March 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
I’m on this listserv, I’ve been on it for over a decade, and I’m really just too lazy to unsubscribe. Occasionally, my laziness is rewarded with insightful commentary on Canada and the world. More often than not, I’m exposed to anti-Semitism from one member and anti-Islamic propaganda from another. Most recently, Mr. Islamaphobe (who is also of the opinion that feminism has destroyed our culture, and if it wasn’t feminism or Islam, it was the left, and if not them, then it was the environmentalists) has declared that Islam is a religion bent on world domination, supporting Geert Weders’ idea that, although there are moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam. I find this kind of commentary not just offensive, but stupid.
Both Christianity and Judaism are evangelical religions, they both seek new adherents wherever they are taken. If Islam is, as Mr. Islamophobe argues, hell bent on world domination, Christianity is even more so. The various Christian churches have spent much of the past two millenia seeking new converts, first as it expanded out of the Holy Lands into the European portion of the Roman Empire, then throughout Europe and North Africa, into Asia, across the Atlantic to the Americas, into sub-Saharan Africa, and Oceania. Islam has also similarly expanded out of the Holy Lands to become a global force.
Of course, the difference for Mr. Islamophobe is that Christianity is his culture/religion. Thus, for him, Christianity and the culture it has created stand for all that is good and great and beautiful in the world, whereas Islam stands for all that is evil and rotten in the world.
History and current events both support – if not prove – “Mr. Islamaphobe’s” assertion. On need only look at the spread of Islam across Europe in recent decades to see that.
If Christianity is still attempting such things, they’d failing so badly as to be a non-threat. And, of course, Christianity, for all it’s myriad grievous faults, hasn’t produced anything comparable to the modern Muslim jihadis in centuries. Even the worst of the Christianity-based terrorists paled in both numbers and virulence to the Muslims.
And…When was the last time you saw multiple murder attempts and international rioting causing 100’s of millions in damages over a cartoon other than an anti-Islam one?
A familiar argument. But historically, you’re not saying anything relevant or new. History proves nothing for Mr. Islamophobe, any more than it proves the opposite. Millions of people have died across the globe as Christianity expanded and sought world domination.
Anyway, the larger point is that both Christians and Muslims have committed heinous acts. My point is that the likes of Mr. Islamophobe refuse to see the larger picture, so offended he is by anything that is counter to his world view.
So, all in all, history does not support Mr. Islamophobe, but you can’t have it both ways. The problem with his arguments is that he claims both history and current events to be on his side and then connects a series of unrelated dots going back to the Crusades.
Anyway, the larger point is that Islamophobia tends to suggest that Islam is this, Islam is that, Muslims are this, Muslims are that. And whilst lip service is paid to the suggestion of moderate Muslims, this point is quickly forgotten so that the argument can be made of a clash of civilisations and that ALL Muslims in ALL parts of the world support the radical Islamism.
Certainly, Islam has grown exponentially in Europe (as well as North America) over the past two decades. Big deal. The fact that Islamist viewpoints are relatively rare points to a different conclusion of Mr. Islamophobe.