in the Balkans, by Africans, South-East Asians and even has a number of western converts. Anyone can become a Muslim if they wish to do so.
I think the idea that Muslims are out to take over Europe is phoney, and I think although we can often be complacent in the West, our democracy is strong and is unlikely to fall to the ramblings of religious extremists. But criticism of the religion of Islam, not its adherents, but the religion itself, cannot be classed as racism simply because the majority of European Muslims have their roots outside of Europe. This needs to be highlighted. I am against racism and I am totally opposed to hatred of Muslims, but I am critical of the religion of Islam and I imagine many critics of it are also like this. So why is virtually all criticism of Islam (the religion) considered to be prejudicial and hate-mongering whilst criticism of other religions, particularly Christianity, is not?
Last edited by Drogheda445; 27th April 2013 at 05:42 PM.
It is perhaps because the vast majority of its believers are not white. White people openly criticising non whites harks back to a time when it was based on the colour of their skin. I agree with much of what you said. Racism makes no sense to me - I reserve the right to regard religon (and comment on it) in whichever way I perceive it.
Islam is not associated with White Europeans, thats why. There is no such thing as Christophobia outside the West(although if the people of the world were to apply consistent liberal standards to everything it would exist). Islamophobia exists only in the minds of european secular Liberals, the Han Chinese for instance dont bat an eyelid at the latest crackdown on the Hui or Uighers or handwring about violating the rights of some hook-handed bearded freak for instance.
I am not so much interested in the we are all one human race talk and what you mean by the meaningless epithet "racism" that would need a separate thread in itself, but I am interested in what you mean by saying "I am also open to immigration because I believe that it is healthy for the country (so long as immigrants make an effort to integrate and not to segregate themselves)." Basically you seem to be stating that serious muslims stop being serious muslims, stop condemning apostates etc. Why do you think immigration is "healthy" for a country? Do you think there should be a discriminatory cap on immigration on Muslims only?
Not everybody in the west who criticises Islam is a racist. But every racist in the west invariably criticises Islam. In a lot of cases on this site in particular (Alara, etc) the person doing the criticism actually does turn out to be a racist, and in many other cases the criticism extends from just being a criticism of the religion to also including society, culture, etc of Islamic countries, which is enough to begin asking questions as to the criticisers motivation.
It's interesting to compare with the views present on many Zionist websites (and expounded by many pro-Israel posters here). According to those, if you criticise Israel or Judaism in any way, shape or form, you are by definition an anti-Semite. So if those people are to make a consistent argument, then also according to them the same principle should apply to criticism of Islam. Yet it doesn't seem to. Odd, don't you think?
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