Islamophobia is real. Yes, but is every speech about Muslims Islamophobic?

A bell went off in my head the moment I read that the Huffington Post was going to call out Islamophobics. It could have been any news or political outlet, the danger bell rings for the same reason: other than clear cases of someone screaming anti-Muslim verbiage at a Muslim, or attacking them or shunning them in an obvious manner, how does one otherwise define Islamophobia? The extremes of anything are easy to define, it’s that gray area where we typically use our own biases to make a definition. Those pushing their point of view make every shade of gray black or white and there is no difference between real Islamophobia and someone raising a legitimate question or making a legitimate observation. If everyone who uses a Muslim word in their speech are rounded up and classified Islamophobic then common sense means nothing and those accusing others of hating are themselves haters.

So I went into the list of those they have already categorized as Islamophobic, the Huffington Post was reaching in some of them ignoring complex issues for simple definitions.

Number one on their list was Ben Carson. They wrote: “Carson implored Iowans during a campaign speech to read up on Islam and learn about how the Prophet Muhammad “put together his armies, and they began to massacre anybody who didn’t believe the same way they did.” We have an actual historical record of Muhammad before the cave experience, during the cave experience, and after the cave experience where he believed Allah spoke to him what was Truth that everyone must accept and follow. During that historical period in he Middle East there were a number of gods different groups worshiped, including a little known god with the name of Allah.  Muhammad, believing that Allah spoke to him how people should live their lives, set about to convince them of the truth he found in the cave. When the people in Mecca, where he lived, got tired of listening to him they drove him out and he fled to Medina. Until this point it was a peaceful message, but after being driven out of Mecca he came back with an Army, and this Army after Muhammad’s death went to war throughout the Middle East and into parts of Europe. It was, for the most part, accept Islam or die. So Ben Carson is historically right. The bloodshed we see today is not new, its been part of Islam from the beginning. What is new is the intensity. What he left out, and I’m sure the complexity of it all was more than time allowed him to cover, is that there are those Muslims who want to make their faith non-violent and more about their relationship with Allah than not.

They go on to quote Carson: “I think [voters] don’t understand all the aspects of it, including Sharia, how that plays in,” he said. “I don’t think most people actually understand what jihad is. They don’t understand the whole apocalyptic vision that they have. When you understand that, you understand what drives an organization like ISIS.” Again Carson is right but it comes off as an all-or-nothing proposition defining all Muslims. Sharia is the merging of religion and politics, the worst of what any religion can become. Sharia plays a significant role in those who want to dominant the world, and make no mistake about it, this is exactly the goal of Islamisits and they unashamedly quote the Koran and other writings to support their claim to the world. And yes, for the Islamistits who want this it is an apocalyptic vision where, like Christians who believe Jesus will return to earth and complete its redemption, the Twelfth Iman will come and he will establish his kingdom on earth and the violence seen by ISIS and others is a way of preparing the way for his coming. Again, Carson is not wrong, he just opens a big can with no time to delve into is, which is why, and this is repugnant to the Huffington Post, he asks those listening to find out for themselves. You may not like what he says but this does not make him Isamophobic nor is he preaching Isamophobia.

The second anti-Muslim act falls on Fox Newscaster, Megyn Kelly. Her Islamophobic stand rests on her wondering about the events in San Bernardino when neighbors after the fact mentioned that they saw suspicious activity at the home of the husband-wife killers and didn’t report it out of fear of being called Islamophobic. Indeed, you’ve got to understand that fear when just thinking out loud about that situation makes you an Islamophic as Kelly now understand, at least according to the Huffington Post. The warning: don’t think out loud it will get you in trouble, so you say nothing and look what happens.

Number 3 is about Republican Rep. Chip Limehouse and his attempt to pass through South Carolina a bill forbidding Sharia law from being introduced into South Carolina courts. The Huffington Post argument goes something like this: “Hey, come on, no one is trying to get Sharia into our legal system. It’s just Islamophobic to even raise the issue.” Evidently the Post has conveniently forgotten that in Irving, Texas there was a push by Muslims to set up a separate Sharia court and it was stopped by the mayor. This is not an isolated attempt and with the push by the president to make Islam a protected religion it is not Islamophobic to preempt such a move.

Lastly, and you can read the full article HERE, is another South Carolina bill to track refugees, in particular those coming from Syria. Given that refugees present a real danger because we know ISIS is using refugees to sneak into countries, and the fact that Obama has forced them on states, it is prudent to track what could be a potential problem. In itself this is not Islamophobic as long as wisdom and common sense guides the State. Perhaps the Huffington Post should take more serious headlines like this: German security chief warns of Islamic State militants posing as refugees.

None of these examples are ipso fact Islamophobic.

Let me add one that is Islamophobic, and it comes from Georgia and its about Jeremy Spencer, an associate superintendent for the Georgia Department of Education: “Spencer was fired after it emerged that he had posted a series of vile, anti-Muslim messages to Facebook. “If you wipe your butt with your bare hand but consider bacon to be unclean, You may be a Muslim,” read one post. Another featured an image of Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas student who was arrested after school officials thought his handmade clock was a bomb. “Don’t forget to set your clocks (bombs) back,” Spencer wrote.” Okay, we’ve got a live one here, an actual clear-cut Islamophobic statement and shame on Mr. Spencer and all who think like him.

But let’s not confuse real Islamophobic rhetoric and actions with honest questions and thoughts that because they raise the subject of Muslims it does not mean them to be Islamophobic. A little common sense will go a long way.