The controversial rise of Muslims to the United States Congress has created another social schism in America. For many the association engages horrific memories of the terror attacks on America on September 11, 2001. It has raised questions about our founding principles and it has divided a society into two parts: those who will never forget and those who don’t want to remember.
The association of members of Congress such as Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tliab to the attacks of 9/11 is not of direct personal correlation, but an ideological correlation that has transcended generations for centuries even prior to the United States Independence.
Many Americans are asking questions of this association following repeated and overt anti-Semitic remarks by Ilhan Omar. The questions are neither inappropriate nor are they baseless. Unfortunately, raising these questions has resulted in being called to a new facetious label, Islamophobia. In fact, Ilhan Omar has hidden under this make-believe label even as a defense to her destructive statements. Omar has painted a broad brush across America portraying much of the country as hateful Islamophobes.
The idea of Islamophobia is a ruse both in context and vernacular. These are two separate but very important pieces to this new lazy defense, and both deserve understanding to intelligently reject the notion that such a defense is even valid.
By simple definition, a phobia is an irrational fear or panic reaction about a situation, living creature, place, or an object. Phobias are most often caused by traumatic experiences. Certainly there is no argument that what happened on 9/11 was a traumatic experience. Furthermore, there’s nothing irrational about the fear of thousands of lives being lost to a singular event. After decades of seeing ideological attacks from afar, it has now happened right here at home, even being insulated by oceans to our east and our west. It’s no longer an irrational thought for Americans. It is real.
Fear, however, is not synonymous with hate. That is what is truly being implied by individuals like Omar. A grossly irresponsible assertion from a person with her reach of power. Fear is a psychological defense mechanism whereas hate is an offensive behavior. The two couldn’t be more antithetical and any attempts to equate them are both intellectually-dishonest and short-sighted. From the literal sense, Islamophobia is nothing but a misleading term that allows the pontificators of it to pronounce their own hateful biases behind an imaginary veil of victimhood.
And Americans are buying into this tripe, or at least the dangerously-passive are.
The contextual part of the assumed hoax of Islamophobia is even more bizarre than the literal disassembly. It implies that Christian-Americans weaponize their devotions in a way that attacks the beliefs of Muslims. It assumes a Muslim’s offense to the mention of Jesus or associated divine references of being graceful or powerful. This is profoundly untrue.
The Quran asserts that Jesus was born without sin, that he was a benevolent prophet, and that he was a miracle worker. In Islamic eschatology, Jesus is even said to return in a Second Coming to fight the Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, or false messiah, and establishes peace on earth.
Noteworthy is that Jesus is referenced in the Quran more than any other person, both directly and implied.
While Islam rejects the idea of Jesus being God incarnate or the son of God at all, it does not admonish Jesus. Quite the opposite he is understood to be the penultimate prophet and messenger of God (who Muslims refer to as Allah). Jesus is revered by Islam. A Muslim claiming offense to Jesus is akin to a Christian having an aversion to Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. It’s counterintuitive to the entire framework of their ideology and it’s just not true.
Americans have a rational fear, predisposed by not only tragic and traumatic events right here in the United States, but also globally in the name of an ideology that has not seen a single year of nonviolent sectarian peace in 14 centuries. Those are facts.
An ideology that cannot reason with itself cannot be expected to reason externally. That is not hate, that is reality. There is no excusing it and it is not immune to criticism, considering the archaism of Islam continues to maintain a violently-widespread disposition in the modern world.
America was founded by people who neither wanted nor had any intention of being forced to conform to a particular culture as opposed to the culture being a conformation of their peaceful principles and liberties.