Much of right wing politics and people are unabashedly and proudly Islamophobic. They hate Islam, yet they don’t know the basics of the faith. Literally, I’ve seen people claim that Muslims worship some kind of “moon god” when in reality, we worship the same God of Christianity and Judaism. They fear Muslims coming into the country, assuming that Muslims want to “take over” America. They accuse Muslims of wanting to take over and control the American government and force everybody to follow Shari’a Law– whatever they believe Shari’a Law to be from their forever friend, FOX News.
They cry that the United States is a place of religious freedom, and that Islam only threatens that. They cry that they will not be forced to convert to Islam and that they will not let Muslims come in and take over them and wipe out their values and kill them and rape their women– as if that’s what Muslims want to do in the first place. They rant that Muslims need to assimilate to American culture, and that women’s head coverings are oppressive and should be banned because “this is America.”
Yet, many of them have no problem with imposing their perceived Christian religious beliefs, their own constructed versions of their own “Shari’a Law” onto other people. They fight against gay marriage of gay couples even though no one is forcing them to get gay marriages. They use religious grounds to justify rape culture. They use religious grounds to justify the oppression of people who do not agree with them. They force innocent people into conversion therapy. They try to control others’ way of life through their religion, even if that person doesn’t share the same religious beliefs as them.
And before continuing, I am in no way bashing Christianity. I am not Christian myself, but Christianity, like Islam and other religions, preaches peace, love, kindness, and humility among several other beautiful things. I see that through my pure-hearted Christian friends. And Jesus is pretty awesome (for those of you who don’t know, Jesus, peace be upon him, is a beloved prophet in Islam whose name is mentioned in the Qur’an 25 times).
But what I am doing is calling out certain people on the far-right who are the epitome of hypocrisy. Unlike many right-wingers, I refuse to use the Skittle or M&M analogy where the character and intentions of the majority are assumed by the wrongdoings of a few who don’t deserve to represent the majority. I’m criticizing the way that certain conservatives pervert Christianity to fit their immoral agendas.
As a Muslim, in accordance to my faith, I know well that my fellow Muslim communities and I have no intention or desire to make people follow my faith beyond their own free will. Yeah, I love sharing my faith with curious friends and peers and having interfaith dialogues. And it’s cool when I have a friend who converts because we have a new personal connection through shared spiritual perceptions, but it’s also cool when I have a friend who isn’t Muslim and never becomes Muslim. I’m not out there to actively go out and try to convert people.
Nor do we have any intention of incorporating Shari’a Law into the American government (but guess what, religious freedom and religious toleration was actually inspired by Islamic politics, much to right-wingers’ bafflement and dismay). Also, killing and rape are explicitly forbidden in Islam (and punishable by Shari’a Law, in fact) and Islam teaches us to condemn and punish such horrid crimes against humanity.
And we’re not here to make non-Muslims live the way we live our lives— in fact, Muslims come from several cultures and backgrounds from around the world, and it’s always really cool to learn from each other. Our religion actually teaches us to be open minded and instills in us a desire and willingness to learn about and mesh with people different from us. We are taught to accept and welcome people. We want to connect with others and learn about them– unlike some people…
Many from the conservative party who happen to be Christian act opposite of Christian. They aren’t about what Christianity teaches them– they’re about what they want to teach other people through force. They are about arrogance (even though pride is one of the seven deadly sins) and they are about control.
They don’t care about being righteous— they care about being right.
People who commit terrorist attacks and identify as being Muslim are not acting as Muslims should be according to Islam. In fact, by being terrorists and hurting innocent people the way that they do, they are acting against Islam. They are doing things that are forbidden in Islam. And they are sinning greatly.
This is just like how Christian terrorists aren’t acting the way that Christians should act according to Christianity, and are acting against Christianity instead.
In both cases, it’s a small minority that is responsible for the crimes against humanity associated with terrorism and other forms of oppression. It’s the minority that treats others opposite of what their religion teaches them to do.
It’s wrong for Muslims to oppress people in the name of religion, and it’s wrong for Christians to oppress people in the name of religion. Heck, it’s wrong for anyone to oppress anyone in the name of religion or anything else.
And there are terrorists and other kinds of horrible people from every religious identity or lack thereof. But it’s not because of their religions that these people are violent. People have the freedom to choose and interpret, to keep something pure or to pervert it; at the end of the day, it is up to each individual person regarding how they want to build or break their character. A bad person can pervert religious texts to justify acts of violence against innocent people, and a good person can use their religious teachings to spread peace and kindness upon others.
