Sunday, June 27, 2010

Islamophobia?Are We Playing In The Hands Of The Morons?

It seems like as rapidly as human beings are progressing upwards on the ladder of evolution,they also tend to more and more categorize things.It started with religion perhaps but then came at a point sexualities (if I am missing any intermediate stages,excuse me,but religion and sex are the two most important categories before me) and now the people who tend to be critical of religions and religious institutions.
This case seems to be especially true for Islam.To make it officially wrong to be critical of Islam a new term 'Islamophobia' has been introduced to the list of already overwhelming amount of labels.Wait!apart from the old term anti-semitic and the new one Islamphobe,a much wierder and newer one is also available.Christianophobe.I just happened to have come across it on wikipedia which reads:
'Christophobia or Christianophobia are also according to Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) names for "every form of discrimination and intolerance against Christians"'.
I simply donot understand and/or approve of the term Islamophobia.What does Islamophobia mean? Going by the term,does it mean being hateful/phobia of Islam? Or does it mean being hateful/phobia of Muslims?If it means the hatred/phobia of Muslims,then it makes sense and I support it since not supporting it would lead to discrimination of Muslim peoples at the hands of xenophobic idiots such Geert Wilders and the Right-Wing asses of the West.But then it should be termed Muslimophobia.Islamophobia sounds like the first definition I so approve of,simply because criticism of religion is necessary,in whatever form.
The ever incredulous,lousy and showmaker UN has given in to the demands of Islamists.Since 1999 Muslim nations and their allies have tried to get UN to adopt suppression of the 'defamation of religion'.Well,now the UN has given in.
But the concerns are that this suppression of defamation of religion,which makes it simply wrong for being critical of religion,would further stagnate the already lagging behind Muslim world as this could be used to curb free expression.I know this too well because in my country,Pakistan,we are constantly told that we are living in an Islamic Democracy(again! I refuse to believe it.The only true democracy is Secular Democracy as a genuine modern democracy paves the way for secularization of society by process.There is no Hindu democracy,no Christian democracy and even the Israel is Secular state!Therefore there just cannot be an 'Islamic Democracy').This Islamic democracy is in actuality a pseudo-democracy.A democracy based on Shari'ah as well as the old British laws we were left with during partition,with little amendments.This Islamic democracy has contsantly given in to the Ulema and the Conservatives.The Left Wing has been too weak.The results are for all to see.
This dear Islamic democracy of my country grants me the luxury of free expression and free speech.But to what extent? The same constitution also unclearly states that defaming the Prophet of Islam and Islam is an offence which can be punished by death.
'Pakistan's Penal Code allows for the death penalty for directly or indirectly defiling "the sacred name of the holy Prophet Mohammed." It also stipulates a 10-year sentence for insulting the religion of any class of citizens, and provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for "whoever willfully defiles, damages, or desecrates a copy of the holy Koran."'.
So my question is:What's the point of free speech then? Islam for Muslims is a complete code of life.But this code of life has to be criticized because the Shari'ah contains misogyny,homophobia,allowance of treating the non-Muslims as Dhimmis (second class citizens) along with other inhumanities.Thankfully,Pakistan is NOT Afghanistan.Sometimes Shari'ah has been criticized on air on television channels and Nadeem F. Paracha can still make jokes about being 'too' religious or fanatic.But that is that.You openly criticize Islam as a political ideology or state what Fauzia Wahab stated,then Mother Mary,you are deep deep trouble! In short you have the free expression.But its quite meaningless except for political criticism.Then what is the use of free speech and expression if you are going to talk the talk of the town?
The prestigious newpapers such as Dawn have still got some secularism alive because of their staunch leftist inclinations.The exact opposite is seen in the Urdu newpapers.But even in the 'Liberal Secular' press you have to submit the article and the editor must be cautious that you must not be too direct or offensive.
Critical analysis of Islam as a religion as well as political ideology is necessary.This does NOT mean ridiculing Islam,making jokes about it and thinking of Muslims as not being equal partners in discussion out of fear that the only way they know how to respond to criticism is through voilence.Somehow amazingly I have met a Muslim who believes that striking the terror in the heart of Non-Muslims is something to be proud of.Its guarantees that you are subjugating Non-Muslims evils and serving Islam.But for heaven's sake! It is only leading more and more hatred towards Muslims.They are seen as voilent people and the whole countiries' natioanlity is labelled terrorist in the eyes of common man.
