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Books and Documents

Muslims and Islamophobia

A recent essay in The Atlantic caused a stir by suggesting - contrary to constant pleas by Muslims - that in fact ISIS was not only Islamic, but very much so. Given its constant references to and reliance on the Quran and other Islamic texts, author Graeme Wood suggests, groups like ISIS are the most authentic representation of Islam: they are its true bearers, and those denying such a plain fact have a "cotton-candy view of their own religion." It is certainly not the first time we hear such arguments made by those who wish to demonstrate a causal link between Islam and terror....

 

The American Muslim condition is paradoxical. Muslims in the U.S. live in the best of circumstances and the worst of times. Most tend to be mainstream, moderate and middle class. They are educated and are well integrated into American society. In fact, they are seen as a model for European countries to emulate. But American Muslims also live in a socio-political climate in which Islamophobia is steadily on the rise.....

 

However, as many Kosovars are now Muslims, their country is not as free as they are led to believe. Over the past few years they have seen how their community, their imams and political leaders are demonized and even imprisoned when they chose to express their opinions in public....

 

Islamophobic Extremists – A Real Threat to World Peace
Samar Fatany

I had hoped that my article would influence a more tolerant approach toward innocent Muslims who are being killed and displaced and whose homes are being destroyed by terrorists in the name of Islam....

“As Muslims, we don’t support violent acts around the world — ISIS isn’t Islamic, regular Muslims don’t have these views,” he said. “That’s been a focus of this Islamic Awareness Month, trying to tackle that issue of violence, and the fact that when we’re doing religious acts, they’re not radical acts....

 

How Can Muslims Deal With Islamophobia?!
Samar Fatany

There is no such thing as “political Islam”. There is Islam and there is politics. Muslims stand united with the West in condemning terrorists, speaking out against injustices and criticizing corrupt leaders; however, they will not stand for humiliation of their faith and identity....

 

At present, Islamists and their apologists use this single term to shut down reform of Islam by labelling critics of (and within) the faith with the same neologism used to describe bigoted thugs....

 

Islamophobia is back again in British politics. More frequent attacks on mosques and gradual, growing support for far-right groups reminds us that anti-Muslim feeling is on the increase....

 
The Futility of Islamophobia
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Futility of Islamophobia
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Now consider the ongoing Islamophobia debate in the US. It is one of the most divisive and polarising debates in that country. Leading this debate are people like Sam Harris and Ayyan Hirsi Ali, who vehemently insist that extremists and terrorists are intellectually honest when committing crimes against humanity in the name of Islam....

What Islamophobia Is and Is Not
Mustafa Akyol

But what really makes somebody an Islamophobe? Worrying about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban and other extremist groups who kill or oppress people in the name of Islam?....

 

.....a small handful of fringe anti-Muslim organizations—almost entirely devoid of any real knowledge or expertise, some drawing on age-old ethno-religious conflicts—managed to hijack the public discourse about Islam, first by stoking fears, grabbing attention with their emotional messaging, then by consolidating their newfound social capital, forging ties with established elite organizations, and ultimately building their own organizational and media infrastructure…..

Islamophobia: The Role of Media and the West
Ayesha Fakhar

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world especially the West and it has many stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam that are mainly due to the media, prejudice and obliviousness; and is labelled as an ‘extremist’, ‘radical’ and a ‘fundamental’ religion. A major factor which contributes to Islamic stereotyping in the West……

 

The majority of over a billion peace-loving Muslims the world over who are genuinely opposed to the perversion of their faith by a minority within would certainly welcome President Obama’s advisedly timely differentiation between Islam and those who kill in its name. And one hopes that the distinction that the US president has made between the faith itself and those who pervert the faith would dissuade those sections of populations in Europe, the US and Australia that have in reaction fallen victim to Islamophobia, from doing things that only end up justifying increased extremism and enhancing in the process, its appeal for new recruits....

Anti-Muslim prejudice is the most recent layer in this history, a reworking and recycling of older logics of oppression. From this perspective, Islamophobia, like other forms of prejudice, should not be seen only as a problem of hate crimes committed by lone extremists. The acts of individual perpetrators can only be made sense of if they are seen as the product of a wider culture, in which glorifying racial violence is acceptable….

 

A Mutual Embrace Will Protect Turkey and Europe amid Extremism
Sinan Ulgen

Will rising Islamophobia in Europe provide Turkey with its entry ticket to the EU? Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to think so. And the president of Turkey may be right — but for the wrong reasons. On a visit last month to Somalia, where Ankara has undertaken a big humanitarian aid programme, Mr Erdogan said that Europe can succeed in fighting Islamophobia only if it agrees to accept Turkey as a member. His assertion rests on the claim that the fate of the Turkey-EU relationship will be critical in efforts to prevent further alienation of Europe’s Muslim population....