It’s way overdue for people to stop promoting the myth that all or most terrorists are Muslims.
President Donald Trump and many of his supporters point fingers at the media and condemn it for promoting “fake-news.” And guess what, I agree with them! The media does spread fake news, and has been doing so long before Trump came into office or into the American political scenes at all.
The percentage of media coverage for terrorism caused by self-claimed Muslims get 357 percent more media coverage than terrorism that people of other identity groups commit. And there is no question that non-Muslim, white terrorists are given much more leniency and humanization and outright sympathy despite or even for their actions. Even if terrorism is committed in the name of ideology or religion such as Christianity or right-wing politics–Christianity and Christians as a whole and conservative politics and conservatives as a whole are never wholly blamed the way Islam and Muslims are.
Why the double-standards?
Because it’s not just fear that motivates conservative hypocrites to be Islamophobic and dilute blames heavily on innocent Muslims and their religion. It’s their feelings of entitlement– they believe that they deserve more leniency and more sympathy because they are Christian, and therefore are more righteous and because their humanity is more valid than the humanity of those who aren’t like them. They believe that they are more deserving simply because they are who they are– they believe that they’re superior. They believe that their religion, because it’s their religion, is not at fault for the corruption of people who follow it but they believe that other people’s religions are flawed and the cause of those “othered” people’s behavior.
And this mentality isn’t only disgusting– it’s downright sinful within Christianity. It’s prideful.
Far-right Christian conservatives condemn Muslims based on their assumption that Muslims want to implement their religious laws and beliefs into American legal systems, crying that they are out to violate non-Muslim Americans’ First Amendment rights. They disregard how religious freedom was inspired by Islamic politics via Jefferson who owned a Qur’an copy– as mentioned earlier. Yet, they complain and protest when they aren’t entitled to the institutionalization of their religion into American law.
Well, guess what? I’m Muslim. I’m part of Muslim communities, including my university’s Muslim Students Association. And this might be newsflash for those of you who are incredibly ignorant, but my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters and I don’t want to implement Shari’a Law into the American government— and my religion doesn’t teach me to do that, either. It doesn’t even cross our minds to do promote such a thing. And actually unlike a lot of you extreme right-wing Christians who contradict Christianity, I actually support the right for gay couples to marry in adherence to my faith, not despite it. I promote religious freedom as a person, as a human— but guess what? I also do so as a Muslim who is adhering to her faith. My faith teaches harmony, tolerance and respect among communities of people with different faiths and backgrounds.
And guess what? So does your religion, but apparently you don’t! Oh, the hypocrisy…
And my religion doesn’t oppress women. Many of you remain willfully ignorant to the fact that Islam gives several rights to women, including the right to divorce and to work. Women are given the right to choose who they marry, and it is forbidden to put women into forced marriages. Their genuine consent is required– no compulsion or force is allowed.
Our own prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) married his boss who was 15 years older than him (he was 25 and she was 40). And she proposed to him.
I’m not done yet. In the Qur’an, it is explicitly stated that women are equal to men. A woman is entitled to her husband’s income as a wife has rights over her husband for him to provide for her, but a man does not have a right to take anything from his wife’s income unless she offers it to him. (Of course, the wife and husband can come to an agreement on combining their income together, but the default standard is meant to protect women’s rights to their husband and to their property given the context of the time the Qur’an was revealed).
And the hijab is supposed to be a choice. If someone forces a girl or woman to observe hijab, then that’s wrong. It’s supposed to be between a person and God. And don’t think that women are the only ones encouraged to be modest. Men are told to lower their gaze out of respect for women before women are told to cover. And women are not victim blamed whether or not they choose to cover.
There was this one incident where the prophet Muhummad, peace be upon him, was travelling with a male companion when an attractive woman stopped them to ask for directions. The male companion gaped at the woman’s beauty, and guess what the prophet, peace be upon him, did? He turned the face of the man away out of respect for the woman. He didn’t tell the woman that she had to cover up more, let alone forcing her to.
It’s funny that many of you whine about Islam oppressing women when Islam gives them several rights and recognizes their dignity and value, but you’re the ones who support rape culture and victim-blaming. You’re the ones who justify sexually degrading remarks as “locker-room talk” when such treatment of a woman is unacceptable in Islam. You’re the ones who are ready to dehumanize and invalidate the trauma of sexual assault survivors and women who experience sexual harassment in their careers and by their peers.
Oh, and men are told to cover up, too. They’re also required to be modest.
And there’s more. Much, much more, but I’ll save that for another blog post.
