No Such Thing as Islamophobia?

There is an unfortunate trope in the Freethought movement which suggests there is no such thing as “Islamophobia”. Rather, those who take this view aver, Islamophobia is merely a term used to shut down criticism of inhumane aspects of Islamic belief and practice, a useful weapon in the hands of the liberal thought police. Such people should be given pause by the most recent antics of Pamela Geller, notorious anti-Muslim bigot, who has recently begun a new ad campaign on the buses of Washington D.C.:

The blanket linkage of Hitler with Islam-in-toto is obviously a denigrating and demeaning association, and the idea that the way to contest inhumane aspects of Islamic belief and practice is to end all aid to Islamic countries is absurd.

This is part of a pattern with Geller. Here is an ad her organization ran in New York:

I surely needn’t point out that using the term “savage” to describe a whole group of people based on their religious identity is a favorite tactic of bigots across the ages. This is not how you criticize a religion responsibly – it is a despicable attempt to turn people against each other, using the hyperbole of the demagogue and the language of the racist.

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About James Croft

James Croft is the Leader in Training at the Ethical Culture Society of St. Louis - one of the largest Humanist congregations in the world. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently writing his Doctoral dissertation as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book "The Godless Congregation", co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.


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