 

Islamophobia in Europe and the Ways to End It
Harun Yahya

However, it would be equally wrong to consider hostility toward Islam and Muslims in Europe under a single category. People who think that Muslims are taking jobs and other benefits away from Westerners, those who deliberately play on these concerns to encourage hostility toward Islam and Muslims, those who think that increasing numbers of Muslims will eliminate Christianity and/or degenerate Western culture and those who equate Islam with terror and radicalism must all be considered separately....

 

The Irrational Hatred of New Atheists: A Toxic Combination of Islamophobic Obsession and Anti-Palestinian Animus
Jamil Khader

"New Atheism" as a system of belief may encourage critical inquiry into and scepticism about all religious doctrines and ideologies, but New Atheist politics suspends its critical acumen when it engages with Islam and Palestine. It is not a coincidence that the terrorist who committed this massacre admired Bill Maher and other self-professed new atheists....

Freedom of Expression and Blasphemy in Europe and Turkey
Günal Kursun

There are still laws in Europe criminalizing blasphemy, although there has been a trend to decriminalize it over the last 40 years. Blasphemy laws are limitations to freedoms of expression relating to blasphemy, hate speech, vilification or religious insults…..

 

How Best To Fight the ‘Islamophobia Industry’
Burak Bekdil

“If Muslims stopped killing other Muslims because they belong to a different sect; stopped forcing their chosen practices on other Muslims; tolerated less pious Muslims; did not feel enraged if other Muslims did not abstain from alcohol or pork, or did not attend the mosque; did not kill men, women and children because they adhered to other faiths; did not blame rape on the length of a woman’s skirt; did not murder their own wives because they spoke to strangers, or their daughters because they flirted with boys or because they were raped by rascals; did not wish to start World War III because some maverick cartoonist drew blasphemous caricatures; did not issue death fatwas because an author wrote a blasphemous book; or did not aim to spread their religion to the entire world, by the sword if necessary, then fighting Islamophobia would be much easier….

 
Combating Islamophobia
Brendan McCartney

Of course parts of the Qur’an are violent in nature, but then again, so are parts of many religions. Christianity’s Old Testament, for example, depicts God-inspired plagues and executions for individuals who work on the Sabbath. Apart from its vengeful God, interpreted strictly, the Bible commands that Christians engage in violence. One example comes in Deuteronomy 22:23-24, which mandates that Christians stone any woman who has extramarital sex without crying for help…..

 

Exacerbation of Islamophobia
Syed Mohammad Ali

The argument that Western values of freedom of expression must not submit to Islamic censorship demands is not constructive. It is the imperative of preventing bigotry on the basis of which such caricatured portrayals of Muslims, especially the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), need to be discouraged in the West…..

Further, while Christianity stresses beliefs and creeds (personal belief), Islam has emphasised duties, embodied in Shariah Law (public actions). Therefore, to speak of “Islamism” as a militant political form of Islam makes no sense: all Islam, traditionally speaking, is political and legal. Indeed, when Tony Blair said that his Christian beliefs guided aspects of his governmental policy, including the war in Iraq, no one accused him of “Christianism”. “Islamism”, as a term, is therefore unhelpful to analyse contemporary militant/terrorist actions…..

 

His assertion that Friday prayers begin with a call for victory over Christians, Jews and Hindus is absurd. If he is not familiar with the prayers, he should study what they say. I know of no Imam who demonizes other faiths. I am sure that since 9/11 all mosques are monitored for hate speech and Muslim leaders are not objecting. Some tipped security agencies on suspects and helped them foil terrorism attempts. Certainly mosques will lose charitable status if they indulge in political activity…..

So, You're A Muslim?
Konrad Marshall

They are happy to answer your questions, although like many of their peers they do find it curious that their life seemingly involves acting as unofficial spokespeople for their brand of religion. "There's a lot of cautious curiosity," says Ameera. "People going 'Oh, so, you're a Muslim - what does this mean?' It does get tiring when I have to tell my story again. But I'd rather have that conversation than not. I prefer that to the alternative."…..

 

“I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double standard and your hypocrisy,” wrote the son of Ayatollah Rouhani, just before he killed himself. “I was forced to lie to my friends each day, telling them that my father isn’t part of all of this… It’s easy enough to get confused by all the front names for jihad. But underneath they are all the same. When it comes to priestly war doctrines, Iran = ISIS = Saudi Arabia = Qatar = Hamas = Hizb’allah = CAIR = Muslim Brotherhood. That’s the whole point about a universal war theology.….

 
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