Vile Islam


Hawa Akther Jui wanted to go to college and get a degree. Her husband, Rafiqul Islam, disapproved. So he tied her up, gagged her, and chopped off all of the fingers on her right hand.

I won’t just blame Islam, though. All the patriarchal religions are disgusting.

The one scrap of salvation in this story lies in the human response: Hawa Akther Jui is learning to write with her left hand.

Comments

  1. syggyx says

    I remember a case in some islamic hellhole where a judge ordered a man to be blinded with acid as punishment for throwing acid himself at some woman’s face.

    Maybe this kind of reciprocal punishment will be the case here.

  2. cowcakes says

    Men who inflict such grievous injuries on women should have their penis removed in a manner matching the injury they inflicted on others. It’s only fair.

  3. shouldbeworking says

    Eye for an eye, that’s what ther gud book learns us. But since a woman is only one half the value of a male, maybe the fingers of the left hand would please Allah the “merciful”.

  4. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    It’s really amazing the stupid things people will do because other people won’t give them the deference they think they’re entitled to.

  5. syggyx says

    Men who inflict such grievous injuries on women should have their penis removed in a manner matching the injury they inflicted on others. It’s only fair.

    This kind of despicable psychosis is what feminism gets you.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The one scrap of salvation in this story lies in the human response: Hawa Akther Jui is learning to write with her left hand.

    *Clenched tentacle salute*

    Oh, yes, #2 has my sentiments exactly.

    Fuck off syggx.

  7. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    This kind of despicable psychosis is what feminism gets you.

    Cram a ham in it, asshole.

  8. says

    This pattern of reciprocal barbarism will not be encouraged here. Syggyx, you started it, and you’ve been an incorrigible asshole for sometime now. You’re gone, finally. Anyone else who joined in the game: no. We do not advocate violence.

  9. Alverant says

    Thank you PZ. Violence isn’t going to stop by revenge. The man should get prison time, a divorce, and get taken to the cleaners. The majority of his future income to should go to his ex-wife and help pay for artificial limb research so technology can restore what he took from her.

  10. jasonmartin99 says

    Yeah, PZ, all the patriarchal religions are disgusting, but Islam is truly in a class of its own at the moment. It would beat Christianity in a gross-out contest, I’m sure.

  11. flambard says

    I’m rarely one to defend Islam but honestly, this is less religion than simply patriarchy at its most raw and brutal.It’s the same thing that watered down has even many atheist men slightly less than comfortable or feeling outright feeling ‘emasculated’ when their wives outearn them. It’s why many men who do not give one tiny fuck about any religion don’t really want to date women more educated than themselves or who already outearn them – because all these things are perceived as granting higher status and in a patriarchy men’s identity still very much rests on being the One In Charge and because all thse things grant women freedom from dependency on said man. It may surprise you how many men still feel a lot more comfortable with a dependent woman, even ones who identify as liberal and would probably consider themselves fully in support of women’s rights. It’s deep-seated stuff that is woven into the fabric of society.

  12. cowcakes says

    Much more useful and instructive punishment than what I suggested, but I was angry at the mindless mysoginism of acts like this.

    Alverant

    Thank you PZ. Violence isn’t going to stop by revenge. The man should get prison time, a divorce, and get taken to the cleaners. The majority of his future income to should go to his ex-wife and help pay for artificial limb research so technology can restore what he took from her.

  13. StevoR says

    @15. Alverant : 15th December 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Violence isn’t going to stop by revenge.

    It isn’t? Really?

    Revenge could act as a deterrent against such barbaric behaviour taking place in the first place and serve to indicate in the strongest possible way that such acts are NOT socially acceptable.

    I’m aware that some here will disagree with me but there is, I think and feel, a place for revenge against the perpetrators here just as there is a strong case for the death penalty – provided, naturally, it is applied in cases where there are no reasonable doubts of guilt and the crime is sufficently heinous.

    (For instance all so called “Honour Killers” should in my view face execution themselves to make it clear such acts cannot be tolerated – & I’d go a step further and deliberately dishonour their corpses by burying them in a ditch full of pig excrement to really drive the point home too.)

    Folks here can frown and scowl if they want but I do find the idea of revenge against Rafiqul Islam in this instance is almost instinctive and seems much more satisfying and far more appropriate than any softer penalty would be.

  14. StevoR says

    Note here that revenge is especially appropriate in Rafiqul Islam’s Islamic culture which is deeply driven and motivated by the idea of revenge. Revenge is part of the islamic idea of justice. Islam is (almost always – & esp. here) a barbaric and brutal way of life and thought – lets be honest here it really is – and therefore if that’s the only thing they understand, the only thing that makes it clear to them then why *shouldn’t* the penalty of chopping off Rafiqul Islam’s fingers and maybe other bits be applied?

    Maybe doing so will set a precedent that prevents future acts of such misogyny being carried out and if so, as seems likely isn’t it worth it?

  15. says

    do you have any statistics/citations for us to actually prove your point beyond your thinly veiled Islamophobia?

    Stating that Islam and the things done in its name are currently vastly more barbaric than what is done in the name of Christianity is not islamophobia but a simple statement of fact. Or name me a mainly Christian country where women are not allowed to drive a car.

  16. Tuppy Glossop says

    Flambard,
    I agree that this can be put down to patriarchy, but I wonder if even the most fuckwitted christotard would think that chopping fingers was the appropriate response to this ‘problem’.

  17. StevoR says

    @12. PZ Myers says: 15 December 2011 at 8:58 pm

    We do not advocate violence.

    I don’t – usually.

    Sometimes however, (maybe very rarely) it seems to me that realistically violence is perhaps necessary and appropriate even correct in certain contexts under certain circumstances.

  18. physicsphdstu says

    Jason and others

    I don’t particularly want to defend any religion but I guess the problem is not the brutality of the religion. If there were Christian theocracies, they would have things as bad.

  19. johnfreethinker says

    I am against Christianity, simply because it makes people intellectually unfit to live in the real world. However, Islam makes people unfit to live at all.

    The word, “Islamophobe” is often applied to me at this point. Do I have a phobia, an irrational fear, really? Let us see.

    1. All Muslims follow the doctrine of Mohammed and approve of his life.
    2. Mohammed had sexual intercourse with a nine year-old girl, Aisha
    (Abu-Dawud 2.2116, etc).
    3. This is child molestation.
    4. Therefore, all Muslims approve of child molestation.
    The same process could be applied to the rape of women captured in war (Qur’an 33.50), and many other atrocities.

    Islam makes Christianity look like a bunch of wiggers. Being against Islam is completely rational.

  20. StevoR says

    @ 18. pelamun : 15 December 2011 at 9:39 pm :

    jason,do you have any statistics/citations for us to actually prove your point beyond your thinly veiled Islamophobia?

    Google or check wikipedia for :

    1. Hamas
    2. Islamic Jihad
    3. Jemaah Islamiyya (&/or Abu Bakir Bashir)
    4. The PLO
    5. The Taliban
    6. Laska e-Toiba
    7. Chechen terrorism
    8. The fatwah on Salman Rushdie
    9. The Danish cartoonist fatwah

    &, oh yeah,

    10. 9-11 / Al Quaida and Osama bin Laden

    Plus ask yourself what other religion virtually idol worships homicide suicide bombers who blow up innocent civilians in marketplaces, restaurants, on buses etc ..

    Yes, Islam is the most violent, hate-filled religion destructive religion on the planet. It is fighting on virtually all its borders and all too many Muslim Jihadists* are waging a genocidal war aimed at wiping out Israel and much of the rest of the non-Muslim world transforming our planet into one huge Khaliphate under their imams, ayatollahs and other tyrants.

    That is simply the reality and beyond reasonable dispute.

    —————————-

    * Yes, yes, I know that’s NOT all Muslims – but it is waay more than enough of them.

  21. StevoR says

    As for so-called “Islamophobia” there’s actually no such thing.

    A ‘phobia’ is – by definition – an irrational fear.

    A non-Muslims fear or concern regarding the Muslim ideology and their propensity for savage violence as shown throughout history especially recent history (see the list above) is very well justified and entirely *rational*.

  22. andyo says

    We do not advocate violence.

    I don’t – usually.

    Except when it’s “necessary”, right? Somehow I see the guy who did this say the exact same thing, and be exactly as right.

  23. Das Boese says

    StevoR says:
    15 December 2011 at 10:29 pm

    @15. Alverant : 15th December 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Violence isn’t going to stop by revenge.

    It isn’t? Really?

    Yeah, Really.

    Revenge could act as a deterrent against such barbaric behaviour taking place in the first place and serve to indicate in the strongest possible way that such acts are NOT socially acceptable.

    Dude, we’ve tried this for a couple thousand years and it doesn’t work. Really.

    I’m aware that some here will disagree with me but there is, I think and feel, a place for revenge against the perpetrators here just as there is a strong case for the death penalty – provided, naturally, it is applied in cases where there are no reasonable doubts of guilt and the crime is sufficently heinous.

    And what purpose would that serve? We’ve already ruled out deterrence. Emotional comfort for the victim or redemption of the perpetrator are weak cases at best. Neither does it anything to expose and combat the systemic reasons for this kind of crime, on the contrary.

    (For instance all so called “Honour Killers” should in my view face execution themselves to make it clear such acts cannot be tolerated – & I’d go a step further and deliberately dishonour their corpses by burying them in a ditch full of pig excrement to really drive the point home too.)

