How can the word phobia be linked to hate crime?
We are used to the expression Islamophobia and we understand what it means. But is the word phobia applicable in this case? It used to be used in connection with a treatable condition and defined as an overwhelming and debilitating fear associated with many possible things. An object, a location, situation, a feeling, or an animal. Phobias are more intensely experienced than even fears. A phobia develops when a person forms an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger relating to a situation or object. The picture above is descriptive of one of my phobias. I hate and fear being lost in a forest, or indeed anywhere especially towards the end of a day when the sky is darkening.
The question arises how has society and government come around to categorising aversion to the religion and culture of Islam as it manifests itself in counties like Iran and Saudi Arabia as phobic? For starters a phobia is something a person cannot control. You cannot for example criminalise a person with an extreme fear of enclosed spaces, spiders or snakes or clowns. At worst these are a matter for gentle treatment. Prosecution, or fines or imprisonment under hate law are not rational responses to this condition. Then comes the question; is a phobia a condition you could reasonably apply to people who have an extreme fear or aversion to Islam. In Communist countries it used to be the way that an activist or dissident could find himself or herself placed in camps for the mentally disturbed, harshly treated and isolated and only allowed out when pacified or contrite. When you consider the PC regime has been likened to Social Marxism you may see why this connection is being made. Cause for concern is that those of us who cannot see in this post modern society the bright dawn of a new world order might find ourselves similarly treated. So it could be that a person has good reasons for these aversions and fears. To have a fear of snakes in general might be a phobia, but is a fear of a particular venomous snake like a cobra hissing in your living room a phobia? No, it is a well justified fear. That is the question being asked by people like myself. Is the fear or aversion legitimate? For example, I deny that having a deep concern, verging on fear with regard to Islam is either extreme or irrational. If I yelled abuse at a Muslim woman just because she wore a burka then you would have a case. If I sought to burn down a mosque you would have a slam dunk case of some sort, but not necessarily of a phobia. I have a fear and dislike of Islam for what are to me are sound reasons. Does this admission mean I hate or dislike Muslims? The answer to that question is unequivocally no. I have never had the opportunity to meet or converse with a Muslim. However, many of those I have listened to on You Tube I have greatly admired. Some have moved me deeply, leaving the impression that these are wonderful people of great courage, grace and intelligence. A large number, but not all of these were converts from Islam to either Christianity or Atheism. Other than obvious fanatics I find no fault with Muslims. If I met a Muslim who was in my opinion hateful, I would not hate that person. I am a Christian and to hate another human being is contrary to everything I am required to accept and believe. If offended or hurt or physically harmed my response has to be, according to my faith one of forgiveness. Even if this person regarded me as an enemy to be beheaded, I am still under the command of my God, Jesus Christ to love my enemy.
I have no reason to think that an individual Muslim is anything other than like myself, a human being made in God’s likeness. Therefore no different to any other people for the very good and unifying reason that we are all created and loved by God. And God has no favourites. We are all without exception sinners: humanists: Christians, atheists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims. Not one of us can be saved other than through Jesus Christ. And Jesus is open and available to all those listed above and many others besides. In contrast Allah definitely has favourites. if you are outside his group you are according to Mohammad and the Quran infidels deserving nothing other than damnation. Jesus saves by grace through his own sacrifice made on our behalf. Jesus loves and redeems the lost and his gospel (which means good news) is based on grace rather than works of religion. Allah in contrast is rule setting and demanding, having produced a tick box system of righteousness in which no-one can be certain of salvation however hard they have tried to fulfil the many scrupulous demands of the religion. I fear Islam for many reasons, the speed of its growth in the West, its well stated agenda illustrated throughout its long history of conquests and enslavement of peoples. Its Sharia courts and hatred of apostates, its insistence on submission and its utter lack of mercy to those who do not subscribe to its prophet or its god. There are many other reasons given in the article on Islam. I deny that my fear of this religion has anything to do with a phobia. On the contrary, I have good reasons which have been carefully researched and thought through.
Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi have some interesting things to say on this subject.