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Forum:On Islamophobia

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In the wake of recent history, I can't help but wonder if maybe we (as in Western Society) are driving Muslims to extremism out of just how shitty we treat them. Far too often have I come across people in real life casually mentioning their disdain for "barbaric" Muslims and how backwards they are compared to us ignoring a great deal of history. However, what bothers me most is how little people know about Islam, which I figure shapes peoples' (mis)understanding of Muslims and Islam in general. Here's a quick list of things I had to explain about Islam/Muslims:

  • Islam was one of the world's youngest religions, younger even than Christianity
  • Muslims worship the SAME GOD as Christians, Jews and Ba'hai and that the scriptures of the newer religions recognizes characters from the older ones despite the insistence of my opponent, who was a semi-devout Christian, that they worshiped a "moon God" (ugh)
  • The difference between the Koran and Hadith literature, that there are various interpretations on these works, how Muslims don't necessarily believe in those 72 virgins and how most Muslims view extremists the way Christians view the WBC or how secularists view r/atheists
  • How Dar al Islam was culturally and technologically superior to the West for centuries, how we borrowed many things from them, how they preserved the works of the Greeks and how a lot of these breakthroughs were made when the West was in a "dark age"
  • I had to explain what Sharia law and Fiqh are, but that was a rather tame discussion about legal traditions in different parts of the world; I did have to highlight that there are different interpretations and practices of these, however

I can't help but feel a lot of this derives from casual racism, of confusing Muslims with Arabs with South Asians like Indians, that these ideas are somehow rooted in a persistent desire from someone or something to alienate the other based on superficial traits like garb, language/accents or skin colour. I've also noticed a frightening amount of compartmentalization regarding people's attitudes to Muslims; for instance, I've seen ardent misogynists decry Islam's barbarism based on how poorly they treat their women. However, the thing I find most astounding is that I am neither religious nor a religious scholar - I studied economics and business in Uni and am staunchly secular! Has anyone else here had to go to bat for Islam (or any other controversial entity that may not necessarily be rational) because of massive amounts of misinformation coming from your opponent? Somehow, Monsanto is coming to mind here... Space Turbo (talk) 16:55, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

