I have been unapologetic on this blog about the harm that is caused by Islamic doctrines. Unsurprisingly, this has made me the target of “Islamophobia” accusation. Those flinging this word apparently have not been practicing Muslims. Yet they go out of their way trying to protect Islam from being confronted with the ugly reality. I do not doubt that some of those people have good intentions; they see Muslims as a vilified minority in the Western world, and are “routing for the underdog”. However, no matter what the motives, such people are deeply misguided. While I am not a fan of “argument from authority”, I do wonder how such people think they know more about Islam than men who dedicated their entire lives to studying it, and to use as the foundation for organizations that have tens of millions of followers today in Muslim-majority countries.
A few examples should make the point clear that Islam is not simply “one religion just like any other”.
Let’s start with Organization of Islamic Conference.
This is an international group of 57 Islamic majority countries. If there is any such thing as “mainstream Islam”, then a resolution issued by consensus at this organization must be as close to it as you can get. Now, look at how these countries reacted to a poorly made movie that hurt their tender feelings:
The Foreign Ministers of all the participating nations, while expressing severe response against the movie, stated that Anti-Islamic content was regularly being produced and promoted within the name of ‘freedom of speech’, and this was contrary to the measures provided by the International Human Rights which promotes liberty of religion.
Can you name any other religion that tries to force its own restrictions on freedom of expression on others in this way?
Let’s look at another example. There are seven countries in the world where atheism is punishable by death. Guess how many are Islamic?
That’s correct, all of them. And in those Islamic countries where atheism is NOT punishable by death, every once in awhile you see mass protests demanding that it should be. The kind of laws these protester want are the same, by the way, as those used to harass and imprison not just atheists, but young children from religious minority communities.
From exceedingly high rates of homophobia (100% in some cases) to overwhelmingly calling consumption of alcohol immoral, Islamic communities showcase what is bad about religion in general, but taken to a whole new level in Islam. (One might argue that Mormonism is not really different, as far as alcohol and homophobia are concerned. On the other hand, by sheer numbers, Mormonism is absolutely dwarfed by Islam. Globally speaking, it is simply not comparable to Islam in scope.)
Now, of course, all of this is by no means a condemnation of all Muslims. Muslims, like everyone else, should be judged by who they are and what they do, not what their presumed beliefs are. There are countless Muslims that are for tolerance of gays and freedom of speech. But does this make tolerance of gays and freedom of speech compatible with Islam? No, it doesn’t. It would be like saying, the fact that Mormon bishops (and not just ordinary Mormons) drink and drive makes drinking alcohol compatible with Mormonism. That is an absurdity on its face.
In short, dear political correctness enforcement squad, please be advised that I am not particularly bothered by the “you Islamophobe” catcalls. You can shoot the messenger all you want, but there are other messengers you can’t shoot: 9/11, violent worshippers, Organization of Islamic Conference etc. Reality cannot be papered over.