Images of Islamophobia

Thanks to Time Magazine I just added a new word to my vocabulary and to my online spell checker - Islamophobia. And, as usual, I thought that I might try to put a bit of context to the term by asking my friend Wiki:
Islamophobia is prejudice against Islam or Muslims. The term seems to date back to the "late" 1980s, but came into common usage after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. In 1997, the British Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as the "dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, to the fear and dislike of all Muslims," stating that it also refers to the practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation. It includes the perception that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion. 
I thought that it was interesting that Time recently asked the question "Is America Islamophobic?" on their cover when I think that, to some degree, Time contributes a bit to the phenomenon when they put images on their covers that showcase the Islamophobic stereotype. I think that these outrageous images of women being mutilated, Sunnis hating Shi'ites, and Muslim terrorists promulgate Islamophobia because the other side of Islam is not showcased.

I understand that "bad news" sells newspapers and magazines.. and maybe fear mongering does as well. But I have to ask - Are we Islamophobic? Are you Islamophobic? I am not! In the mid-2000s I worked for a wonderful Muslim guy and saw a different side of Islam than the ones painted on magazine covers. I also worked around several Muslims. I was impressed by their dedication to prayer, their humor and their friendly demeanor.. and I enjoyed working around them.

Maybe that is the way that America will one day be less Islamophobic.. if we are really that way. Maybe one day we will come in contact with neighbors or coworkers who worship Allah and we will see Islam in a different way. Maybe putting a face to Islam is the only way we will ever be able to get past the stereotypes? Maybe that is the only way to embrace an Islamic reality that is not created by Time magazine?


  1. Nah, we're not Islamophobes or racist or classist or any of that. It's all manufactured by the media. ;-)

    But srsly, I think that as human beings we're always going to fear those different from us on some level and we need to work against that daily.

  2. @Scott - Maybe not manufactured by the media.. maybe just fueled, publicized and fear-mongered by them?

  3. "Dedication to prayer", and to whom might they be praying to. Dedicating yourself to pray to something other than God the father, Son, and Holy spirit, seems counter productive.

  4. Bob, I guess I would ask you to define Islamophobic. While we should love Muslims, I don't think that would include endorsing their Islamic faith as okay in any way. Its a false religion, keeping them in deception and separated from their Creator.
    And the version that does horrific violence to all infidels as they pursue their vision of a world under Islamic law is the fundamental version. Its not some wild "perversion" of their faith. "Moderate" Islam is sort of like lukewarm Christianity. Its a watered down version for worldly Muslims who don't want to totally "sell out" for the full message of the Koran.
    Again, we need to love Muslims and seek to bring them the gospel just like anyone else, but that does not include putting some kind of stamp of acceptance on Islam.
    I am probably just misunderstanding your concern with "Islamophobia".

  5. @Brian - I did define Islamophobia.. albeit from my wiki friend. About being a "false religion".. maybe you could put a few defining words around that?

    Do you think that a religion can evolve? Should one call Jews lukewarm simply because they do not adhere to Deuteronomy 21:18-21?

    My concern is accepting a stereotype that is pushed on us - like "real" Muslims are terrorists.

    Not that my opinion is any better than others.

  6. I am bewildered and I really shouldn't be. I don't need a face to know error. I believe they should not be "hated" by anyone but we cannot endorese their beliefs. They are as any other religious people groups in need of salvation. We need to preach the gospel to them.

    I agree with Brian we cannot put some stamp of approval or endorsement on their religon. We certainly cannot side with any country that would oppose the existence, freedom, and survival of Israel.

    Remember the bondwoman was cast out and rejected, it was the free woman that faith was developed from. God rejected Ishmael and hated Esau - the promise is to Isaac and Jacob. I am not advocating we hate anyone let alone Muslims, God is God and that is His preogative and not mine, but we can't for the sake of "tolerance" and "acceptance" endorse their religous beliefs. We need to share the gospel with Muslims or they will forever be lost and condemned.

  7. @Gregg - Not sure that I am understanding your comment. I am wondering who has endorsed Islam or endorsed their beliefs? I do not endorse either.

  8. I wept in front of my TV most of the day on September 11th. In the following weeks and months the US was overflowing with a unity I had never seen before. Sadly that unity has waned, but thankfully it's not entirely gone. One of the things that worried me on that day was that people would blame all of Islam for acts committed by a small extremist faction. I am not Muslim, nor do I believe in Islams tenets, but I do know Muslims who live quiet, peaceful lives, showing compassion and kindness to others. I find myself frequently defending Christianity and Christians when some try to lump all of Christianity in with the toxic, abusive elements of that faith. I would hope that Christians would have enough love and compassion for their Muslim neighbors to do the same.

  9. For some reason it doesn't let me sign up to receive follow up comments the first time. Sorry for the second comment.

  10. Well said, Mike.

    Not sure I understand the connection some commenters are making between "not endorsing" Islam and "fearing" Islam. It's not like anyone is talking about Buddhaphobia.

    My own take is that humankind has always found reasons to ostracize one group or another. Guess it's a rough time these days to be an overweight, gay, muslim smoker.

    And Bob -- I think your point that fuels these controversies is right on.

  11. In NYC today, guy hops into a cab and asks the cabbie if he is Muslim. The driver says "yes". So the passenger stabs him repeatedly.

    Makes me wonder, while most of the "anti-Park 51 mosque" protesters have a good heart -- do their voices somehow embolden the sickos to act?

  12. I certainly wasn't clear, I didn't mean to imply we should be any more racist or discrimatory against Muslims than any other human beings. I meant to say that they should not be ignored in evangelism since their religion is unbiblcial and not in line with scritpure.

    Muslims are no different than any other religion that rejects or denies that Jesus Christ as the Son of God came in the flesh and died as a sacrifce to appease God the Father.

    Forgive my confusing and poor choice of words - I simply wanted to point out that we don't overlook them, give them a pass, or fail to confront them with gospel simply becasue they claim to pray to Allah or are religious. They as well as all people need the Lord, they need Christ Jesus.

  13. No problem Gregg. I think that most of the folks I know of that have been effective influencing Muslims and others for Christ are the ones that build loving relationships with them.. especially the younger ones.

  14. My understanding of the stabber is that he is a college kid and supports the mosque

  15. I grew up in London and before that Malaysia for my family, so yes, I grew up surrounded by Muslims in school, as friends, etc. What I've found is that most are like Methodists, if you will, in the US--nominal at best. They are mostly culturally Muslim than true adherents in their book, the Koran and then the Hadith. So we are talking two different people entirely.


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