Since Islam occupies each and every dimension of a common Muslim person's life (it doesnot matter if in the end they are hypocritical enought to believe some ideology which is obssessed with virginity and practice sex) the critical analysis of Islam is inevitable.
By introducing the ambigous terms such as Islamophobe and introducing suppression of Defamation of Religion, the West,which has a long history of intellectual renaissance,bloody war with Church and free intellectuals such as Bertrand Russel to look upto and even backto for lessons in history,has itself defeated the ideals it stood for.The ideals on which the modern Secular West was founded and the contitutions constructed.This might seem exaggeration to some as for them it might be a small step.But it by no means is an insignificant one.This is a time of worry for any self-respecting intellectual human,whether religious or non-religious.
Rather than these pathetic steps to overcome the short-sighted conflicts,the West and the UN especially should further the cause of Islamic reformists and the Western freedom be made available to the Voltaires,Sartres,Simone de Beauvoirs and Russels be fully supported as well as the Secular Muslims who are on their way for the Islamic Reformation.The Muslim world must be reiterated repeatedly,until they learn to listem,that closing ones eye at the time of trouble doesnot delay or vanguish the time of trouble.They must learn from the hard times and use these lessons effectively,just as Jews did.In all honesty,instead of hating Jews for what not including being dominant from politics to hollywood (Its their fault that they are on top poisitions in major world playing corporations today? What? They should wait for till Muslims take up all the positions first?) Muslims have alot to learn from the Jewish history.But nobody is saying to praise or even overlook the atorcities of Irsael on Palestinians.These acts must be condemned at all levels by all people.
Returning to my point,a revolution (somehow I have grown tired of reform.Reform is short-term solution I believe.Revolution a long term.I prefer the radical sound of Revolution,albeit a peaceful one.) in Muslim world from thoughts and conscience to media and the industries et al, on all levels is complusory for the well being of this 'world', apart from the Muslims themselves.There is a need for a Life of Brian' version in the Muslim world.There is a need for more Salman Rushdies.There is a need for more Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji and Tariq Alis as well (even if I dont agree with Tariq on his critique of Ayaan Hirsi Ali).Because only through blasphemy can there be innovation.Remeber! Once it was blasphemous to assume the earth is not flat but round or spherical.Today its taught even in the religious schools.Evolution was a blasphemy too but then today we have reaped much on following the lead of Darwin (who to this day is ridiculed by the conservatives).But when UN and the Non-Muslim world makes sch idiotc moves just to please the Mullahs and the fundamentalists,it takes away that opportunity,that chance for that revolution to come about.In my view,and I belive in any sane man's view, the supporters of Islamophobia and UN suppression of Defamation of Religion are accomplice in such a heinous crime against free thought and human liberties,perpetrated by the Islamic world.While the sanctity of Muslim human lives should be protected and that it be made clear that they are given their inalienable fundamental human rights,it should also be set out clearly that debating and even ridiculing the ideas (even religious ones) are not to be termed'-phobic'. If Communists cant say that ridiculing and criticizing their ideology is under the banner of 'Communophobia',why should the special previlege be given to Muslim community when we know it would further lead to playing in the hands of fundamentalists and intellectual backwardness,which would result in further economic downfalls and depressions in the Muslim world thus making it even harder to live in world for all of us.Just because Multi-Culturalist have started to play in the hands of fundamentalists.Discrimination against Muslim populace (or any other for that matter) must be condemned at all costs.But that doesnot mean using the term 'Islamophobia' to silence valid and constructive criticism of traditions followed widely or in parts of the Muslim world such as obssession with virginity,sex and sexuality,or resistance to Islamic Reformation,female genital mutilation,male circumcision, et al.
Some people believe that Islamophobia would be effectively used against Muslims as a population by the Right Wing Western Idiots.Thats true.And so was the AIDS used against LGBT community.Thats the part and parcel of being a minority.Using Christianophobia in Muslim world happens too.In fact to eradicate the Islamophobia I believe that the first responsibility lies with the Muslim Ummah itself to prove the hatred against Muslims wrong.That you can be an Arab and be a good human being.


