The conventional wisdom amongst Islamophiliacs is that critics of Islam must necessarily have strong feelings about Muslims, strong feelings of hatred. I've only been friendly with a few Muslims in my life because I've only met a few and they were only Muslims by birth not by practice. I've lived my life in parts of Australia where it is difficult to ever see a Muslim, at least one that is recognisably Muslim. The only time I ever see recognisable Muslims is on an occasional train trip from Sydney Airport to Circular Quay. Australian Muslims' right to free, legal expression of their beliefs should be as untrammelled as my own, their civil liberties should not be infringed in any way and they should not be insulted, threatened or attacked.
The strong negative feelings that pushed me to create this website are towards Islamophiliacs, people preaching the false doctrine of Islamophobia and those Muslims who are trying to make criticism of Islam illegal. Sure I think the Muslims who parade in the streets shouting about insults to their long dead warlord Muhammad are dickheads and arseholes but apparently there aren't all that many of them and as long as an occasional ugly parade in the streets is the worst they do then I'm happy to live and let live as long as I'm free to say how I feel about their religion. Sure I think allowing uncontrolled immigration of people with different attitudes and standards of behaviour and the likelihood of creating generations of an underclass with a grievance is stupid.
The International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adult Australians to ascertain the level of Islamophobia in Australia. Islamophobia in their definition denotes negative and hostile attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. Should I have been questioned I would have been passed as a 100% non-Islamophobe because the questions obviously were meant to assess my feelings and fears about Muslims, not about Islam.
A. Just to be safe, it is important to stay away from places where Muslims could be.
B. I would feel very comfortable speaking with a Muslim.
C. I would support any policy that would stop the building of new mosques.
D. If I could, I would avoid contact with Muslims.
E. I would live in a place where there are Muslims.
F. Muslims should be allowed to work in places where many Australian gather, such as airports.
G. If possible, I would avoid going to places where Muslims would be.
To be honest, my feelings and fears might be quite different should I live in Molenbeek, Clichy-sous-Bois or maybe even Lakemba. I don't know but I'm not going to move from my beach-side suburb to find out.
Prejudice and persecution of Muslims and deep criticisms of their religion are separate and should not be conflated. There are always ignorant pigs in any society and their actions must stay within the law but bigotry is not illegal and it's certainly not a one way street. Muslim communities are infamous for their anti-Semitism and they don't think much of "Westerners" either. Here is a photo of three pretty young Sydney Muslim girls, presumably of Egyptian ancestry, sharing their feelings about the Coptic Christians, an oppressed and persecuted minority in Egypt.