Blog 077: Islamophobia is Inevitable!

Marco DeRossi


A phobia is a fear which involves a certain degree of irrationality. Thus, fear of spirits and ghosts is totally irrational. However the fear of being hit by lightning during a storm is, on the contrary, based on a certain probability of the event occurring. Although the risk may be perhaps 6000 times less than that of being involved in a car accident, nevertheless it is prudent not to take refuge under a large tree in the middle of a field when thunder is heard …

Is the Fear of Islamism Justified?

In 2015, 2862 Islamist attacks were perpetrated in 53 countries. These attacks killed 27594 persons and wounded 26141 others.[1] There existe more than 18 subversive Islamist organizations, the most sinister being: Al Qaida, the Taliban, Boko Haram and DAESH.[2] These organizations use terrorism as their modus operandi, rely on a literal interpretation of the quran and aspire to establish Sharia law in opposition to democracy.

The purpose of terrorism is to instill a climate of fear. The recourse to terrorism represents proof that Islamophobic sentiment can be very real. If terrorism had no effect, these organizations would not resort to it. Terrorism is effective and terrorist actions are evaluated by their ability to terrorize the population: terrorism and Islamophobia go hand in hand. Islam is a threat, and for that reason fear of these various groups is justified.

Islam, like all other religions, is a threat to freedom. Those who consider leaving Islam risk severe punishment, even death, for apostasy. Imams et ayatollahs may pronounce fatwas on anyone. We observe that, apart from several events in the USA and Europe, 99% of terror attacks are directed against Muslims in areas dominated by Islam. It is therefore apparent that those who should fear Islam the most are Muslims. Furthermore, most of the videos of atrocities are produced in Arabic; thus the intended audience is not Westerners.

Although I am personally more at risk because of the positions I have taken and also because I am an militant atheist, to be perfectly honest I do not feel personally threatened nor that my freedom of expression is limited, in spite of the attacks in Orlando and Paris. But how can we recognize what or who is truly dangerous?

How can we not put all Muslims in the same basket?

Of course it is obvious that not all Muslims constitute a subversive threat. But how can we distinguish? The quran, for example, contains 396 verses which call for criminal acts such as killing apostates, infidels, miscreant and atheists. Islamists who are generally labelled as fundamentalists and radicals are not really so. They are simply following what is prescribed by Mohammed, the alleged author of the quran and inspiration for the hadiths. The others who claim that Islam is a religion of peace are colouring their religion with artificial nuances and distorting history.

And yet, all Muslims read the same quran. This is no cleaned-up version, no version expunged of its incriminating verses. A vast study done by the Pew Institute, done from 2008 to 2012, shows that a majority of Muslims are in favour of Sharia law.[3] A poll done in France in 2016 indicates that more than 28% of Muslims living in that country consider Sharia law to have priority over democratic laws.[4] However, we find no Muslim reform movement, and we see no demonstrations of Muslims against the atrocities committed by the Islamic State. We see only horrors, political demands and proselytism.

If I decide to travel by air, I cannot prevent myself from having a certain prejudice in the presence of a bearded man wearing a white cassock, because how can I know? I have to be vigilant. If my path crosses that of a veiled woman, I cannot avoid thinking about her relationship with the man she lives with. When I worked at an adult education centre, I witnessed the excessive control and surveillance which a husband had over his wife. One of my female students, who wore they veil, accepted and rationalized the idea that she was worth only 50% of a man. Beliefs and indoctrination wreak havoc.

Yes, I must admit that I fear Islam, but not for myself specifically, rather for humanity. The worst places on the planet where obscurantism, misery, famine and illiteracy are rampant are found in Muslim regions. Coincidence? In any case, Islam is not irrelevant to this situation!

That is why we must consider all Muslims together, because, just as for lightning, we cannot tell which cloud or which person is dangerous, nor where nor when he or she or it will strike. We must remain on our guard, because Islam will generate destructive acts; on average, there will be 55 attacks resulting in 500 deaths this week alone!


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