  1. It’s great to see the dissection of the term Islamophobia. You have built quite reasonable argument over it. I remember how the term 'Fundamentalist' was also been used as synonym for Mulsims and terrorists whereas the term just meant anyone believing in or adhering to the fundamentals of any thing, may it be religion or political ideology.
    I think that’s how the modern world works, it first brings in a term and than start fabricating stories around it, which at times felt as mere justifications for what has been created.
    Apart from it, definitely, Muslims need to show flexibility in their approach and stance. Every time instead of quoting what has been 1400 years ago, they should move forward and experiment with the modern daily live problems and religious laws. This is the only way its going to survive.

  2. Dear humanist, i wanted to ask you something i have read your blog but there is somtething that i am confused about, would you please tell me how do you view this stance. Please dont take offence but are you a hindu/muslim/christian/atheist, straight/gay etc? If i hav missed sumthing then i m srry :)

  3. Hadi,
    Thanks for the comment and I agree with you.I believe the word fundamentalist was started to be used to convey a message :That in order to be 'modern' and to be integrated into the Secular world,the Muslims must re-think Islam,fundamentally,something that i too believe.It then started to be confused and to be interchanged with 'extremis'.However thats just my assumption.Fundamentalist is a person who sticks to his fundamental.In this respect I am Secular Fundamentalist.And there is nothing wrong with it.Nothing to be ranting about Fundamentalist or even 'Radical' but actually 'Extremist' for the extreme of anything means eventually losing sanity and tolerance.I am a Radical Feminist.A Radically Secular person.But I wouldnt suppress religious people to death.And THAT would be extremism.A thin line exists between the terms fundamentalist,radical,extremist and I believe in this modern fast world we often confuse them in our haste.

  4. Anonyous,
    I am Secular Humanist.I am Atheist in the sense that I dont believe in the religious idea of God.However I am not saying that a Deistic God might not be possible (which would be akin to having a statue of God,which is not of much help).
    I could be called Agnostic.But not in the traditional sense.As I said earlier,I dont believe in the religious idea of God.But there is a possibility that there is a higher being whom we havent understood yet.And I am open to that opportunity of learning.Hope thats not confusing.To save the confusion,I just tell people that I am Secular Humanist,that is I dont believe in any religion,and maintain an Agnostic,philosopically speaking, position regarding the existence of God.
    s for being Gay/Bi/Staright,yes I am Queer.I AM an LGBT person,hence my passion for the cause of LGBT Rights.

  5. Dear Humanist, Thank you for your reply, u say u r a philosophical person, that you use logic, does that imply u r willing to admit that you might be wrong and god exists? isnt that what philospy dictates ? to follow reason, logic?

    ps: please DONT take this as a personal attack i m just requiring an INTELLECTUAL DEBATE as their arent many LGBT/atheist guys in pakistan willing to talk

  6. Dear Humanist a more personal means of debate would be much appreciated.

  7. Dear Anonymous,
    I do say I am a philosophical being.Who isnt? Philosophers arent the ones who sit at the paktea house only,or the Oxford.Even a bullcart waalah could be a philosopher.Life makes us all so.
    I DONT take this as a personal attack and hope to get something fruitful out of interaction with you.
    Yes,when I say that I use reasoning,especially in the case of Religion/God,I might also be wrong.But then I believe the chances of God's existence are less than or 1%,including the religious idea of God,for their exists the Deistic idea of God too.
    Philosphy doesnt necessarily say that you have to use reason everywhere.I mean there are certain philosophers who believe the whole human langauge is just an expression of human emotions and their are emotive philosophical theories too.But generally yes,you are right.Philosophy rests on the bench of reason,which makes it far more superior to religion.

  8. correction: I meant 'Language' ,not langauge.

  9. K so i m gonna with the basic argument.

    ->What are your reasons for believing that god might not exist?

  10. Dear Anonymous,
    I would love to engage in a fruitful discussion (note I didnt say debate) with you.
    However,not here.
    You can email me at
    I would be glad to hold a discussion there. I just dont think its a right place to hold such discussions (comment area).

  11. Ali,
    God,atleast the religious God,might exist for you,but he has no place in circle of reason. The existence of God has been in debated time and again and the believers have failed to give any kind of satisfactory answer except for the emotive statements.And honestly,with all due respect even THOSE statements are pretty pathetic.

  12. Assalaamu 'Alaikum waRahmatu(A)llaahi waBarakaatuh Ali Bhai
    Muslims don't need to claim "God definitely exists".No amount of Western propaganada enabled by mass media of Antichrist(Dajjaal) can do anything to dilute the Muslim certainty(Yaqeen). Let Allaah speak for Himself and we should convey what Allaah commands us to convey. Let's wait for death.
    Allaah says in Aayah 31 of Soorah Toor,
    Say thou: "Await ye!- I too will wait along with you!"
    Un say kaho,tum bhi intizaar karo hum bhi tumhaaray saath intizaar karain gay

  13. Interesting article Nuwas. I wonder if it's really possible for Islam to be more accommodating of criticism given it is so easy to undermine from many different angles. They almost have to have a catch-all shield like "islamophobia", not least to stop their own adherants looking at Islam critically.

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