In the current climate of back and forth derisiveness and paranoid liberals who concern themselves far too greatly with libelous comments, rather than forming their own opinion (which usually amounts to a convenient flow of popular opinion at the time, as they seemingly believe that opinion is meant to appease rather than oppose)-there is a cluster of disconcerting neologisms that have been spewed, chewed and regarded in all seriousness as an actual societal downfall. One of the more popular neologisms is the term Islamophobia. The term, contrived in all of its fear, has been implemented as a vector for self-deprecation of Western culture, as well as a bubble suit of impregnability for the entirety of Islam; you disagree, then you are:
- xenophobic etc. etc.
The term, Islamophobia, has a contested derivation as far as how recently it was actually coined. One of the earliest records state that it actually derives from an early French text in the birth of the 20th century (Ezzerhouni, 2010). The name of the text, although somewhat irrelevant to this article, is "La politique musulmane dans l'Afrique Occidentale Fran?aise" by Alain Quellien. Although this was the first time the word appeared in print, Islamophobia didn't transcend into an English text until the later parts of the 20th century. Even the translations of Alain Quellien didn't immediately translate the word into an English neologism, instead opting for a brief explanation of the word from inference. The first time the term entered English speaking society was met with a poor connotation due to the affiliated text that was thought-provokingly constructed in the same sentence; Edward Said, in 1985, printed the term in an article as he stated, "to the connection'.between Islamophobia and antisemitism" (Richardson 2009). The immediate connection allows the rhetorical speaker a flexibility of objectiveness as no person would want to appear intolerant toward the Jewish faith in lieu of the holocaust. Ironically, categorizing both beliefs into an impervious-to-freedom-of-speech-zone is humorous in the sense of an inherent dislike of Jewish people by Islamic cultures for obvious reasons. Edward Said criticized what he perceived as Western hostility toward Islam in his article, thus laying the foundation for a phobia-phobic society.
Around a decade prior to Said's usage of the word, Iranian fundamentalists were pushing forth the term as a synonymous (albeit more succinct) form of xenophobia (Peretz 2011). This is also reported in an article from The New Republic, which acknowledges the insidious nature of the term. The term allows an entire belief system, regardless of the arbitrary dictations and declarations, to be completely inviolate. In Peretz's astute paper, he references some of the catalysts in the cognizance of this silly term as a French essayist named Bruckner stated, "This term, which is worthy of totalitarian propaganda, is deliberately unspecific about whether it refers to a religion, a belief system or its faithful adherents around the world" (Peretz 2011). Arguments such as those stated offer a new perspective to those who have dormant thoughts, easily stirred by consensus. The fact that the term Islamophobia treats Islam as a fortuitousness such as race or predisposed ability is absurd and distorts the overall farce that it could easily be perceived as. As Sharia Law condemns adultery with a primitive stoning, shoplifting with the severing of hands and the forsaking of Islam with homicide, there is ample evidence to prove why the omnipotent few don't want to be contested or chance looking foolish. Succeeding 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings, the word invariably came back into prominence as Western society was rather cleverly silenced and chastised as a society that has marginalized Islam with any of the preceding events being justified as an act of psychopathic retribution. Again, this isn't to make a sweeping declaration that any Muslim is willing to commit such vile acts upon innocent people-but it cannot go unacknowledged that these acts were in lieu of a religion that promises rivers of honey and 77 virgins in the afterlife. I accept diversity, as well as opinion, but I also expect the right to a freedom of speech and an education-which is why I am writing this article.
Being intolerant is one thing, but to play to the theocracies and bullying nature of many belief systems is to become a defeatist, an apologist and a dud. Speaking out against a particular belief system doesn't make one intolerant, especially if that institution has a proven track record of crimes against humanity, but merely makes one a marginalized partaker in unpopular speech. There will be fundamentalists on both sides and this paper isn't stating that there isn't genuine hostility or inimicality toward people based on their beliefs (rather than beliefs based on their tenants and tyrants). Freedom of speech allows for an open forum, regardless of popularity or distinction, and if a rhetorical neologism can influence unpopular speech to the degree of subversive speech-then all the appeasers, religious partisans and thought police civilians suffer from a fear of opinion, also known as Allodoxaphobia.
- Ezzerhoini, D. (2010) L'islamophobie, un racisme apparu avec la colonisation, Alg?rie-focus, 3 February
- Peretz, M. (2011) The Invention of Islamophobia (on-line) The New Republic, Washington D.C. Accessed 5 November 2012
- Richardson, R. (2009) Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism ' or what? ' concepts and terms revisited (on-line) Insted, UK.