Of course, in the modern, politically correct Western tradition, hatred expressed toward a religion typically is held on the same level of human-rights opprobrium as hatred expressed toward a race or an ethnicity. But Islam is not really a religion at all, as Mr. Wilders sees it, but rather a retrograde political ideology with religious trappings.
He notes that while other religions draw a distinction between God and Caesar, between the secular and the spiritual, Islam demands submission in every aspect of human existence, both through the wording of the Koran itself and the Shariah law that has developed in its shadow. The faith also supplies a justification for aggressive war; vilifies non-believers; and pronounces death upon its enemies. In short, Mr. Wilders argues, it has all the ingredients of what students of 20th century history would recognize as a fully formed totalitarian ideology.
“I see Islam as 95% ideology, 5% religion — the 5% being the temples and the imams,” he tells me. “If you would strip the Koran of all the negative, hateful, anti-Semitic material, you would wind up with a tiny [booklet].”
It’s easy to see why many Europeans casually jump to the conclusion that Mr. Wilders is a hatemonger. He wants to halt non-Western immigration to the Netherlands until existing immigrants can be integrated, and he wants to deport any foreigner who commits a crime — the same sort of policies as those advocated by genuine xenophobes.
But even so, his insistence on the proper distinction between faith and ideology is an idea that deserves to be taken seriously. For it invites the question: If we permit the excoriation of totalitarian cults created by modern dictators, why do we stigmatize (and even criminalize) the excoriation of arguably similar notions when they happen to be attributed to a 7th-century prophet?
After the heralded killing by Navy SEALS in Afghanistan of the religious mass murderer, Osama Bin Laden; it seems appropriate to once again revisit the discussion about the religion that drove him to kill, and which in large part not only supported, but encouraged his killings.
Since 9/11, many people have been careful to make a distinction between "Islam" and "Islamist" in their writings in order not to be accused of discrimation against Muslims--especially those of the "moderate" variety.
After 10 years, though, this elusive sub-species of Muslims remains mostly off the record and largely silent even after numerous atrocities committed in the name of Islam and its god. I happen to think that there may indeed be a large number of Muslims who are good people, and it is not Muslims per se that I have a problem with.
My problem is with Islam, the religion/ideology.
Regarding what is often referred to as the "hijacking" of Islam: Islam was not so much hijacked by extremists (the preferred Obama Administration designation of Islamist ), as it was acutely exposed to the entire world for the viciously misogynistic, anti-life, totalitarian system it evolved into when it was mated with National Socialism in the mid-20th century and then begat an entirely new iteration of Marxism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
It has also been argued that (and I quote Juan Cole here): "Linking Islam… with a pejorative term such as fascism is extremely unfair. In fact, it is a form of racism."
But it is not at all unfair; nor is it in the least bit racist. Rather, it is a logical and very rational conclusion to make based on the empirical evidence.
What has happened to the "moderates" in Islam? Reuel Marc Gerecht offered an explanation not too long ago:
Though Europeans often fail to see it, the secularization of the Muslims living in their midst has been, by and large, a great success. It explains why Muslim activists gain so much attention, be they arch-conservatives, like the devotees of the Tabligh movement in Britain and on the continent who espouse segregation in Europe, or "progressives," like the Switzerland-based intellectual Tariq Ramadan, who refuses forthrightly to declare the Muslim Holy Law null and void as a political testament for Muslims in a European democracy. The moderates have abandoned the field. They have become European. The militants, who perhaps should be seen as deviants from a largely successful process of secularization, are the only ones left ardently praying.
This explains why the so-called "moderate" Muslim has not taken up opposition to the extremists with the ferver that the West anticipated. Instead we see large and protests and mourning of Bin Laden's death by supposedly mainstream Muslims in, of all places, Londonistan.
In a perverted twist of reality and with a toxic infusion of psychological projection, those in the West seeking to discuss in some detail the teachings of Islam which have inspired entire nations and literally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Muslims to spew hatred toward other religions; kill "infidels" with the blessings of their religious leaders; oppress and kill women with impunity; and otherwise inflame believers with a virulent madness that verges on the worship of death; are instead themselves vilified and accused of racism and hate.
Christopher Hitchens noted, "The useless and meaningless term Islamophobia, now widely used as a bludgeon of moral blackmail, is testimony to its success."
But the truth is that "Islamophobia" is not a phobia at all-- it is a completely rational fear of an insane and irrational force that seems to be sweeping the world. Being afraid of the so-called "religion of peace" after the innumerable acts of violence, terror and depravity committed in the name of Allah worldwide is not exaggerated; not inexplicable; and most certainly not illogical.
Being afraid of Islam as it undermines freedom of speech and thought, as well as and other critical values of Western civilization, is far from a phobia--it is a natural response to the sad reality.