    Okay, now you’re getting creepy.
    Again, what purpose does it serve?

    Folks here can frown and scowl if they want but I do find the idea of revenge against Rafiqul Islam in this instance is almost instinctive and seems much more satisfying and far more appropriate than any softer penalty would be.

    “instinctive” isn’t how a civilized society deals with crime.

    StevoR says:
    15 December 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Note here that revenge is especially appropriate in Rafiqul Islam’s Islamic culture which is deeply driven and motivated by the idea of revenge. Revenge is part of the islamic idea of justice. Islam is (almost always – & esp. here) a barbaric and brutal way of life and thought – lets be honest here it really is – and therefore if that’s the only thing they understand, the only thing that makes it clear to them then why *shouldn’t* the penalty of chopping off Rafiqul Islam’s fingers and maybe other bits be applied?

    Let me get that right.
    You think that the correct way to discourage these barbaric practices is to exercise them?

    Maybe doing so will set a precedent that prevents future acts of such misogyny being carried out and if so, as seems likely isn’t it worth it?

  24. andyo says

    I was gonna say that what a couple of people here are saying reminded me of some people elsewhere, at the news of someone doing a particularly abominable thing, saying “I’m not for the death penalty, but in this case…”, then someone responding, rightly, “make no mistake about it, if you are for the death penalty in this case, you are for the death penalty”.

    If you are or aren’t for violence, at least fucking own it, don’t pretend to be morally superior just when it suits you.

  25. Das Boese says

    StevoR says:
    15 December 2011 at 11:11 pm

    As for so-called “Islamophobia” there’s actually no such thing.

    As for so-called “Homophobia” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Racism” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Sexism” there’s actually no such thing.

    By golly you’re a goldmine.

  26. yellowsubmarine says

    I can’t chalk up this kind of monstrosity to patriarchy. There’s a gulf deep and wide between being made uncomfortable by your wife gaining educational superiority over you and chopping off her fucking fingers. Seriously. Even if I were willing to grant that point, where would you begin to separate the patriarchy from the patriarchial religion? Especially considering that such barbaric practice is encouraged in their very religious texts. Having said that, the same can be said of Christianity’s religious texts. Even so, I live in a country that primarily claims to be Christian, but we aren’t cutting off hands anymore.

    This isn’t because we’ve “taken revenge” on people that do monstrous things. I strongly believe I live in a country where incidences of cutting off your wife’s fingers for wanting to go to college (or similarly barbaric practice) are so few and far between because we as a society have rejected violence as a way of solving problems within our society. Besides, you don’t have to dig too far into history to notice that violent suppression of a behavior may control the behavior to a degree, but it does nothing for the underlying mentality. After all the punishment they’ve endured over the years, Saudi women still want to drive apparently. After being burned alive and crucified under Nero, Christians still spread their religion. I’m even under the impression that violent persecution made it worse. We wouldn’t want any martyrs for the cause of misogyny.

  27. says

    As for so-called “Islamophobia” there’s actually no such thing.

    As for so-called “Homophobia” there’s actually no such thing.

    How many homosexuals stone their children or amputate shoplifter’s hands in football stadiums ?
    Geez, but there is a bit of a dim bunch around in this thread.

  28. anteprepro says

    Johnfreethinker, in bringing up Mohammed having sex with a child as a way to criticize all Muslims, why is it that you don’t seem to recall that the Bible explicitly says that married women who are raped and don’t cry out should be stoned to death and that women who aren’t married should be married to their rapist? Going for the cheap shot about the moral failings of the Qu’ran is just dishonest if you completely neglect to note that the other religions that you deem to be less harmful for some reason have similarly horrific morals. I don’t think you could easily make the case that the Qu’ran is objectively more barbaric than the Bible. If you can, I’m sure many people would love to see it.

    Anyway, someone else sed:

    Plus ask yourself what other religion virtually idol worships homicide suicide bombers who blow up innocent civilians in marketplaces, restaurants, on buses etc ..

    Yeah. Replace “suicide bombers” with “soldiers and bomber planes” and you have yourself in a bit of quandary: a situation just as immoral and violent, but somehow more palatable to the average American’s sensibilities. Because the people that good Christians root on aren’t terrorists, but are merely torturing and killing people, sometimes innocent people, through conventional warfare. Hell, despite suicide bombers and other insurgents being responsible for the majority of deaths in Iraq, according to the Dirty War Index, coalition forces were responsible for more indiscriminate deaths (killing of women and children, mostly due to bombings and military vehicles) than the people they opposed. Don’t pretend that it is only the Muslims committing and supporting violence, or breaking the rules of engagement in the way that they apply that their violence: The difference between the Christians and Muslims is pretty much tactics alone. At least in the conflicts in the Middle East.

    A non-Muslims fear or concern regarding the Muslim ideology and their propensity for savage violence…is very well justified and entirely *rational*.

    Live in the Middle East? Or any other country where Muslims make up more than 5% of the population? If no, given the rate of terrorist attacks on foreign soil, then your personal fears are irrational. QED.

  29. says

    StevoR,

    I don’t want a random list of gruesome things having been done in the name of Islam, but a quantifiable matrix of measuring the relative vileness of religions.

    I’ve lived in the largest majority-Muslim country on this planet, and to my utter surprise I found out that the vast majority of Muslims there are NOT terrorists and do NOT hold their women like chattle. Not.

    rorschach,

    Or name me a mainly Christian country where women are not allowed to drive a car.

    Name me another country except Saudi Arabia where women aren’t allowed to drive. And where in Islam it says so. And no, I’m not having the same discussion with you every time PZ posts something about Islam.

  30. says

    for the record, I used to think that Islam was worse than Christianity too, but that was just Western privilege and Islamophobic sentiment. Actually spending some time in a Muslim country made me reconsider.

  31. andyo says

    How many homosexuals stone their children or amputate shoplifter’s hands in football stadiums ?

    Ergo, islamophobia doesn’t exist? You did see what he was responding to, right?

  32. says

    Beyond the problem of quantification, the question arises, why the need to state that Islam is worse than Christianity? Why isn’t sufficient to just state that all patriarchic religions are harmful, like PZ rightly says, and we need to work against them?

    The constant need some people seem to have to point out that Islam is worse than Christianity is furthering racist attitudes against immigrants from Muslim countries in the West and ultimately is an expression of Islamophobia…

  33. says

    Ergo, islamophobia doesn’t exist?

    Well, for one you could argue that most of what is dubbed islamophobia is really racism, but leaving that aside, his analogy fails because fear of homosexuals is indeed entirely irrational, whereas fear of some aspects of Islam, for example sharia law, is not irrational but prudent.

  34. tungl says

    To all those who claim that their Islamophobia is really just a rational fear of religious fundamentalism?
    Declaring all members of a religion with more than a billion members worldwide as ‘fundamentalists’ just to justify your prejudices really doesn’t help your case.

  35. says

    Also, to those arguing that Islamophobia means “fear of Islam”, that’s arguing from etymology. φόβος might have meant fear in Ancient Greek, but in coinages such as homophobia or Islamophobia, -phobia not only means “irrational fear” but also covers “prejudice” or “hatred”.

    It’s a little bit like misogyny…

  36. Das Boese says

    Are you -now or in the near future- in any danger of having your hands amputated or being stoned to death in a stadium by a mob of angry muslims?

    It seems the vast majority of those who could claim rational reasons for fearing Islam are, well, Muslims.

  37. andyo says

    Well, for one you could argue that most of what is dubbed islamophobia is really racism

    You can say the same thing about antisemitism.

    his analogy fails because fear of homosexuals is indeed entirely irrational, whereas fear of some aspects of Islam, for example sharia law, is not irrational but prudent.

    But the response wasn’t to fear of Sharia law, it was to the condescending, Dunning-Krugeresque, #31 post.

  38. anteprepro says

    Bonus round:

    Johnthefreethinker: Note that the Bible actually has no prohibitions against sex with children, no rules against child marriage, and no age of consent. In practice, girls in Ancient Judaism got married at or shortly after puberty.

    I also note that your other example

    The same process could be applied to the rape of women captured in war

    is in the fucking Bible as well (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). You will have a hard time making the case that Islam is inherently worse than Christianity due to its holy texts alone.

  39. says

    Das Boese,

    again: most Muslim countries don’t implement such barbaric punishments.

    Amputation:

    Iran, as well as:

    Amputation as legal punishment is still practiced in a number of countries, among them Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Islamic regions of Nigeria.

    (Source)

    Stoning: Saudi-Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Islamic regtions of Nigeria. (Aceh Province of Indonesia has an autonomy statute to implement shariah, unlike the rest of the country. A bill was passed to introduce stoning as punishment, but apparently the governor refused to sign the bill into law)

    Also any areas controlled by the Taliban or the Shabab in Somalia.

    Now tabulate the population figures of areas that practice amputation/stoning v. the entire number of Muslims. Again, Saudi-Arabia does not equal Islam, as much as it wants to.

  40. says

    Now you could say no predominantly Christian countries has such barbaric punishments, and that’s true. But according to many human rights activists, the death penalty is a barbaric punishment no matter how it is done, and we have a certain 300 million strong, mostly Christian country that executes a lot of people every year. To weigh whether this or that is worse, really doesn’t lead anywhere, it’s just a perverse form of oppression Olympics.

    Instead it would be more productive to oppose religious excesses no matter where they occur.