The sort of ignorance you're talking is certainly a major cause of prejudice against Muslims and ethnoreligious groups generally. The question of what is leading a small proportion of Muslims to religious extremism is multifaceted and certainly more complex than "just how shitty we treat them", a statement which, in its essentialism of Muslims and their cultural experience, does a disservice to the rest of what you said. Grumblejaws (talk) 17:28, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
How so? What then causes extremism in ethnoreligious groups? Space Turbo (talk) 17:35, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, when I say that the causes are multifaceted, I really mean that. What turns someone to Islamic extremism in, for example, France, might be entirely different to why it occurs in Yemen. If I was pushed to give a catch-all explanation, it would be "religious fanaticism" - to illustrate what I mean, here's a couple of examples of violence perpetrated by extremists where your Global West vs Muslims narrative doesn't really fit. 1) Politically opportunist power grabs on the part of religious fantatics, eg Post-Independence War Algeria, where the power struggle-ridden shambles that was the secular FLN allowed the rise of violent revivalist groups. 2) Instances of native, deep-seated sectarianism, eg the Shia insurgency in Yemen, the bombings that have occurred in Pakistan over the past fifteen or so years. I'd also suggest that the socioeconomic marginalisation that might contribute to fomentation of Islamic extremism in areas where Muslims are a minority doesn't itself necessarily have an Islamophobic subtext. Grumblejaws (talk) 21:29, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Whoops! Totally missed your exposition here while dealing with that... stuff below. Anyway, the things both you and I have described sound very situational. So much so that I would argue that right now, the thing driving Muslims to the ranks of extremist groups is the West's continued ignorance of and hostility towards them. It's really the best recruiting tool groups like IS could request - "see? They'll never respect you for who you are!"
I am however a bit conflicted on your suggestion of economic marginalization of these peoples as a thing that drives them towards extremism. On the one hand, it makes intuitive sense but on the other, there are too many educated, well-to-do Muslims that have been terrorists.Space Turbo (talk) 15:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
"I've seen ardent misogynists decry Islam's barbarism based on how poorly they treat their women". Just curious, who exactly?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 18:20, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
An acquaintance IRL. Yeah yeah, it's an anecdote. Space Turbo (talk) 05:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Far-right politicians/activists regularly condemn Islam for its purported treatment of women. That doesn't mean they can't support "traditional gender roles" *cough* Western-style misogyny *cough*, though. (talk) 18:05, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
That's like saying people who feel uncomfortable around black people can't criticize Hitler. I don't think supporting traditional gender roles is quite the same as forcing women to cover up and cutting off their genitals.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 03:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
And there you go associating African cultural practices and West-Asian/North-African dress norms with Muslims in general. (talk) 13:34, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
You're avoiding the point. I could list a million other examples. Lots of people, even former Muslims, have already. Advocating beating your wife, for example. And Islam is very deeply ingrained in Arab culture, so it's not all purely cultural in origin.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you really think Muhammad invented these sorts of clothing or something? It's not like the Quran says exactly how much is supposed to be covered either way. Different cultures have different ideas as to what the required 'modesty' entails. I'm not saying you can't criticize practices from foreign cultures/religions if you're on the far-right, but you'd obviously be very biased about the matter. And when far-right politicians talk about questionable practices associated with Islam, it's typically to vilify/denigrate Muslim immigrants in their country, the vast majority of whom don't participate in these questionable practices at all. (talk) 22:00, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Well it wasn't Jesus who told fundamentalist Christians to do all of the stupid things they do. And the Koran states to beat disobedient wives, so yes, the religion is misogynistic. Also, quit imagining insidious undertones in what people you disagree with say. I think people on the far-right are just as, if not more, concerned with places like Iran, as well as foreign terrorists (we all should be, really), than immigrants.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:04, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Right, right, when a prominent Belgian far-right politician that constantly complains about headscarfs says that the problem of the Belgian population isn't that it's 'graying' (i.e. the percentage of old people is getting higher) but that it's 'browning' (take a guess), he's obviously doing it out of concern for Moroccans, Syrians, Iranians etc. Seriously, who are you kidding here? (talk) 05:53, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
"I think people on the far-right are just as, if not more, concerned with places like Iran, as well as foreign terrorists" Nowhere in there did I say no one was afraid of Muslim immigrants. So providing one obscure example doesn't really do much in the way of proving me wrong.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 17:07, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I tend to have a different view. For starters while I am not an anti-theist I would consider an anti-theist who takes that view to be a hypocrite. Nevertheless to say that Islamic fundamentalists kill people because we were mean to them sound similar to me as saying that the peasants who lynched Jews (my people) during the middle ages did so because the aristocracy and/or the Jewish moneylenders were mean to them. There is the urge among those associated with the social justice movement to attribute non-western religious fanaticism to the fact that the west was mean to non-westerners. For certain imperialism helps fuel the popularity of Islamic fundamentalism but the root cause of all religious fundamentalism is always the religion itself regardless of whether or not the religious texts particular to any given religion promote violence. Many anti-theists see this fact as being grounds to reject religion itself and most such as the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, and Richard Dawkins are infuriated when other leftists denounce them for criticizing Islam as a whole despite the absence of such criticism when they criticize Christianity as a whole. While I am not an anti-theist I consider their right to criticize all religions, as legitimate, even though I disagree with their critique, and as such I tend to view the apparent double standard to which they are judged, unfavorably, period. I cannot and will not use or accept social justice as an excuse to pardon Religious fundamentalism, and I have seen people do that. I remember reading one author who justified Sayyid Qutb's occidentalist (to say the least) worldview to be excusable on the basis of the "power imbalance between the West and Egypt", as I am familiar with one of Sayyid Qutb's works (a short book called Milestones, which is his Magnum Opus) I find that idea naive at best and illiberal and idiotic at worst, and I feel that most people on this website would agree. Alsto003 (talk) 02:33, 21 January 2015 (UTC) Alex
It would be disingenious to say that the West is solely to blame for Islamic fundamentalists, but it would be ludicrous to deny that the West has played a significant role. To name a few examples; they empowered mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, inadvertently helping Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to become major movements, and replaced Iran's largely secular democracy with the Shah's autocratic rule, leading to the Iranian Revolution and the establishment of a theocracy. An additional interesting factoid, in the same year as the Iranian Revolution, the Grand Mosque in Mecca was seized by an obscure group of Islamic fighters. In response to Western accusations, Sean-Connery-lookalike Ruhollah Khomeini spread the conspiracy theory that the West was behind the seizure. Eventually the Saudis had to call in help from French special forces to retake the Grand Mosque from the insurgents. The whole affair further increased anti-Western sentiment in the Middle-East. And what have we done in response? Acted like we never did anything wrong and being consistently discriminative, even outright hostile, towards Muslims. (talk) 06:08, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the West is only responsible in the sense that by using so much oil, they provided the Saudis with all the money to fund the Salafi madrassas, which is the main source of Islamic extremism. We were just as shitty to Black Africans, Chinese and Indians, to say nothing of the Aboriginees and Native Americans, yet they don't have extremist groups demanding the complete eradication of Western Civilization.CorruptUser (talk) 04:07, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Pits' non-sequitur[edit]

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. God (the 2nd person of the Godhead - Jesus actually) gave the "Gospel" to Adam and Eve.. As the Hebrews (and Jews) only received half of it, Jesus had to come to set the record straight and explain the Gospel so we can understand it properly, which the Jews failed so to do. This was, and is the same gospel we have in the Bible today. This gospel was expanded upon down through the ages by means of God's Patriarchs, Prophets, Judges, Kings, and Jesus ( God's Son ) , and is the same gospel taught and believed by Seventh-day Adventist Christians today I believe this gospel to be the ORIGINAL religion from God and ALL other religions are a variation of, or are in lieu of God's original Gospel for the salvation of mankind.

I don't in any way think that Islam is the first religion, definitely no the current religion of Islam. Remember, Mohammed came hundreds of years after the Gospel was shared? Pitzy 18:44, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I wish the wisdom of the Almighty would reveal itself to you and tell you how to sign your fucking posts properly. Who the hell are you even talking to? Go dump your text walls somewhere else if you've nothing relevant to say. Grumblejaws (talk) 23:05, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Who gives a fucking shit about your view of the bible, Pits? What does that have to do with what I was talking about in any sense? You have much to answer for in my goddamn thread. Space Turbo (talk) 05:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)