Author Ali Rizvi Explains the Problem With the Term “Islamophobia” June 26, 2017

Author Ali Rizvi Explains the Problem With the Term “Islamophobia”

Ali Rizvi, the author of The Atheist Muslim, recently sat down with Seth Andrews for a really compelling 12-minute interview. It includes his suggestions for how to curb radical Islam.


I love what he says about the awful word “Islamophobia”:

“Islamophobia” is a misnomer. “Islamophobia” does not make the distinction between legitimate criticism of Islam and anti-Muslim hate or anti-Muslim bigotry. That’s a very important distinction. Islam is an idea. It’s a set of ideas in a book. Muslims are people. It’s an identity. It’s a group of human beings.

Criticizing ideas moves societies forward. Challenging ideas moves societies forward. Demonizing people rips societies apart. And human beings have rights. Ideas don’t.

The word “Islamophobia” does not make this distinction. When we say “anti-Semitism,” we’re not saying “Judaismophobia.” We’re saying “anti-Semitism,” because bigotry is against people. You can’t be bigoted against ideas.

When it doesn’t make that distinction, it’s a very sinister term. Because it actually takes the pain of genuine victims of anti-Muslim bigotry and exploits that for the political purpose of stifling criticism of Islam.

I know I’ve tried to correct that in my own writing, using “anti-Muslim bigotry” when it’s appropriate.

Rizvi is also right that we can’t be afraid of criticizing Islam whenever it’s warranted. By not doing so, out of fear of what people may say or think, we’re becoming victims of terrorism ourselves.

(via TheThinkingAtheist. Thanks to Liz for the link)

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