The most recent terrorist attack by a radical Islamist* (see note on terminology) suicide bomber in Manchester, England once again highlighted an ongoing debate/controversy — i.e., whether or not the religion of Islam (along with the Koran) advocates, encourages, and even demands:
• using terrorism to inflict as much senseless suffering as possible;
• murdering innocents (i.e., children);
• killing unbelievers/non-Muslims; and
• destroying non-Muslim societies/cultures.
It is the view of many people, especially staunch supporters of Donald Trump, that the religion of Islam supports the monstrous barbarism, unbridled hatred, twisted thinking, and pure evil that is terrorism.
Anti-Muslims also assert that all (or nearly all) faithful Muslims—even though they might not participate in terrorism—harbor an acceptance of terrorism because the Koran teaches it. Therefore, all/most Muslims are enemies. And as enemies, should be:
a) ostracized from western society;
b) excluded from non-Muslim communities; and
c) barred from entering the West as refugees.
Muslims can’t be trusted, it is argued, because they follow the Koran, which allegedly teaches that all non-Muslims are worthy of death. Islam is not even a true religion, according to this way of thinking. It’s a political ideology hell-bent on destroying western ideals and all true religions.
This perception of Islam/Muslims is voiced almost daily across social media sites via posts made by highly agitated, angry, and accusatory anti-Muslims. And the remarks grow particularly intense and frequent whenever a terrorist attack occurs in the western world (such comments, interestingly, are usually absent whenever there is a deadly attack against Muslims in the Middle East/Far East).
The following is just a small sampling of FB posts made soon after the Manchester bombing. They are surprisingly similar—almost as if all of the posters had read the same anti-Muslim information, watched the same anti-Muslim videos, and/or listened to the same anti-Muslim lecturers/radio hosts. The excerpts are from threads in which I personally interacted:
• POSTER #1: Christianity is not a religion that teaches one to murder or be subservient to their masters, but the religion of Islam teaches that it’s OK to kill, deceive, and torture nonbelievers of their faith. So really wake up, read the Koran for yourself, and stop being so stupid please, the world needs less stupid already.
• POSTER #2: Terrorism is what is inside ur own Koran.
• POSTER #3: What’s amazing is the amount of muslims that reside in England. And amazingly when these things happen, none are to be found around. POSTER #4: They are probably warned in advance.
• POSTER #5: Islam has no place in the west. No place at all.
• POSTER #6: Muslims getting their feelings hurt. NVM the fucking dead kids. This is why Britain is crumbling, people like you [defenders of Islam].
• POSTER #7: When the quran says not to trust Jews or Christians, I’m supposed to take it as another meaning? Lol! When the entire premise is that Muslims are worth more verse after verse after verse in the same context? Wow, you are a special kind of apologist aren’t you? POSTER #7: . . . I can prove the quran says not to make friends with Jews and Christians, it isn’t just one verse either, lol. POSTER #7: Richie Abanes have you read the quran? Because it teaches to not be friends with Jews and Christians. Or do you deny that?
• POSTER #8: Why aren’t the everyday peaceful Muslims protesting the people who pervert their religion? Do you know in places in Europe labeled ‘no go zones’ where muslim extremists live and nonmuslims can not enter without threat of harm. Why aren’t everyday muslims more vocal about these atrocities carried out in the name of Allah, the Quaran or the muslim faith? If another religion was used in this manner, the faithful would be out in masses condemning it.
• POSTER #9: . . . if a Christian does stuff like this, they are disobeying their God and risk damnation, but the Muslims that are constantly doing this are rewarded with a river of wine and 72 virgins.
• POSTER #10 Have you read the Koran. The Bible does not call for murder!!! The two religions have nothing in common.
One thing I’ve noticed about anti-Muslims (based on these and other social media threads) is how they seem to have absolutely no willingness/desire to even consider the possibility that today’s acts of terrorism might not be part of Islam and might not be consistent with living as a faithful Muslim. It’s as if anti-Muslims want to hate Muslims/Islam. It seems that they actually need to hate all Muslims/Islam to have a clear enemy; that they desperately need a group on which to dump their frustration, rage, fear, hopelessness, and feelings of helplessness. The same thing happened to Jews in Nazi Germany. It’s called scapegoating. (There’s also a substantial dose of racism/bigotry also coming into play among anti-Muslims, as evidenced by their oft-repeated comments about how America should remain a White/Christian nation.)
Scapegoating is a rather common response to emotional pressure when there exists no viable solution to a specific problem or troubling situation. According to a Dec. 21, 2013 Psychology Today article (updated Jan. 12, 2017), “ego defense of displacement plays a role in scapegoating, in which uncomfortable feelings such as anger, frustration, envy, and guilt are displaced and projected onto another, often more vulnerable, person or group. The scapegoated target is then persecuted, providing the person doing the scapegoating not only with a conduit for his uncomfortable feelings, but also with pleasurable feelings of piety and self-righteous indignation. The creation of a villain necessarily implies that of a hero, even if both are purely fictional.”
Muslims today are quite obviouly being targeted as scapegoats for a nation full of frightened citizens suffering from Islamophobia. This malady, according to a very insightful Huffington Post article titled “6 Rules Of Islamophobia In America,” consists of six deceptions/falsehoods:
1) Muslims are not American;
2) All Muslims are terrorists;
3) Pork is to Muslims as a crucifix or garlic is to vampires;
4) All brown people are potentially Muslim, and are therefore potentially terrorists;
5) Islam is not a religion, it’s a violent ideology;
6) There’s a secret Muslim plot to take over and/or destroy the United States and/or Western civilization from within.
This current blog entry of mine focuses on point # 2. It’s not meant as a thorough analysis, nor is it designed to answer every question/objection that might be raised by an anti-Muslim/Islamophobe. And it certainly isn’t for anyone who’s already made up their minds about Islam/Muslims and who doesn’t want to be confused by the facts. This article, which a follow-up to my “FB, Muslims, and Islamophobia” article, is for those who truly want to learn the difference between Religious Islam (practiced by the majority of Muslims) and Perverted Islam (a.k.a. Islamist Terrorism, practiced by an extremely small minority of criminals, who call themselves “Muslims”).
There is enough hate, evil, prejudice, anger, fear, and deception in the world. We can’t afford to allow ourselves to add any more of those things to the mix.