  41. friakelwippans says

    Islam is really in a league of its own, pretty unique among major religions for the pervasiveness of its apology, incitement and legitimation of violence and coercion across its entire corpus and jurisprudence. And, sadly, probably irreformable too, given the claim of finality and inerrancy of the koran in the koran itself.

    As long they don’t rewrite that wretched book outright, muslims have no way out.

  42. says

    Let me amend this last sentence:

    It would be more productive to oppose religious excesses no matter where they occur, without comparing the relative vileness of religions every time something horrible occurs.

  43. flambard says


    Yes, there is certainly a gulf, but one is simply the thankfully watered-down version – watered down by civilisation, by law and by a progressively more egalitarian and secular culture – of the other. Both are essentially rooted in the ever-present idea of male dominance. No man would need to feel emasculated by a woman earning more money or having higher statusif he wasn’t steeped in obnoxious cultural ideas of male superiority and dominance over women ie. patriarchy. Similar vile acts t the finger-chopping are perpetrated on women by male abusers in the form of husbands and boyfriends, present and ex, in the west. Women are burned, beaten, tortured, stabbed and are often killed by men who wish to control or regain ultimate control over them and the further back you go in time – and the deeper into patriarchy – the worse it was for women in this regard.

    As for Christians, they’ve committed endless heinous, disgusting physical barbarities against women over time (the earliest I can think of is tearing Hypatia of Alexandria’s flesh away from her bones) and in male-dominated Christianist cults, still do get away with random abuses. And get away with it for the most part. And hell, it’s not as if finger-chopping is legal or encouraged even in Bangladesh. It’s shockingly gruesome by their standards too. The guy’s in serious trouble for this. Of course, if he’d just stuck to beating or raping her nobody would probably say a word.

  44. says

    I can’t chalk up this kind of monstrosity to patriarchy. There’s a gulf deep and wide between being made uncomfortable by your wife gaining educational superiority over you and chopping off her fucking fingers. Seriously.

    how ’bout shooting her and a bunch of other women because she didn’t have sex with you?
    Mind you, I do very much blame religion here, because few things in the world entrench and maintain patriarchy as well as religion; but hatred of and (deadly) violence towards women by no means requires religion. Patriarchy fully suffices.

    Islam makes Christianity look like a bunch of wiggers

    huh; last I saw you commenting, you were happily denying women’s right to not have their bodies used against their will; now you’re throwing around racist terms as if they’re nothing. doesn’t look like your morality improved any since you left religion, and I’m not too sure about your rationality either.

  45. says

    friakelwippans,

    Islam is really in a league of its own, pretty unique among major religions for the pervasiveness of its apology, incitement and legitimation of violence and coercion across its entire corpus and jurisprudence. And, sadly, probably irreformable too, given the claim of finality and inerrancy of the koran in the koran itself.

    As long they don’t rewrite that wretched book outright, muslims have no way out.

    No. Moderate Islam exists, there is the Euro-Islam idea by Bassam Tibi. And the Islamic jurisprudence you cite offers plenty of accepted possibilities to modernise the religion.

    Regarding the inerrancy of the book, I used to think that too, and assume that Christianity and Judaism were “better” than Islam because more adaptable. But then I asked some ex-fundies here, and nope, in fundie Christianity, they believe the same thing about the babble. But yet moderate Christianity is able to overcome this, and the same for moderate Islam.

  46. says

    And, sadly, probably irreformable too, given the claim of finality and inerrancy of the koran in the koran itself.

    *shrug*

    worked for the bible, too. what mechanism do you propose that makes what happened to the bible impossible for the koran?

  47. says

    rorschach, do you acknowledge that Islamophobia exists?

    If you say no, realize that you are saying there has never once been a single instance of irrational hatred of Muslims.

  48. says

    what mechanism do you propose that makes what happened to the bible impossible for the koran?

    Have you seen the Quran? It’s written in squiggles!

    لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

    You can’t explain that.

  49. anteprepro says

    Riffing off of pelamun for a minute, I prefer not to think of “homophobia” and “Islamophobia” as “phobias”, i.e. specific kinds of irrational and debilitating fears. These terms are not supposed to be psychological diagnoses. I don’t believe they were ever intended as such. I like to think of it as more in line with “hydrophobic” (as used in chemistry): It suggests aversion, rather than actual fear. As hydrophobic molecules don’t mesh well with water and form clusters trying to separate themselves from it and minimize surface contact with the water, so do Islamophobes and homophobes try to separate themselves from their disliked group of choice, and refuse to associate with them. Whether or not their motivation is out of “fear” is irrelevant to using “phobic” to describe this kind of aversion.

    Islam is really in a league of its own… And, sadly, probably irreformable too, given the claim of finality and inerrancy of the koran in the koran itself .

    What the fuck is wrong with people today? Please tell me that the “league of its own” label didn’t actually apply to the second sentence…

  50. StevoR says

    @36. Das Boese: 15 December 2011 at 11:32 pm

    As for so-called “Islamophobia” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Homophobia” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Racism” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Sexism” there’s actually no such thing.
    By golly you’re a goldmine.

    Why thank you! (Sarc.)

    Except *you* are saying all but the first item there & I’d appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.

    Note that “Islamophobia” (a word usually used as an ad hominem attack to shut down dissent) is *very* and quite obviously different from homophobia, racism and sexism.

    Homosexuals, people of other races and genders are born that way and are usually harmless posing others no physical threat and not generally seeking to committ terrorism or enforce their ideology upon everyone else on the planet.

    Is that distinction too subtle for you somehow?

    An example of a phobia is being scared of dogs – any and all dogs.

    Being scared of a rabid dog that has already mauled and killed is NOT a phobia.

    Can you see how this applies here?

    It would be a phobia to fear non-violent unthreatening religions like, say, Judaism. *Judaeophobia* is entirely real and a prejudice that must be opposed.

    But being concerned about a religion that *is* the equivalent of that metaphorical “rabid dog” is not a phobia as it is entirely rational and reasonable to be afraid of such a religion / culture / ideology. It must be opposed the same way other destructive, murderous ideologies are and to NOT do so is infact being irrational. Not fighting Islam is as irrational as standing still and letting a rabid dog bite you.

    (Oh & btw this is also a case where violence *is* necessary – you can’t reason with a rabid dog – it needs to be destroyed before it harms and infects others.)

    Also has it escaped your notice somehow that the ideology of Islam and Muslim cultures generally are in fact themselves violently homophobic, sexist, misogynist and racist esp. anti-Semitic?

  51. andyo says

    huh;

    Wikipedia should really start right-aligning their staff’s pictures on their “personal appeal” banners.

  52. StevoR says

    @ 49. Das Boese: 16 December 2011 at 12:38 am

    Are you -now or in the near future- in any danger of having your hands amputated or being stoned to death in a stadium by a mob of angry muslims?It seems the vast majority of those who could claim rational reasons for fearing Islam are, well, Muslims.

    Jihadist terrorists can potentially strike anyone, anywhere, at any time.

    They don’t exactly announce where their next attack will be or who will be targeted.

    So, YES.

    Yes I’m at risk – and so btw are you and everyone else.

  53. says

    StevoR,

    are you obtuse or just willfully ignoring the fact that Islam is associated with immigrants from certain countries, and functions as a cultural identifier, similar (but not identical) to Judaism?

  54. says

    and weren’t there just terror attacks by Jewish extremists recently? There are pretty ugly aspects of fundie Judaism too, as is the case for any patriarchal religion..

  55. Das Boese says

    pelamun says:
    16 December 2011 at 12:47 am

    Now tabulate the population figures of areas that practice amputation/stoning v. the entire number of Muslims. Again, Saudi-Arabia does not equal Islam, as much as it wants to.

    Yes, that was kind of my point. Only the relatively small number of people in the countries that do follow strict interpretations of Islamic law have rational reasons to fear Islam, or Muslims, the overwhelming majority of which are of course also Muslims. Which adds to the ridiculousness of “rational Islamophobia”.

  56. StevoR says

    @

    Anyway, someone else (Me – StevoR- ed.) sed:
    “Plus ask yourself what other religion virtually idol worships homicide suicide bombers who blow up innocent civilians in marketplaces, restaurants, on buses etc ..”
    Yeah. Replace “suicide bombers” with “soldiers and bomber planes” and you have yourself in a bit of quandary: a situation just as immoral and violent.

    Oh the great false moral equivalence argument. Sigh.

    No, Western nations opposing Jihadist aggression and fighting to deny terrorists shelter in places like Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere in the Muslim world is NOT the same as terrorists attacking the Western world or homicide-suicide bombers.

    The terrorist are deliberately going out of their way to kill innocent people – their goal is spreading terror and striking at the most vulnerable and least prepared and able to defend themselves.

    The Western military (eg. the USA’s & Israel’s) OTOH, goes out of its way to avoid causing innocent deaths – any such deaths are regretted and apologised for and often compensated rather than the intended purpose of the mission. The Western forces target the terrorists who are responsible for the crimes and are prepared to defend themselves.

    IOW, they target guilty *fighters* not innocent civilians whereas the reverse applies for the Jihadist terrorists. The West, in fact, seeks to liberate the populations its fights from tyranny and terrorism whilst the Jihadists seek to impose brutal sharia law theocracy on the rest of their people.

    Intent may not be magic but it does and should be taken into consideration.