The irony of these double standards is laughable, but not in a humorous way, of course. But in a sad, disgusting, and well– ironic way. Double standards, y’all.
And I know of one argument that many of you proud extreme conservatives are thinking against me and other Muslims: “just because you’re Muslim and not violent doesn’t mean that other Muslims aren’t.”
Of course that’s true! That’s the same with humanity, in general, within or between different identity groups. Just because one person is good doesn’t mean that another person isn’t bad.
But using your logic, I can also say that just because you’re Christian and not violent doesn’t mean that other Christians aren’t violent.
And don’t even start with trying to say that there aren’t many Christian terrorists or that someone being a Christian or non-Muslim automatically makes them safer than if they’re Muslim. You’ve blinded yourself from reality. You’re justifying your double standards using arrogance and entitlement. You obviously haven’t been keeping up with reliable statistics. Again, you’re horribly and laughably ignorant. And bigoted, if you haven’t figured that out yet.
I see you, you extreme conservatives. You think that because it’s Christianity— because it’s your religion, because it’s your own kind of “Shari’a Law,” you’re in the right morally. Such is shown in your hypocrisy and double standards. You say you want to protect religious freedom, but in reality, you want your version of a Christian theocracy that many Christians wouldn’t even approve of.
You don’t want religious freedom– you use that term synonymous with dominating the country through your religious lens and integration. It’s a trick that doesn’t pass me and a lot of others.
Be careful, your entitlement is showing. You might want to hid your pride before God sees it. Oh wait– He already did.
Your entitlement is just Trump-tastic– and I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t even approve of Trump.
And you disregard that Muslims are victims of oppression, too.
There are the modern-day Muslim versions of the Holocaust happening today, which the media, especially FOX news, covers little to nothing of. There is the Uighurs in China (yes, there are Muslims in China, which might be a shock to a lot of you who think Muslims only come from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia) and there is the Rohingya of Myanmar oppressed by Buddhist extremists. There are Muslims in India who are being oppressed and violated, raped and killed by the Hindu nationalist movement in India.
Being the overall great country that the United States is, thankfully there hasn’t been regime-induced violence upon a mass of Muslims, and hopefully there won’t be. Hopefully there are too many good people in this country to allow that to happen to us or to any other marginalized identity group.
But there is oppression and there is violence against Muslims. There is discrimination. Both from and by the government and people outside of the government. There are and have been hate crimes by ordinary citizens against ordinary citizens, and there are and haven been government-sanctioned forms of oppression such as Trump’s Muslim ban.
Trump’s dehumanization of Muslims through his proposed Muslim ban is just one example. Imagine if “Muslims” was replaced with “Christians”– if he or anyone with an authority position like president proposed “a complete shutdown of all Christians into the United States,” there would be a huge uproar.
Still, many extreme and moderate conservatives hold the argument that a Muslim ban is necessary for the safety of our country– because according to them, Muslims just entail more danger and more risks than other groups. And again these people are missing the point that danger and risks come from all religious groups, from all people. Just as it’s unfair to say that Muslims shouldn’t come in because just one of them might be a bad Skittle and part of ISIS , it’s unfair to say that white Christians should be kept out of an African country because there might be one bad Skittle that is part of the KKK who possibly wants to terrorize and take over the country with their supremacist posse.
Speaking of the KKK, it’s so interesting as it is disturbing that many right-wing conservatives have more tolerance and acceptance for white supremacists in our country than they have for the majority Muslims who are innocent.
It seems that a large factor for Islamophobia is for many people is don’t see a difference between “Muslims” and “extremist Muslims”– they assume that being Muslim in itself is religious extremism. I know it’s not my responsibility to educate people and disprove their misconceptions about my faith, but it’s something that is necessary. It has to be done. Despite the anger expressed here, I don’t hate those of the conservative party who hate my faith and may even hate me because I’m Muslim. I know they’re scared— I know they’re scared because they’re ignorant. Many of them willfully, many of them unknowingly. And their ignorance isn’t an excuse for their bigotry, but if I have the power to guide people and educate them for the sake of good in the world, then I’ll take the universe up on that opportunity when I can and when I have the energy to do so.
But of course, it’s up to each individual person at the end of the day on what they choose to believe and how they choose to treat people. It’s their choice whether or not they fact-check and study things for themselves instead of relying on news propaganda. People have the choice to acknowledge that people are equal and that one’s religion doesn’t make them superior to others. People have a choice to open their minds or to keep them closed– my hope is that people most often choose the former.