Over 200 years ago the USA fought 2 wars with Islamic nations. Thomas Jefferson, the U.S. Ambassador to France, reported a conversation he had with Tripoli's envoy in London to the US Secretary of State.
The ambassador answered us that [their right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
Apparently no-one was blaming these wars on Islamophobia. The Muslims were quite open about their duty to commit jihad and the American Founding Fathers considered that behaviour unacceptable. The depredations of the "Barbary Pirates" was finally ended in 1830 when France invaded Algeria. Millions of Europeans and Africans had been enslaved as commanded in the Quran and fear of Islam was considered normal and appropriate. That fear naturally enough disappeared as Muslim nations became unable to harm Europeans though the Ottomans fought to the bitter end in the 20th century. *
This was not a recent 19th century development in Islam. The "Book of the Marvels of the World" commonly called "The Travels of Marco Polo", is a 13th-century travelogue in which Polo records:
The Mahometan inhabitants are treacherous and unprincipled. According to their doctrine, whatever is stolen or plundered from others of a different faith, is properly taken, and the theft is no crime; whilst those who suffer death or injury by the hands of Christians, are considered martyrs. If, therefore, they were not prohibited and restrained by the powers who now govern them, they would commit many outrages. These principals are common to all the Saracens.
Just because Islam is no longer to be feared does not mean it deserves respect. Just because Muslims are minorities in Western countries does not mean Islam should be a "protected species." Islam has features abhorrent to many non-Muslims and Western free-speech traditions allow, even encourage, criticisms of all it's flaws.
These days the media Muslim mantra is continually repeated:
- Anyone discussing the links between extremist radical Muslims and the larger Muslim community is an Islamophobe
- Islamophobic comments insult moderate, peaceful Muslims, who might therefore turn into extremist radical Muslims
If extremist violence "in the name of Islam" has nothing to do with the actual religion of Islam, why would peaceful Muslims become so offended that they would suddenly embrace murderous extremism?
Islamophobia: A word invented by fascists, used by cowards to manipulate morons - Christopher Hitchens.
"I expect an official declaration that Islamophobia is a crime against humanity as well. Islamophobia emerged from the Western countries and this is a challenge that we all together need to surmount." - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, April 3 2016
From the OIC website: "Islamophobia, Looking at the causes and ways to tackle them"
The publication and republication of cartoons in European media caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed in a way perceived by Muslims as deliberately insulting and defamatory but done, according to the publishers, in the name of freedom of the press, exposed a cultural divide that erupted into anger because of stereotyping.
The horrific, criminal and unjustified terrorist acts of 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London violently expressed the frustration, disappointment and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims' soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed against them by the West.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization claims to the collective voice of the Muslim world and is certainly the collective voice of governments of Muslim majority countries. Yet these mostly powerful, oppressive, dictatorial governments claim that their souls are damaged by the aggressions and discriminations towards them by the "West." Aggression committed against Muslims by the West is minuscule compared to aggression and oppression committed against Muslims by Muslims and especially by these very governments. Muslims should examine the real roots of their frustration, disappointment and disillusion and stop scapegoating the West for their problems. I do not pretend that the "West" acts or has acted without prejudice, self-interest and double standards in its international policies but no more than Islamic countries and Muslims are far freer and generally more prosperous living in the West.
The OIC's Cairo Declaration of Human Rights contains the following clauses:
Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Sharia. (Article 22a)
(Information) may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith. (Article 22c)
The glorification of Muhamad is one of Islam's sacred cows but examination of his life reveals him to be completely unworthy of respect as a religious leader. As a politician and warlord his Machiavellian actions deserve respect if success is the only criterion. Defamation cannot exist if the claims made are true and all the evidence on which to judge Muhammad comes from Islamic sources. There is no divine right to not be insulted in the West.
Stereotyping and prejudice occur when there is marginalization and alienation no matter the culture. In the West only Muslims have reacted against the dominant culture with organised violence. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Confucians, South Americans, Jews, non-Muslim Africans, etc. endure or have endured the frustration and relative poverty of immigrants to the West with non-violent striving for betterment.
Not all religions are equal. The religion of the Aztecs was far worse than Islam, especially for people whose hearts were cut out with stone knives as living sacrifices. The religion of the Catholic Inquisitors was far worse than that of the Jews. It is not a hate crime to criticise a religion or parts of it even if that explicitly or implicitly criticises certain believers in that religion. Truth is more important than offense.
The OIC's Sixth Report on Islamophobia is typical of the attempts to censor statements about Muhammad and Islam in the West:
The perpetrators of Islamophobia, who seek to propagate irrational fear and intolerance of Islam, have time and again aroused unwarranted tension, suspicion and unrest in societies by slandering the Islamic faith through gross distortions and misrepresentations and by encroaching on and denigrating the religious sentiments of Muslims. The aftermath of this mischief, as the world has witnessed, has been tragic and alarming causing loss of numerous innocent lives, damage to property and creating an uneasy state of mistrust between Muslims and non-Muslims in the Western societies.
Most criticism of Islam uses direct quotes from the Quran and the hadith and discusses the actions of Muhammad as recorded by authorised Muslim sources. No distortions and misrepresentations are required. The rise in criticism of Islam in the last decades has been caused by Islamic terrorism and the global information revolution. In-depth information about Islam was not easily available to normal citizens before the internet allowed easy access to positive, critical and impartial views and information about Islam. This easy access to the Quran and hadith in translations has also spurred the rise in Islamic terrorism as Muslims themselves have formerly had to rely on "scholars" for their interpretations of Islam in the past. "Islamophobia" is a weapon used to attack critics of Islam and should be ignored.
A solution to Islamophobia in Australia has been recommended by Ms Maria Vamvakinou, the Federal Labour Member for Calwell and the head of a federal inquiry by The Joint Standing Committee on Migration into multiculturalism. She wants the description of migrants by their religion to be made illegal to overcome the trend of grouping all Muslim migrants as Muslims. She wants migrants to be described by their ethnic origin to overcome the trend of grouping all migrants from Afghanistan as Muslims when Afghanistan is only 99% Muslim and Iran when Iran is only 99.4% Muslim and a final solution to the 0.6% of non-Muslims is near to conclusion.
These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it.
** The Muslim Ottomans of the Caliphate committed massacres in the Balkans trying to keep the non-Muslims enslaved and committed genocide against the Christians of Armenia. In a strange twist, an ancestor of Australian rock star and peace and refugee activist John Butler fired the first shot in the April Uprising of 1876. The Ottomans smashed the violent revolt with brutal atrocities which received so much publicity that the British government would not defend the Ottomans from the Russians and most of the Balkans became free of Muslim control after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877.