    Thinking intent you have to ask why the sides are fighting respectively? Why are the Western bombers and soldiers there? Answer : To defend themselves against terrorism and attacks such as the one of 9-11 or the Bali bombings or the Madrid train bombings etc ..

    Given the choice we wouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan or Iraq. Saddam could have fled into exile and the war wouldn’t have happened. The Taliban could have given up or refused to shelter Osama bin Laden. The Jihadists are choosing violence as their first response – the West is acting in legitimate self-defence.

    IOW, your line there is ridiuclously false and is acually insulting in its comparing two groups who are at the opposite ends of the ethical spectrum.

  57. says

    the Bali bombings

    Huh, Western troops in Indonesia or Malaysia (many JI leaders are from Malaysia). Maybe in your alternate dimension…

  58. Das Boese says

    StevoR says:
    16 December 2011 at 1:10 am

    Jihadist terrorists can potentially strike anyone, anywhere, at any time.

    And that makes them different from other terrorists how, exactly?

    I feel quite a bit more threatened by the resurgent Neo-Nazi movement in my country and left-wing radicals motivated by the Euro crisis, which in both cases are likely either Christian or functional atheists.

  59. tungl says

    @StevoR: You seriously need to do some rational risk assessment. I can’t comment on your live circumstances, but speaking for myself I know that Jihadists are waaaay down on the list of things that are likely to do me any bodily harm.
    In other words, if your fear of /hatred for Islam is caused solely by the risk of coming to death because of it, then why don’t you have a ‘rational’ phobia of cars?

  60. says

    Das Boese,

    if your country is a certain big country on a small continent, then you should be aware that there have been multiple attempts by Islamist terrorists to commit terror attacks, all of which were thwarted by the security apparatus. The country in question was also the place the 9/11 terrorists studied and presumably underwent their radicalisation.

    I do think that Islamic terrorism is a threat and that security measures need to be taken. But of course, it’s not the only type of terrorism, nor is it representative of Islam in general..

  61. says

    ahs,

    I think now even the most obtuse got your point. But if you’re in the mood, care to find some examples of Buddhist extremists?

  62. says

    oh left out a preposition which crucially changed the meaning:

    The country in question was also the place the 9/11 terrorists studied in and presumably underwent their radicalisation.

  63. says

    I mean Buddhism has a very peaceful image, but I seem to recall some Yellow-hat and Red-hat monks killing each other. Or maybe Thai extremists fighting Malay extremists in the southern part of Thailand, dunno…

  64. anteprepro says

    No, Western nations opposing Jihadist aggression and fighting to deny terrorists shelter in places like Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere in the Muslim world is NOT the same as terrorists attacking the Western world or homicide-suicide bombers.
    AND
    Why are the Western bombers and soldiers there? Answer : To defend themselves against terrorism and attacks such as the one of 9-11

    You’re an abject fucking moron. You do remember that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, right? Our invading them was pure aggression, not defensive. And the actual casualities due to terrorist attacks in the Western world are fucking paltry.

    The Western military (eg. the USA’s & Israel’s) OTOH, goes out of its way to avoid causing innocent deaths </blockquote cite?

    Then fucking explain how it is the insurgents have killed more people in Iraq and yet the coalition forces have managed to kill more women and children than them. It doesn't matter if it's intentional, they are killing more innocent civilians, and yet you apologize for these people based on their supposed good intentions. Why don't you apply the same benefit of the doubt to the suicide bombers, you inconsistent bigoted moron?

    IOW, your line there is ridiuclously false and is acually insulting in its comparing two groups who are at the opposite ends of the ethical spectrum.

    You apparently wouldn’t know “ethics” if it firebombed an adjacent city block.

  65. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Western nations don’t actually want to kill innocent people, they just don’t care how many of them end up as collateral damage. Or alternatively, in minds of some, none of those people are really innocent simply by the accident of being born in predominately muslim countries.
    Liberating populations? Don’t make me laugh.

  66. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Jihadist terrorists can potentially strike anyone, anywhere, at any time.

    You could replace the first two words with US and it would still ring pretty much true. Or paranoid. But then, that would make us both paranoid.

  67. JohnnieCanuck says

    In order to deter Palestinians from committing further acts of violence, the Israelis commit acts of revenge on the Palestinians. In response the Palestinians revenge themselves by committing more acts of violence against the Israelis.

    Now substitute Irish Protestants and Catholics, Serbs and Croats, Spanish and Basques, etc. in the above. Humans. What are you going to do with them? Taming the religious would help.

    Apparently revenge feels good. So good that knowing it will cause the repetition of that which it reacts against is not sufficient to allow people to break the chain. This is revenge at the level of one society against another, ‘us’ vs. ‘them’.

    At the level of criminal justice, I see the death penalty and extremely long sentences as the government giving in to the desire for revenge expressed by the electorate. It would seem to me that prosecuting attorneys should not be elected but rather appointed, to remove that incentive for them to appeal to the bloodlust of the voters. It wouldn’t solve the problem, but it clearly would remove one cause.

  68. says

    sgbm,

    there is IMO a fine line here. Islamophobia as seen for example in some corners of Europe is often motivated by underlying racism, as far as I can see. But there are also legitimate concerns about the consequences of applying the Koran to everyday life, as the Wahhabis do in Saudi-Arabia and as other Islamists do elsewhere, eg in Somalia or Yemen, or of course Afghanistan. Google stoning Bangladesh, or stoning Pakistan, and paste us some of the links that come up. Criticising Muslim faith schools in the UK that teach secondary school kids creationism and how to amputate hands IMO is not racism, to give just one example. Why is it ok to criticise Cat Stevens for his views, but not Yusuf Islam from Islamabad ? Just because the former looks like us, but criticising the latter is somehow racism ?
    So yes, there is islamophobia, but there is also legitimate concerns about Islam. Christians may not be this barbaric anymore, but it’s not for wont of trying, it’s rather that Islam is lacking behind by 600 years.

  69. says

    rorschach,

    strangely enough, Googling “stoning Pakistan” comes up with the result that the only legal way of execution in Pakistan is hanging…

    Look no-one is denying that Saudi-Arabia and Iran have pretty barbaric legal systems with horrendous punishments. But just do the math for one time, the vast majority of Muslims do NOT live under such barbaric legal rules…

  70. says

    So yes, there is islamophobia,

    So far so good.

    but there is also legitimate concerns about Islam.

    Do you accept that there are also illegitimate concerns about Islam? Such as those that led to Lowe’s pulling its advertisements from All-American Muslim?

    Why is it ok to criticise Cat Stevens for his views, but not Yusuf Islam from Islamabad ? Just because the former looks like us, but criticising the latter is somehow racism ?

    What is this gibberish, anyway? I’m not interested in your drunk talk.

  71. Das Boese says

    pelamun says:
    16 December 2011 at 1:38 am

    if your country is a certain big country on a small continent, then you should be aware that there have been multiple attempts by Islamist terrorists to commit terror attacks, all of which were thwarted by the security apparatus. The country in question was also the place the 9/11 terrorists studied and presumably underwent their radicalisation.

    Let me break it to you extra slowly:
    I am not terribly concerned about a small number of attempts at Islamic terrorism, in some cases executed in an extremely dilettantic fashion, all of which have been thwarted by the authorities.
    I am concerned, for example, about a Neo-Nazi hit squad being able to roam freely and kill people for over a decade.
    I’m concerned about brown-shirt mobs assaulting people on the street and getting away with it. I’m concerned about left-wing extremists mailing bombs to bank executives.
    I’m concerned about an unstable person shooting up an island full of kids, or lobbing hand grenades into a bus stop.

    I do think that Islamic terrorism is a threat and that security measures need to be taken. But of course, it’s not the only type of terrorism, nor is it representative of Islam in general..

    The problem is that the amount of attention Islamic terrorism receives is vastly disproportionate to the actual threat.

    For people living in western countries, the greatest threat of Islamic terrorism may indeed be that it conceals the things that truly threaten our freedom and well-being.

  72. Das Boese says

    pelamun says:
    16 December 2011 at 2:49 am

    you seem to be quite naive in your threat assessment.

    If you could elaborate on that, please, indulge me.

  73. says

    you seem to be quite naive in your threat assessment

    yeah, no. the neo-nazis commit terrorism more or less unhindered and get elected into state governments; the muslim terrorists try to commit terrorism and generally fail. And don’t get elected to shit

    Das Boese is right to fear the Nazis more.

  74. says

    I’m not saying I’m not fearing the Nazis. I do. (And I’m not saying that only because racially mixed people like me would make prime targets for them)

    That’s not what I mean by them being naive, but where they are underplaying the Islamist threat.

  75. says

    I’m not a security expert by all means, but I’d imagine that it’s easier to keep track of terror groups planning big attacks like bombing trains, Christmas markets etc, compared to Nazi hate groups attacking individuals, or killing one shopkeeper after another. The terror m.o. just seems to be different. I would imagine you’d need much more manpower to tackle the latter type.

    But I also acknowledge that politics has failed to work towards more effective societal countermeasures regarding the Nazi threat.

  76. says

    Serves me right, to think I can engage sgbm in a rational discussion. I should really know better.

    Harbl. You’re just bringing up irrelevancies, rorschach. Look, if you want a rational treatment of this:

    Why is it ok to criticise Cat Stevens for his views, but not Yusuf Islam from Islamabad ? Just because the former looks like us, but criticising the latter is somehow racism ?

