I read an article over the weekend from the Huffington Post about how the “Ground Zero” Imam doesn’t want to move the mosque/cultural center because it will lead to increased terrorist activity. According to the Imam, if the center is moved, radical Muslims would see it as being a result of an attack on Islam.
“My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be ‘Islam is under attack in America,'” said Rauf. “This will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people — our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens — under attack in the Muslim world and we [would] have expanded and fueled terrorism.”
Rauf noted the heavy political hand that had made its way into a basically settled constitutional debate. There was, he added, “growing Islamophobia in this country.”
Islamophobia (i.e.. Islam+phobia, “fear”) is prejudice against, or an irrational fear of Islam or Muslims.
A prejudice is a prejudgment: i.e. an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy. The word prejudice is most commonly used to refer to a preconceived judgment toward a people or a person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.
If a Christian speaks out against Islam and says it is a false religion and will not lead you to heaven, is that considered Islamophobia? I mean it is in a sense a prejudiced view against the religion, except prejudice is directed at a person or group who follows a religion and not the religion itself. If I disliked Islam, I would only be acting out of a prejudice if I discriminated or treated people who followed it differently. Just not liking the religion is not being prejudiced. So the definition of Islamophobia is really wrong in that it addresses Islam and not followers of Islam.
When people spoke out against the proposed Quran burning, were they being prejudiced against followers of Islam? They obviously had a belief or view that people who followed Islam would be angry and lash out in violent ways. There was no proof that would happen, so I think they were experiencing Islamophobia. It seems like the Imam also is suffering from Islamophobia as he assumes that some of the followers of Islam will see the moving of the location as an attack against Islam and lash out with terrorist attacks. If the one who claims that the country is experiencing Islamophobia also displays Islamophobia, does that mean it is a good or a bad thing?
Regardless, I want to thank the Imam in doing what he can to help reduce the risk of a terrorist attack against the US and it assets abroad.