"Islamophobia?" Redux

Over the weekend, my colleague Rick posted a piece about the latest strain of violence in Iraq — the deliberate targeting of that nation’s relatively few Christians. And that got me thinking. And Rick’s other piece this morning gave me another push.

Iraq is hardly the only place where Christians are being specifically targeted by Muslims for oppression and attacks. It’s not that safe to be a Christian in Pakistan, either.

I could cite a few more examples, but let’s move on. Do I really need to bring up the treatment of Jews by Muslims — and not just in Israel?

And then there’s Africa. Islam is pretty well established on that continent, especially the north — and it’s moving south. For example, the ongoing Darfur genocide is being carried out by Muslim Arabs against both Muslim and non-Muslim blacks — it appears that race trumps religion in this case.

In brief, there’s a whole hell of a lot of religious-based killing going on around the world. And the vast majority of it seems to be done by Muslims.

So, where the hell is this “Islamophobia” going on? Where in the world — literally — are Muslims being targeted and killed in large numbers purely because of their faith?

Wait, lemme correct that. There are quite a few cases of that going on. But they seem to be almost exclusively cases of Muslims being targeted by other Muslims for being the “wrong type of Muslim” or “not being Muslim enough.”

A “phobia” is defined as an unreasoning fear. I have a couple — for example, I get very nervous whenever I encounter a lumber truck on the road. (I know precisely why I have that fear, and I know that I’m not in any real danger, but I still don’t like it.)

In this case, though, in a lot of cases, having a fear of Muslims is a very reasonable concern. If you’re a Christian in Iraq or Pakistan or any other nation with a dominant Muslim culture, you should be apprehensive. If you’re a Jew, especially but not exclusively in Israel, you should be apprehensive. If you’ve written a book that many Muslims have declared offensive or blasphemous, you should be apprehensive. If you’ve drawn or published cartoons of Mohammed, you should be apprehensive. If you’ve just talked about drawing cartoons of Mohammed, you should be apprehensive.

As I said, a “phobia” is an unreasonable fear. When the fear is entirely reasonable, though, that fear has another term.

It’s called “a survival instinct.”

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