    The rational answer is that this is a strawman which has nothing to do with anything I’ve ever said, and therefore I shouldn’t encourage your fantasies with a response. I assume you brought it because you’re drunk, but who knows. You’re frequently incoherent when sober.

    Here’s what I want to know:

    Do you accept that there are also illegitimate concerns about Islam? Such as those that led to Lowe’s pulling its advertisements from All-American Muslim?

  77. says

    Alright, pelamun. If you’re talking risk assessment, quantify your claims.

    What is the average German citizen’s chance of being harmed by a neo-Nazi?

    What is the average German citizen’s chance of being harmed in a non-political, non-religious rampage?

    What is the average German citizen’s chance of being harmed by a Muslim?

  78. says

    ahs,

    no-one has offered any concrete figures so far. I’m not gonna look up all the crime statistics for you.

    define “average”. Also a major terror, if successful, will have wide-ranging political and economic consequences, as seen after successful attacks in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. So I don’t think it’s easy to compare.

    But some figures from the report I linked to above:

    – number of Islamists in Germany: 32,670 (the report does not offer an estimate of how many of those are violent)
    – number of right-wing extremists in Germany: 26,670, potentially violent: 9,000
    – number of left-wing extremists in Germany: 31,600, potentially violent 6,600.

    The m.o., and targets of these different types of extremism are so different that it won’t be possible to easily compare the risk of the average German citizen, whatever you mean by that, to fall victim to either of them.

  79. says

    Remember, originally my claim was that all types of extremism have to be guarded against by the security apparatus, while Das Boese underplayed the threat of Islamism. By no means did I say that Islamism was the only threat the state should focus on.

  80. says

    the report has 474 pages. But I found another chapter on “politically motivated crimes”

    For 2010

    Right-wing extremists committed 762 violent politically motivated crimes.
    murder: 0
    attempted murder: 6
    assault: 638
    arson: 29
    bombing: 2
    rioting: 25
    transport-related crimes: 4
    kidnapping: 0
    robbery: 7
    blackmail: 3
    resistance: 48
    sexual crimes: 0

    nonviolent crimes 15,143 (mostly Nazi propaganda, which is criminally liable in Germany)

    left-wing extremists, 944 violent crimes:
    murder: 0
    attempted murder: 4
    assault: 541
    arson: 81
    bombing: 5
    rioting: 148
    transport-related crimes: 34
    kidnapping: 0
    robbery: 15
    blackmail: 4
    resistance: 112
    sexual crimes: 0

    2,803 nonviolent crimes, mostly vandalism

    “Politically motivated crimes committed by foreigners”

    130 violent crimes
    murder: 0
    attempted murder: 2
    assault: 77
    arson: 7
    bombing: 2
    rioting: 31
    transport-related crimes: 1
    kidnapping: 1
    robbery: 1
    blackmail: 3
    resistance: 5
    sexual crimes: 0

    660 nonviolent crimes, mostly “other” crimes, by which I suspect “violations of immigration law” but I wouldn’t be sure.

    This statistic also includes crimes by non-Islamist groups such as the PKK etc, the report didn’t have a statistic only for Islamist-related crimes.

  81. Das Boese says

    pelamun says:
    16 December 2011 at 3:11 am

    I’m not a security expert by all means, but I’d imagine that it’s easier to keep track of terror groups planning big attacks like bombing trains, Christmas markets etc, compared to Nazi hate groups attacking individuals, or killing one shopkeeper after another. The terror m.o. just seems to be different. I would imagine you’d need much more manpower to tackle the latter type.

    I can see what’s going on here. “Oh they were just killing individuals, that’s much less terrorist-y than bombing things, right?”

    It is now known that the Zwickau terror cell is responsible for the 2004 bombing in Cologne. A bomb spiked with nails was remotely detonated in front of a hairdresser’s shop on the busiest street, in a neighborhood predominantly inhabited by Turkish immigrants. 22 people were injured, 4 of them severely.

    I was actually living in the city at the time, you know. I was also a frequent visitor of that particular street since it has some excellent kebab places and my favorite bar as well as a number of concert locations are in the immediate vicinity.

  82. says

    Das Boese underplayed the threat of Islamism.

    If Das Boese is correct that all attempts at Islamic terrorism in Germany have been thwarted by the authorities, then I don’t think anyone underplayed the threat.

    By no means did I say that Islamism was the only threat the state should focus on.

    And by no means did Das Boese say that the state should not attend to violence by Muslims. Das Boese seems quite happy that the state has attended to such violence effectively enough that it’s been consistently thwarted by the authorities.

  83. says

    Well that these attacks were thwarted could be said to be due to the increased efforts of the security forces in the area. But this will always remain speculative to a certain extent.

    The Zwickau terror cell seems to be a new m.o., not seen until now, because the right-wing terror m.o. has been more on an individual scale, rather than targeting a lot of people simultaneously. If they were indeed behind the Cologne bombing, then the security apparatus will have to adapt its approach in that area, and I think it will.

  84. says

    Well that these attacks were thwarted could be said to be due to the increased efforts of the security forces in the area.

    Could be. Regardless, the thwartedness should affect one’s risk assessment.

  85. says

    Look, the manpower potential of all three types of extremism is roughly comparable, between 20k-30k people.

    It’s true that right-wing and left-wing extremists commit more violent crimes in total. But the left-wing extremists haven’t been committing large-scale terror attacks since the 1990s now, whereas the right-wing terrorists might have been started doing so (but it remains to be seen if the Zwickau cell was an isolated development, or one of many, this needs to be investigated ASAP by the security services). But the goal of Islamist organisation since 2001 has been to commit large scale terror attacks. Until now they have been thwarted, due to their own incompetence and the efforts of the security forces. But there’s no guarantee the next attempt will be as dilettante and/or will be caught before.

  86. Das Boese says

    Look on P.34ff

    Politically motivated crimes total 27.180
    2.990 not attributed to any specific background

    We’re only interested in crimes with an extremist background though.

    Crimes motivated by:
    -Right extremism: 15.905, violent: 762
    -Left extremism: 3747, violent: 944
    -foreign-related extremism: 790, violent: 130

    Before remarking that one should be even more concerned about left-wing extremists, take into account that most of their violent crimes are related to rioting and protesting: disturbance of public order, trespassing, resistance etc.
    The inflated number of arson incidents is likely the result of cars being torched in Berlin.

    Right-wing extremists are still the solid leader in assault & battery.

  87. Das Boese says

    John Morales says:
    16 December 2011 at 4:21 am

    FWIW:

    Hawa Akther Jui wanted to go to college and get a degree. Her husband, Rafiqul Islam, disapproved. So he tied her up, gagged her, and chopped off all of the fingers on her right hand.

    (I hope that’s not off-topic)

    Yeah, sorry for sort of hijacking the discussion, combating irrationality is hard to resist.

    On-topic, I don’t have much to add to PZ’s two-word title.

  88. Don Quijote says

    “This is why the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam must ipso facto be “phobic”. A phobia is an irrational fear or dislike. Islamic preaching very often manifests precisely this feature, which is why suspicoin of it is by no means irrational.”

    Christopher Hitchens (Slate 8/23/10)

  89. says

    I posted the break-down in 113. I don’t see how right-wing extremists are the solid leader in assault, seeing that the numbers are 638 v. 541. But left-wing v. right-wing wasn’t the issue anyway, the issue was your downplaying of the Islamist threat in 99.

  90. says

    we might be talking about different types of risk assessment, personal v. institutional.

    On a personal level, the threat of falling victim to an Islamist attack (or any large-scale attack, for that matter) is pretty low. Thus one shouldn’t get too panicked or paranoid about this, and I certainly don’t.

    On an institutional level, however, the prevention of large-scale attacks has absolute priority, due to the political and economic repercussions. And in that sense, the Islamist threat is medium to high for the German security forces.

  91. says

    “This is why the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam must ipso facto be “phobic”.

    Chris was obviously wrong about that. It only insinuates that what is called Islamophobia must be phobic.

    As long as we make a distinction between rational and irrational concerns — as many commenters in this thread have demonstrated themselves capable of doing — the term is useful for the latter.

    To say that there is no such thing as Islamophobia is to say there has never once been a single instance of irrational aversion to Muslims.

    The recent case of Lowe’s pulling its advertisements from All-American Muslim, for example, is blatant Islamophobia.

  92. says

    we might be talking about different types of risk assessment, personal v. institutional.

    Could be, but do you work for a security agency? Do you have reason to think Das Boese does?

    Das Boese was clearly talking about personal risk the entire time, as was StevoR who Das Boese was engaging:

    Are you -now or in the near future- in any danger of having your hands amputated or being stoned to death in a stadium by a mob of angry muslims?

    It seems the vast majority of those who could claim rational reasons for fearing Islam are, well, Muslims.

    Only the relatively small number of people in the countries that do follow strict interpretations of Islamic law have rational reasons to fear Islam, or Muslims, the overwhelming majority of which are of course also Muslims. Which adds to the ridiculousness of “rational Islamophobia”.

    I feel quite a bit more threatened by the resurgent Neo-Nazi movement in my country and left-wing radicals motivated by the Euro crisis, which in both cases are likely either Christian or functional atheists.

    For people living in western countries, the greatest threat of Islamic terrorism may indeed be that it conceals the things that truly threaten our freedom and well-being.

