Christophobia and Islamophobia

A Christian man in Egypt is beaten by Muslims.

“Islamophobia” is a real problem.

Or so we’re led to believe by the usual suspects in the grievance industry par excellence, the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC).

It’s a problem because, it is tirelessly declared, “Islamophobia” is only going to create more Islamic “extremists.”

An article from a December 2015 edition of The Independent represents this all too common view. The title of the piece reads: “Want to create more extremists? Ignore the Islamophobia people like me face every day.” The author is Shehab Khan, a Muslim who lives in England.

Khan opens his editorial by relaying a story. Supposedly, an 11 year-old boy and the child of one his friends was the only one of his peers to have not been invited to a classmate’s birthday party. The reason, according to Khan, is that the parents of the birthday child expressly said that they didn’t want any Muslims to attend the party, for it was Muslims who were responsible for “7/7,” the London bombings on July 7, 2005 that took the lives of 52 people and injured over 700 more.

Khan continues, stating that, “as a Muslim myself, I face similar prejudice every day [.]” He is more direct: “Violence and aggression motivated by Islamophobia has, unfortunately, become almost routine.”

However, “arguably the biggest issue is the clear and persistent presence of institutional Islamophobia.”

“Islamophobia,” Khan says, “is endemic and insidious in almost all sections of society and doesn’t just occur when people’s smartphones are on and the headlines are made.”

But here Khan delivers his ultimate point: If the biggest threat the West faces today stems from such Islamic terrorist organizations as ISIS, then “Islamophobia” is a genuine crisis, an issue of national security in every one of those countries that comprise Western civilization. Why? Khan elaborates:

Continually singling out Muslims and questioning them about affiliations with Isis and whether they are extremists is a personification of Islamophobia. Institutional or casual, Islamophobia not only affects British Muslims but also plays into the narrative put forward by extremists that the west will never accept Muslims.

He concludes: “If we want successful counter-terrorism policy, we need to start with tackling the racism which plays into the terrorist narrative. We ignore prejudice at our own peril.”

Notice, the “terrorist narrative” to which Khan alludes is his narrative, the tale of talking points that RIC agents promote at every turn. Let’s call it “the Islamophobia narrative.”

First, there is the assumption that “Islamophobia” is a meaningful term.

Second, we have the assertion, always presented as axiomatic, that Islamophobia is at once pervasive and oppressive.

Third, the case for this last typically depends, as it depends here, on unverifiable anecdotes of the kind that Khan shares, stories of Muslims who felt as if they had been slighted or inconvenienced because of their religion.

Finally, the Islamophobia narrative, like that of the “terrorist narrative” (at least as Khan understands the latter), insists in so many words that unless Westerners refrain from lending offense to those Muslims that they have allowed into their lands, they will pay for it with their own blood.

Islamophobia, you see, is guaranteed to fuel terrorism.

Interestingly, but unsurprisingly, the Khans of the world never utter a peep about “Christophobia,” the oppression, the often brutal oppression, to which Christians around the world are subjected on a daily basis. Nor are they willing to mention that much (though certainly not all) of this anti-Christian cruelty is perpetrated by Muslims in majority-Muslim societies.

There are 44 Muslim-majority countries in the world comprised of a total of 1.1 billion practitioners of Islam. In 38 of these countries, Christians constitute the single largest religious minority. About 56 million, or 2.6%, of the people living in these 44 countries are Christian.

There are degrees of persecution that Christians face, it’s true, but as immediately becomes obvious to any unprejudiced observer, the examples that Westerners like Khan offer as proof of anti-Muslim oppression are outright embarrassing when compared to those that Christians can and have provided of the treatment to which they are prey.

If it’s true that an 11 year-old Muslim child was excluded from a classmate’s party just because of his religion, this is indeed sad. But when it is considered in juxtaposition with the fact that over the span of a decade, from 2005 to 2015, militant Muslims reduced the ancient Christian community in Iraq from 1.5 million residents to 300,000, and over half of the latter have been displaced from their homes, things don’t sound like their all that rough for Muslims in historically Christian countries.

If it’s true that innocent Muslims in, say, England have been questioned by authorities on the basis of their religion alone about possible connections with terrorist groups, and they were inconvenienced by this, then while this may be unfortunate, it hardly screams of oppression when it is contrasted with ISIS armies chasing tens of thousands of Christian families from their homes.

One study suggests that Christians are facing genocidal conditions of an enormity such that by 2020 or so, Christians will have been cleansed from much of the Middle East, a region in which they’ve resided for two millennia.

And yet, no one who has dared to note any of this ugliness has ever so much as remotely suggested that the persecution of Christians should stop because it will fuel Christian terrorism.

If we insist on talking about “Islamophobia,” then we have no option but to admit that it stands as a cold next to the stage five cancer of Christophobia.

About Jack Kerwick

Jack Kerwick earned his doctorate degree in philosophy from Temple University. His areas of specialization are ethics and political philosophy, with a particular interest in classical conservatism. His work has appeared in both scholarly journals and popular publications, and he recently authored, The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front. Kerwick has been teaching philosophy for nearly 17 years at a variety of institutions, from Baylor to Temple, Penn State University, the College of New Jersey and elsewhere. His next book, Misguided Guardians: The Conservative Case Against Neoconservatism is pending publication. He is currently an instructor of philosophy at Rowan College at Burlington County.

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6 responses to “Christophobia and Islamophobia”

  1. We in the west need to wake up. Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. Let’s not turn a blind eye to the truth.

    • Christians have always been the most persecuted people in the world. Christ said we would be persecuted. The world is not filled with love; it’s filled with evil which is why we are persecuted.

  2. Perhaps if the Christians begin a bit of terrorizing, they, like the Islamists, will become worthy of defending… Perhaps adding some scripture to the bible which advocates lying, cheating, and murdering in the name of Jesus Christ would do the trick. It’s becoming more and more difficult to navigate the stream of illogic in our wonderful, caring, tolerant liberal society…

    • What needs to happen is white conservatives in this country need to start hating Christians, then the liberals will begin defending them.

  3. Yup. It’s our fault for acting ‘Islamophobic”. Scary. All it takes is to insult any Muslim and PRESTO: he/she becomes a jihadi! (sarc)
    Seriously…. there’s something wrong with that religion if that’s the response (and there IS something wrong with Islam).

  4. But let’s be honest here. If you had a birthday party and you excluded both a Muslim and a Christian classmate from it, who do you think would be more likely to bomb people when they grow up as a result?

    Clearly, we have to do everything we can to not offend the hypersensitve feelings of these people that we’re letting into our countries en masse, otherwise they’ll kill us. Invite them, give them full rights, and then do what they tell us. Makes perfect sense to me.