(Note...two posts are by Dean and one is a counter post by a counter voice on his own blog)
lets look at a definition of PHOBIA
1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.
Now, one would think the phobia in Islam-a-Phobia is valid with definition #2. I however don't agree as it applies to social constructs. One can dislike and have an aversion to things socially without having fear which is key to phobia (which is the classical definition) indeed disliking things is not fearful nor is (usually) aversion in and of itself it is the emotion which fuels the other two which is key. So we have to come down to the fact do people have to fear Muslims to dislike them and have an aversion to them.
Lets go with the wrong use of Phobia that was keyed in and created a sense of Validity that Islamaphobia crawled into.
1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
2. Behavior based on such a feeling.
Here we see again the root -Phobia being changed to mean something which isn't fear.
Dr. Drew of Loveline fame recounted his being involved in a study which got to the root of what Homophobia is all about. And the images of two men with errect penii responded to a anger center at a very primative sector of the ole brain.
Now we know in the animal world showing of genitals can be about dominance issues (and in the classical sexuality of Ancient Greece and rome it was as well.... and also we can argue is so in Prisons today. It could also be a threat to your mate
So is that the same as fear? Is protecting your place in society the same as fear? If it is then I weep for society.....
And let me also be clear, while the instinct is a good instinct... good instincts can be directed in very bad ways.
So lets go to those primal sectors of the ole human nogin and look back at whats going on in racial issues in the past.
Racial intolerance tends to happen against groups that show outward signs of their inability to become part of the larger national group. Is that in and of itself fear or is it an instinct which guides thoughts into horribly evil places? I can say some of the wonderful stuff in our nations history (Cocified Negros) lends to the fear hypothesis but I often times have to wonder if fear isn't used to gin up good and positive desires to protect your herd and your tribe. If fear isn't a more advanced form of thought used to manipulate our desire to protect. One only has to look to Rwanda, violence in Haiti, and of course our good buddy adolph to see that fear of other social groups tends to lead to violence when ginned up by people.
Now... if violence is part of a positive impulse to protect your tribe, how do we make sure that Muslim citizens in the US are percived as part of "us" and not part of the other?
-Taking part in protests against the violence of terrorists abroad.And standing up against said violence-
Now I say this as some one on a campus with a high muslim population (Immigrant and from abroad) and I have to say you don't see Muslims speaking out against that violence you see them excusing it. You see them speaking of historical wrongs and the like. The Historical wrongs may have a validity in the causation of the violence but in speaking up to excuse the people of their old home or their co-religionists they are percived as the other.
You can speak out against the violence and speak of what lead the mind to justify such violence. And that could be a very compeling argument (and is in the very small number of students I have heard it from) who lived in places like Syria. Places where you can go from one neighborhood and feel like your in western europe and go to another and feel like your barely in the 3rd world. Their is something to culture and personal experience leading into what creates our rational thought process but in so zealously defending others experience it sounds like (and to some case is) an excuse.
I also know religous authority is something which matters to some muslims, but being silent is something that is at the very least spiritually questionable
-Not making comments about how we are really feminists and not you-
I read an article the other day defending the Hijab as an empowered feminist article of clothing and how Feminists in todays culture are morally bankrupt. Both of those points are perfectly valid when done seperately, but when strung togther it tends to make one an outsider.
-Accept that just like your country their is good and bad hidden-
I remember an article about the men in Saudi Arabia waiting in long lines to buy booze for their good american friend "John Smith" or another about the Islamic theocrats finding theological justification for sex change operations. Or the way in Iran prostitution (or rather extremmmmmmmmmmely short term marriages) is done. The truth is that our outward signs of culture often hide these little nuggets. I don't believe every saudi man in that village had a friend named John Smith. And these rather harmeless nuggets also are nothing compaired to some of the vile things hidden in the cultures over there as well. Such as rumors of slave auctions in saudi arabia a good 20 years or more after its offical ban. Its natural for every culture to project its good and hide the bad and hypocritical but what does matter is how we deal with those things that are wrong in our internal culture. denial is the wrong way to deal with it.
Maybe violence-and discrimination- against Muslims comes from people who want to protect their tribe against all alien influence, not fear
Maybe violence-and discrimination- against muslims comes from misunderstanding
Maybe violence-and discrimination- against muslims comes from people who are black of heart and impure of soul.
Maybe we should ask those questions before making a new phobia which really doesn't have a lick to do with fear.
and more importantly
Maybe we should ask those questions to find a way to become better people