  93. says

    ahs,

    go back and read #99. Das Boese was saying that they think the security forces were putting too many resources into the Islamist threat, and that’s certainly looking at it from an institutional perspective.

  94. says

    Granted, this is ambiguous

    The problem is that the amount of attention Islamic terrorism receives is vastly disproportionate to the actual threat.

    and I read this

    I am not terribly concerned about a small number of attempts at Islamic terrorism, in some cases executed in an extremely dilettantic fashion, all of which have been thwarted by the authorities.

    as being dismissive of the efforts undertaken by the authorities.

    Apologies if I misunderstood their intent.

    To me however, both the personal and institutional levels play a role in the political discourse. And I think that’s enough about this topic.

  95. says

    rorschach takes exception again to anyone critiquing his Great Men:

    Asserts random nobody on the internet. Comedy gold.

    rorschach, you already agreed with me that he was wrong about that.

    You said “yes, there is islamophobia”, therefore you agree it is not a fake term.

    Your own position is in conflict with Hitchens. I’m pleasantly surprised for you. How does it feel?

  96. says

    Asserts

    Also, rorshach, this word is inaccurate. I gave an argument for why Chris was wrong about that. I did not merely assert it.

    If you care about rationality, then anyone can be criticized, particularly if arguments are supplied to support that criticism.

    If all you care about is hero worship, then your reaction is understandable.

  97. says

    no, Das Boese started about Germany in #78. I expect you to retract your accusation promptly…

    It wasn’t an accusation, and the substance of your #82 clearly indicates that you’re responding to Das Boese bringing up Germany.

    My point is that you got into it about Germany at #82, at which point there was no reason to believe that Das Boese was talking about anything but personal risk, as was already perfectly clear since #49.

    If you thought I was saying you started the discussion about Germany, well no, I wasn’t saying that.

  98. says

    Well, that’s how you read it, but I disagree. And you don’t know how Das Boese intended it either, only they can say that.

    However, independent of that, many people actually are affected indirectly even if they’re not personally injured or killed by a large-scale terror attack. Thus, institutional concerns are valid for many individuals too, and certainly for me too. So I still think it was legitimate to discuss both. My apology only pertains to the fact that I could have misread their intentions in that they actually ONLY wanted to talk about personal risk, and ignore the societal repercussions of a large-scale terror attack.

  99. says

    do you actually disagree that there is a real institutional risk involving Islamist terror attacks targeting Germany? If not, let’s just drop this discussion, because it’s not leading anywhere.
    If you actually dispute the terror risk, then let’s hear your arguments.

    Again: I don’t dispute that the personal risk regarding large-scale terror attack of any political persuasion is LOW.

  100. says

    Well, that’s how you read it, but I disagree. And you don’t know how Das Boese intended it either, only they can say that.

    But as a social ape I must have some legitimate basis for gauging how Das Boese intended it, else you as a social ape would likewise have no basis for disagreeing.

    This is clearly about personal risk:

    Are you -now or in the near future- in any danger of having your hands amputated or being stoned to death in a stadium by a mob of angry muslims?

    It seems the vast majority of those who could claim rational reasons for fearing Islam are, well, Muslims.

    This follows up about personal risk:

    Yes, that was kind of my point. Only the relatively small number of people in the countries that do follow strict interpretations of Islamic law have rational reasons to fear Islam, or Muslims, the overwhelming majority of which are of course also Muslims. Which adds to the ridiculousness of “rational Islamophobia”.

    This is explicitly about personal risk:

    I feel quite a bit more threatened by the resurgent Neo-Nazi movement in my country and left-wing radicals motivated by the Euro crisis, which in both cases are likely either Christian or functional atheists.

    And three’s a pattern. Well, if Das Boese comes along to say “I was talking about personal risk the whole time”, then I’m staking my claim to stick out my tongue and say “told ya so.”

    Good night, probably. I agree we’re at diminishing returns now.

  101. says

    Well, I already preemptively apologised in case I did misread them, but at least your last quote is ambiguous. “I feel threatened” can also refer to the indirect consequences of a political and economic nature experienced by the population at large in case of a large-scale terror attack. And I read several of their statements in a similar way.

  102. says

    @SteveOR:

    Calling back to a much earlier post:

    Homosexuals, people of other races and genders are born that way and are usually harmless posing others no physical threat and not generally seeking to committ terrorism or enforce their ideology upon everyone else on the planet.

    Aside from not being born that way, the average Muslim is harmless, poses no physical threat, doesn’t seek to commit terrorism, and doesn’t want to enforce their ideology on other people. They are friends, neighbors, co-workers, that guy downstairs you see walking to the Metro every afternoon, the shopkeeper giving you a sandwich / watch / bank loan.

    Islamophobia paints every Muslim person as a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer merely because they are Muslim. The average Muslim is appalled at terrorism. People who are threatened by “Shariic encroachment” or whatever are worried about a tiny minority population who must follow the law of the land, and the law of the land more or less excludes Sharia as a legal option.

  103. says

    @humanape:

    Moderate Muslims need to ask themselves why do they belong to an organization infested with idiots. They should admit they’re part of the problem. They should grow up and throw out their idiotic violent cult.

    Moderate Catholics need to ask themselves why do they belong to an organization infested with idiots. They should admit they’re part of the problem. They should grow up and throw out their idiotic, violent child-raping cult.

    Moderate Christians need to ask themselves why do they belong to an organization infested with idiots. They should admit they’re part of the problem. They should grow up and throw out their idiotic, violent Dark Age-worshipping cult.

    I could continue, but what’s the point?

  104. says

    This thread seems to be about anything BUT Hawa Akther Jui. Remember her? She was the woman who had her fingers cuts off. And don’t forget her male relatives refused to bring her fingers to the hospital so the doctors could reattach them.

    I am finding comments on this thread really quite annoying and in places distrubing. There seems a whole lot of squabbling amongst yourself over “Islamophobia” and who is or is not racist, and very little about the whole issue of patriarchy and the perceived need to control women.

    Even in western countries women are beaten and killed because some men are uncomfortable that they earn more, or are educated or simply because they are “uppity”.

    BUT my main point is: Dreaming about mutilating and killing the attackers does not have anything to do with solving the problem. If the idea of using violence and torture is your way to dealing with those you do not agree with or support THEN YOU COULD BE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

  105. says

    @Jeanette:

    Sadly that’s the nature of threads on Pharyngula – the main topic often gets derailed by people. I admittedly was a part of the problem by responding to SteveOR’s earlier post, but it was so angering me that I had to do it.

    Not much to do about it except let the thread evolve as it will. Can’t exactly say “stay on topic” unless it gets wildly off topic, cause a lot of this is tangential to the original topic.

  106. dianne says

    Even in western countries women are beaten and killed because some men are uncomfortable that they earn more, or are educated or simply because they are “uppity”.

    Yes, I seem to remember that an incident in which a woman made a comment about not wanting men to make passes at her in places where she felt unsafe in refusing sparking a large amount of controversy in the supposedly enlightened and rational atheist community. It’s not a problem of Islam or religion-though both may make the problem worse-but, at its root, of sexism.

    I suspect that people are concentrating on Islam as the issue because it makes them more comfortable, effectively saying, “Sure, those unenlightened Islamic (or religious) types might do disgusting things, but we’re rational and therefore safe.” Sorry, but we’re not. There are atheist rapists and abusers. If men see women as “lesser”, not deserving of physical integrity or autonomy, then incidents will occur. The details may be somewhat culturally determined, but the core components of abuse and violence will remain.

  107. joed says

    it is so easy to blame the religion for this totally human act of barbarity.
    there may be cultural aspects of the “punishment” this man meted out to his wife. but, the religion didn’t do it. to blame islam or anything other than humanity is the wrong move.
    humans are experts when it comes to this type behavior.
    however, not every human could do what this man did, especially to a supposed loved one.
    domination indicates a very sick individual. and even sicker yet is the ability to mutilate another human.

  108. says

    “If men see women as “lesser”, not deserving of physical integrity or autonomy, then incidents will occur. The details may be somewhat culturally determined, but the core components of abuse and violence will remain.”

    Absolutely! Of course reglious systems that reinforce that behaviour makes it all worst, but I am sure that such incidents can be carried out by totaly non-believers in secular societies as long as “men see women as “lesser”, not deserving of physical integrity or autonomy”

  109. says

    @joed:

    Exactly. It’s not Islam that’s done this – it’s a mean-spirited human being who thinks nothing of the woman besides “She belongs to me.” If not Islam, he could find some other method to deny his wife the right to an education – religious or not. The only thing that Islam does is allow him a rationalization “Allah told me so.”

    I’m absolutely sure that a religious rationalization could be found in other ways, if not physically violent than perhaps mentally or emotionally – “God’s plan is for you to have children.” Even secular methods “you don’t want to go to college, do you? Math is hard.”

  110. KG says

    jeanettecorlett-black,

    Hopefully, everyone taking part in the argument here agrees both that the specific atrocity cited in the OP is vile, and that the pattriarchal need to control women is also vile. There doesn’t seem a lot to disagree about there: MRAs don’t generally infest threads such as this unless (as is often the case) they are also racists, and there’s very little point to a parade of dozens of comments all agreeing with each other. OTOH, as is readily seen, the topic of whether Islam is especially vile among religions, and whether “Islamophobia” is a useful term, generate endless controversy.