What the UN (and the Islamic world) would like to mandate if they can get away with it, is a sort of meta-Islamophobia--an Islamophobicphobia, to be precise; or, as I would define it, " an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of mere criticism of Islam, as well as a pathological reluctance to hold it to account for the actions and behavior of its followers."
There is much written both in the Middle East and in the West about the proposition that Islam is "under siege" and that hatred of Islam is a rising concern. This has been repeated frequently particularly since the global war on terror (which actually is a global war on Islamic fanatiacism). Those who decry this reality are not only reluctant to admit that the wave of terror and irrational hatred sweeping the world is specifically associated with the religion of Islam; they simultaneously blame the victims of the terror and the objects of the irrational hatred as the one's responsible for its existence. Islam is given a free pass and the shouts of "God is Great" that precede the latest atrocity apparently have nothing to do with what is written in the Koran.
It is getting harder and harder to keep a straight face as the knee-jerk denial and sanctimonious utterings of organizations like CAIR and UN "human rights" committees--not to mention US political figures-- fill the news media on a daily basis with their attacks on anyone who criticizes Islam and their rising institutional anti-semitism and encouragement of Islamic extremism.
Islamophobia? Anyone who by now has not realized that Islam has given carte blanche to the fanatics in its midst is either completely out of touch with reality, or living on another planet (e.g., planet Hollywood, or planet Marx/Obama).
So, let me say for the record that I reject being labeled as "Islamophobic" utterly. Rather, I have a healthy, rational fear of a religion that aggressively seeks my submission or death. As I have stated previously, for most of my adult life, it seemed perfectly reasonable to ignore Islam. What little I knew of it did not appeal to me in any way whatsoever to encourage me to delve deeper.
I liked it that way.
If I had thought about Muslim values at all (and I didn't) it is likely that I would have been completely turned off to the religion, as opposed to being indifferent to it. I was mildly disgusted and appalled when examples of its rampant brutality were brought to my attention, but frankly, I never understood enough about the religion to place the responisibility for its adherents' behavior onto its teachings.
After 9/11 and becoming aware of organizations like Al Qaeda; ideologies like Wahhabism and its spread; and suddenly recognizing the Palestinian issue for the red herring it was, I could no longer permit myself to be ignorant of what Islam was all about.
In an ideal world, I shouldn't even have to say it, but Islam has forced me to explicitly and loudly state--just as Geert Wilders has-- that I absolutely, thoroughly and unequivocally reject Muslim values and culture, which facilitate and breed hatred and dysfunction in every nation in which they are practiced.
What follows is not an exhaustive list, but let me touch on some of the highlights that form the basis of my rejection:
1. If we are going to talk about oppression, shall I begin with the ubiquitous institutionalized oppression and humiliation of women in Muslim society? Detractors claim that the Quran does not foster this attitude, but witness the devaluation of women; the sexual fear of women; the incarceration of women; the infantilization of women; the social marginalization of women, etc. etc.
2. The overt and institutionalized anti-semitism in Islam, that is frankly paranoid and of psychotic proportions.
3. The assumption of the victim role while actively victimizing other religious groups. This is the entire psychological manipulation involved in the cries of "Islamophobia !"
4. The hypocritical call for tolerance, while promoting intolerance and bigotry among its own adherents.
5. The glorification of death rather than life.
6. The fostering of mindless obedience and punishment of independent thinking.
7. The poverty of ideas and rational thought among its leaders.
8. The inability to condemn unequivocally the barbaric acts done in the name of Islam.
9. The fact that you would force your religion on me, if you could.
As I said, the list is not exhaustive. There are many more reasons why I have come to my intense rejection of this particular religion. As stated in a previous post::I DON'T CARE ABOUT ISLAM except insofar that people of that faith want to destroy me, my family, my country and my way of life. For more than 50 years of my life, Islam and I got along famously. I completely ignored it; and praise be to Allah, it completely ignored me.
After September 11th, I could continue to live in a state of denial and ignorance about the fact that Islam had come to represent all the values that are incompatible with human life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Or, I could face reality and recognize Islam as a serious threat to all I hold dear and value in the world.
No; a rational, healthy fear of Islam's barbaric medievalism and its desire to subjugate the entire human race under the yoke of its god is perfectly appropriate and continually justified by the fanatical behavior of millions of Muslims everywhere on the planet.
This is not Islamophobia; this is common sense; and as Hitchens's column makes clear, the intent of this crazy UN resolution serves only to advance Islam's clearly stated goal of subjugating the world's population to its rule.
So, getting back to Kay's pertinent question in his column about Wilders: If we permit the excoriation of totalitarian cults created by modern dictators, why do we stigmatize (and even criminalize) the excoriation of arguably similar notions when they happen to be attributed to a 7th-century prophet?
Answering that question is absolutely critical to understanding the reasons why the west appears to be so willing to commit cultural suicide in order to accommodate an ideology and a religion determined to destroy it.