  111. says

    @rorschach says:
    15 December 2011 at 10:42 pm

    do you have any statistics/citations for us to actually prove your point beyond your thinly veiled Islamophobia?

    “Stating that Islam and the things done in its name are currently vastly more barbaric than what is done in the name of Christianity is not islamophobia but a simple statement of fact. Or name me a mainly Christian country where women are not allowed to drive a car.”

    This is NOT statement of fact, but a statement of ignorance. I suggest you do some research into the witch-hunts, which have lead to the mutilation and murder of 1000’s of “witches” in Sub-Sarhara Christian Africa. I will even help you out:

    Africa’s witch children
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbGzFN_NalI

    Witches
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2007/dec/09/video

    The burning of “witches” in Kenya ( disturbing)

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=dae_1236854361

  112. Gregory Greenwood says

    I would like to add my voice to the various posters who have pointed out that the problem here is not so much Islam, or even religion in general, as it is patriarchy. If a sufficiently unchallenged patriarchy is allowed to arise, then barbarism like this becomes a distinct risk, whether that patriarchy is predicated upon religious belief or some twisted form of secular ideology. Even in more liberal societies, there is a patriarchal undercurrant that, while it may not have the power to directly mandate or legalise misogynistic violence, rape, and the like, still seeks to excuse or minimise the seriousness of such things, as we have seen all too often with the MRA trolls on this very blog.

    That said, miltant religion (and, to a lesser degree, even ‘moderate’ religion) can certainly amplify the threat presented by the patriarchy, and create a society where pre-packaged, pious excuses for the oppression of women are always ready to hand. As such, I see religion as an enabling factor to misogynist violence that is primarily motivated by the desire to preserve male privilege and enforce patriarchal power dynamics. Religion is more the tool of oppression here, rather than its originator, and this is an important factor to bear in mind if we want to avoid sliding into reactionary Islamophobia.

  113. says

    @StevoR

    The PLO, are you joking? Are you really that ignorant? The PLO is a secular-nationalist organization supported Muslim, Christian, and atheist/secular Palestinians alike. Two of the PLO’s primary factions, the Popular Front for the Libertarian of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the liberation of Palestine, were founded by Left-wing Christians, who were actually probably secularists.

    The state of Israel is built upon the Palestinians homeland, and is comprised of a group of recent foreign settlers. The founding act of this state was the ethnic cleansing of the bulk of Palestinians from the land now called Israel. And those who perpetrated this act would eventually go on to occupy the rest of the Palestinians homeland, while also importing racist ethno-religious fanatics into the remaining parcel of the Palestinians homeland.

    In other words the Palestinians resistance against Israel has absolutely, fundamentally, nothing to do with Islam.

    If the = of what occurred to the Palestinians happened to you, ( the theft of your homeland and oppression of your people) do you think you would find this acceptable?

    Also, if your people were subjected to the heinous policies that Muslims have been subjected to by the United States, ( this is why 9-11 occurred) would you find this acceptable?

  114. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Jason Martin back at #17 is the same guy who, on the rape thread, was blaming alcohol for being “the root of all evil.” If he’s an atheist, I wonder if he’s an ex-fundie who hasn’t yet shed all of his fundie thinking.

    Yellowsubmarine, patriarchal behavior is a spectrum, not a binary. And, as Jadehawk says, a lot of atrocities in the West are committed against women considered to be insufficiently obedient or pleasing to men. Read what Jeanette and Gregory are saying downthread.

    Jadehawk, I caught that word too. Good luck to him convincing people he’s not a racist. Which thread was JohnSelfFlatterer defending rape or opposing abortion in? I missed that.

    StevoR: “It would be a phobia to fear non-violent unthreatening religions like, say, Judaism.” What Love Moderately said. Maybe YOU wouldn’t have to fear black hats assaulting you for “immodesty” if you were to walk around the ultra-infested parts of Jerusalem. I sure as shit would.

    Also: “The Western military (eg. the USA’s & Israel’s) OTOH, goes out of its way to avoid causing innocent deaths…” You’ve got to be kidding. Try reading something other than conservative or “centrist” war reportage.

    Andrew Hilton, the current pogrom against GLBT people in Uganda is also entirely xtian-driven.

    Human Ape, please fuck off and don’t send us a postcard.

  115. Heliantus says

    @ Gregory Greenwood

    As such, I see religion as an enabling factor to misogynist violence that is primarily motivated by the desire to preserve male privilege and enforce patriarchal power dynamics. Religion is more the tool of oppression here, rather than its originator, and this is an important factor to bear in mind if we want to avoid sliding into reactionary Islamophobia.

    This.

    Said way much better than I would ever have. It took me half the night to calm down from the red-hazed rage this story triggered in me. I finally emerged by realizing that you said: religion is more a tool than a cause.
    Religion is a crutch for people who want to be good/who want some solace, and a convenient shield for scumbags to hide behind.

    Of course, since the most common religions were created/developped by one patriarchal society or another, they were designed to be the right tool for the job.

  116. Gregory Greenwood says

    Heliantus @ 159;

    I finally emerged by realizing that you said: religion is more a tool than a cause.
    Religion is a crutch for people who want to be good/who want some solace, and a convenient shield for scumbags to hide behind.

    Most religions simply reflect other pretty nasty stuff that is present in society, like patriarchal authority structures and narrow minded tribalism. Religion is the most visible manifestation, but not the sole cause.

    Of course, since the most common religions were created/developped by one patriarchal society or another, they were designed to be the right tool for the job.

    It is no coincidence that the judeo-christian god is universally depicted as male*, or that Abrahamic religions have always favoured priests over priestesses, or that so called ‘original sin’ is very much constructed as being Eve’s ‘fault’. These religions were structured to entrench male privilege and authority – the right tool for the job indeed.

    Human evil didn’t start with religion, but it certainly helped organise and codify it….

    —————————————————————-

    * Except early Jewish texts which had apparently had both a male god and his godess consort, but this was later abandoned.

  117. says

    Except early Jewish texts which had apparently had both a male god and his godess consort, but this was later abandoned.

    I think the Hebrew word for God, “Elohim” is morphologically a plural noun, presumably to the singular noun “Eloah” (though I think it is not attested), though it has singular verb agreement, unless it refers to pagan gods, in which case it is still construed as plural.

  118. says

    I am currently reading “Did God Have a Wife” by William G. Dever. Fascinating stuff. Working from archaeology and bible texts he is attempting to uncover the early beliefs of ancient Israel. His main premise that there was a huge gap between the “Priestly” or literary strand of religion and the “Folk” practice.

    He maintains that the “folk” religion of the common people was very much in line with the beliefs and practices of the region which always included a male/female couple as the supreme gods of a pantheon. He also maintains the women had equal importance in the worship.

    He makes the interesting point that if you want to know what people were doing, check to see what the laws and priests were telling them NOT to do. And boy oh boy were the priest hysterical about don’t worship in the Groves, which is traditionally where Goddess worship in the middle east was held.

  119. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Gregory Greenwood #156
    has it exactly right.

    However in saying,

    miltant religion (and, to a lesser degree, even ‘moderate’ religion) can certainly amplify the threat presented by the patriarchy, and create a society where pre-packaged, pious excuses for the oppression of women are always ready to hand.

    while not in any way wrong, he forgot:

    the way that religion bests supports patriarchy is by creating a society that does not allow questions to be asked. I don’t think it was incidental that what this woman wanted was education. Education is a no-no in religion. In patriarchy, men get to control and punish women. So here we have education being sought by a woman and a man controlling and punishing her.

    Perfect storm.

  120. sunnydale75 says

    >As for so-called “Homophobia” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Racism” there’s actually no such thing.
    As for so-called “Sexism” there’s actually no such thing.

    By golly you’re a goldmine. <

    -I think the difference between your three examples (which aren't entirely fair to compare against "islamophobia", since 2 of the three aren't phobias) and islamophobia is that the latter is "an irrational fear of the Islamic belief system". All three of your examples-if we grant for a moment that they're all phobias-are irrational fears about *people*, not their belief systems. I think "Muslimphobia" would be an irrational fear of Muslims.
    I feel it is correct to say "Islamophobia doesn't exist". Islam being the belief system held by Muslims. Islam is highly violent. It is highly misogynistic. It does revolve around a sacred figure who raped a child. It is not irrational to be fearful of a belief system like this. It would be irrational to be fearful of someone just because they're Muslim (just as it would be irrational to be fearful of someone just because they're black, gay, female, etc). It is not bigoted to be fearful of those who actively display such characteristics either (if it were, then every black person who was scared of the KKK would thereby be bigoted against them).
    Sam Harris summed up the non existence of Islamophobia perfectly:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/13/ground-zero-mosque.html

  121. sunnydale75 says

    StevoR @63

    -I think one of the problems some people may have comprehending the non existence of Islamophobia is the conflation of Islam and Muslim. Perhaps many people do not realize they aren’t the same thing (though many discussions use the terms interchangeably).

    Tony

  122. John Morales says

    sunnydale75:

    the conflation of Islam and Muslim

    What a silly claim — it’s no different to the “conflation” of Christianity and Christian.

    Perhaps many people do not realize they aren’t the same thing

    Perhaps you should consult a dictionary.

    (You want to prepend ‘cultural’ to Christian or Muslim, then fine — but that’s a compound term which has a different meaning)

  123. StevoR says

    @124. Don Quijote : 16 December 2011 at 4:56 am

    “This is why the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam must ipso facto be “phobic”. A phobia is an irrational fear or dislike. Islamic preaching very often manifests precisely this feature, which is why suspicion of it is by no means irrational.”

    – Christopher Hitchens (Slate 8/23/10)

    Great quote -thankyou.

    Hope you don’t mind me (as Messier Tidy Upper there) citing that here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/12/16/christopher-hitchens-1949-2011/comment-page-1/#comment-456147

    for truth.

  124. says

    “This is why the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam must ipso facto be “phobic”. A phobia is an irrational fear or dislike. Islamic preaching very often manifests precisely this feature, which is why suspicion of it is by no means irrational.”

    – Christopher Hitchens (Slate 8/23/10)

    Hitchens is talking out his drunk white boy ass on this one. People are not talking about “any reservations” they’re talking about him when he starts seemingly calling for a genocide.

  125. says

    I agree with Hitchens quote there. A phobia is defined as an irrational fear. When one group of extremists eg. Jihadist Muslims really *are* out to get you (to get us all actually) then it isn’t a phobia any more than it is a “phobia” to fear a rabid dog.

    Fearing a clearly rabid dog is sane.

    Machine gunning every dog in the neighborhood because you heard about a rabid dog is phobic.

  126. StevoR says

    @ sunnydale75 : 17 December 2011 at 7:07 pm

    StevoR @63 – I think one of the problems some people may have comprehending the non existence of Islamophobia is the conflation of Islam and Muslim. Perhaps many people do not realize they aren’t the same thing (though many discussions use the terms interchangeably).

    Yep.

    Islam is an ideology which is utterly appalling. It is a terrorism-inciting, hateful, homophobic, sexist, violent and racist political ideology that worships a blood-thirsty fictional diety (redundant I know but still) and a criminal, theiving, murdering child-raping desert bandit “prophet” plus in many branches his murderous tyrannical successors. PZ’s title here is absolutely correct – Islam is a vile belief system. (Oddly, I don’t see people yowling “Islamophobe” at him for that. Shrug.)

    Telling that blunt truth puts my life in jeopardy but y’know what fuck em I’ll stand up and say it anyway. Everyone I think needs to and athiests need to stop being so soft when it comes to criticising Islam.

    The correct response to the Islamic terrorism – the fourth world war* that they are waging on the rest of the planet – is defiance and steadfast opposition. Every newspaper in the Western civilised world should have defied the Islamic Jihadist protesters by reprinting the Danish cartoons. Every Westerner who cares about freedom of speech should have a copy of Salman Rushdies ‘Satanic Verses’ on display and after the “Mohammad” teddy bear nonsense the Jihadists foamed at the mouth over, there should be *many* Western teddy bears – and pet dogs, pigs or chickens named or renamed Mohammad as a giant “Fuck You” to them and their shit!

    I can’t believe so many people on this vehemently anti-religious, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and generally superb blog are so willing to speak up in favour of Islam which I think is clearly the nastiest, most intolerantly bloodthirsty and cruel of all the Abrahamic and indeed world religions. Islam is a vile belief that should get no quarter, not even the slightest skerrick of sympathy from anyone on the political Left – or from any atheist or humanist or agnostic or respecter of Human rights and individual’s dignity.

    Take a look at yourselves people. A long hard look. Think about what you are sticking up for in Islam and why the blazes you’d ever actually *want* to do so. Please.

    ————

    * Fourth World War because the Third was the Cold War against the Communist ideology.

  127. StevoR says

    @ 170. Ing: I SPEAK FOR THE HIVEMIND GROUPTHINK : 17 December 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Machine gunning every dog in the neighborhood because you heard about a rabid dog is phobic.

    And also NOT at all what I’m calling for here.

    Jihadists are those metaphorical rabid dogs and should be destroyed.

    Non-violent Muslims should be convinced to see sense and convert preferably to atheism or agnosticism but almost anything would be an improvement on their current religion.

  128. StevoR says

    @

    StevoR: “It would be a phobia to fear non-violent unthreatening religions like, say, Judaism.” What Love Moderately said. Maybe YOU wouldn’t have to fear black hats assaulting you for “immodesty” if you were to walk around the ultra-infested parts of Jerusalem. I sure as shit would.

    That’s a separate issue again.

    Yes, there are some nasty Jewish groups out there doing some dumb and unpleasant things too.

    I oppose and condemn that – but I’ll also note that this isn’t about that.

    Also whilst the ultra orthodox in Jerusalem are nasty to women walking their streets they’re NOT exactly going around trying to bomb the restof teh world into Submission to their religion or using terrorist tactics on anyone.

    Also: “The Western military (eg. the USA’s & Israel’s) OTOH, goes out of its way to avoid causing innocent deaths…” You’ve got to be kidding. Try reading something other than conservative or “centrist” war reportage.

    Well no, I’m not kidding. That *is* the reality.

    Also again that’s getting into a side-issue and isn’t relevant to the topic here which is the vileness of Islam as demonstrated by what happened to Hawa Akther Jui one of many victims of the Islamic ideology.

    Plus I’ll ask you to try reading something that states the facts from the other side of the situation here rather than Left wing anti-Western and anti-Israeli propaganda. You do read sources that disagree with your worldview as well, right?

  129. StevoR says

    Those who think it is paranoid or unreasonbale to be concerned about Islamic terrorism should take a good look at this :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_suicide_attacks

    & this :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_political_violence

    covering *only* Palestinian Jihadist terrorism and think about what the historical precedents are & what it threatens :

    – You can be sitting in a bakery (& not just in Israel, remember that terrorism is global in scope) and get blown up by a Jihadist who chooses to blow up unarmed civilians rather than face the police eg. the 2007 Eilat bakery bombing where a Fatah-Islamic Jihad joint operated homicide suicide bomber saw a policeman approaching and so he entered a neighbourhood bakery and detonated his bomb, killing three employees.

    – You (or those you love) can be taking an ocean cruise and face hijacking.. (Achille Lauro hijacking, 1985.)

    – Or an overseas trip and not get out of the airport before being slaughtered by Jihadists (Lod airport massacre) or have your plane hijacked and used as weapon to kill other innocent people doing their normal work. (Do I really need to cite 9-11 for those short-memoried islam-apologists here?)

    Yes, statistically the risk and odds might be low – but they are real and, yes, it could happen to me – or you or anyone else.

    There are terrorists (mostly Islamic) out there who openly boast of and intend to and have committed such atrocities and that should NEVER be forgotten or forgiven. Or tolerated.

    No Islamic nation that sponsers terrorism – as Iraq incidentally did and iran still does -or group such as Al Quaida or Hamas should be allowed to get away with that sort of sick shit.

    Scratch that NO nation or group whoever they are should be tolerated even trying to get away with such sick shit – although, of course, most such terrorist groups and almost all terrorist supporting nations are, in fact, Islamic.

    If Muslims don’t want their religion to be synonmyous with terrorism perhaps they should, oh I dunno, STOP committing, supporting and excusing terrorism?

    Btw. How is saying that basic truth in any way wrong or objectionable here?

  130. Ze Madmax says

    StevoR @ #176:

    If Americans don’t want their country to be synonymous with imperialism perhaps they should, oh I dunno, STOP committing, supporting and excusing imperialism?

    Btw. How is saying that basic truth in any way wrong or objectionable here?

    WOW! It’s as if, by removing all sense of nuance from an issue, the world becomes a nice black/white environment in which the innate complexities of the real world can be wiped away! This makes the whole “figuring out what’s good” SO MUCH EASIER!

  131. says

    And also NOT at all what I’m calling for here.

    But it was what Hitchens was. Which would indicate that his assessment of the irrationality of his critics is not accurate

    There are terrorists (mostly Islamic) out there who openly boast of and intend to and have committed such atrocities and that should NEVER be forgotten or forgiven. Or tolerated.

    As has the US

  132. sunnydale75 says

    John Morales:
    “Perhaps you should consult a dictionary.

    (You want to prepend ‘cultural’ to Christian or Muslim, then fine — but that’s a compound term which has a different meaning) ”

    -Ok, I will do that:

    http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-islam-and-muslim/

    <Misuses of Islam and Muslim

    Islam : grammatically speaking, Islam should only refer to the religion or acts done in the name of that religion, never a person who practices that religion. Islamic community and Islamic art are correct, Islamic man is not.
    Muslim should be used to describe all people of the Islamic faith but not the faith itself. You may say that you are interested in the religion of Muslims, but never in the Muslim religion.<

    or

    http://www.islamicbulletin.com/free_downloads/new_muslim/what_everyone.pdf

    <The meaning of the word Islam is "submission" and "peace."
    In the course of making an individual muslim — that is, one who
    is in a state of islam or submission to the One True God—Islam
    profoundly affects his thinking and behavior <

    or

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/islam
    <1.the religious faith of Muslims, based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad and taught by the Koran, the basic principle of which is absolute submission to a unique and personal god, Allah.
    2.
    the whole body of Muslim believers, their civilization, and the countries in which theirs is the dominant religion. <

    -Given that I am aware that people use Islam and Muslim interchangeably, I can see why some feel a term such as "Islamophobia" exists. However, I agree with the above site definitions that Islam is the religion practiced by the Muslim, but the two are not interchangeable, IMHO.

    Tony

  133. John Morales says

    [OT]

    sunnydale75, you are aware you’ve merely reiterated my claim?

    To wit: Christianity:Christian::Islam:Muslim.