One of the right’s many criticisms against President Obama and other Democrats is that they believe the Democrats refuse to acknowledge how Islam is at the center of the biggest threat to the safety and security of the United States and of Western civilization in general. The right’s main talking point here is that Democrats seldom use the term “radical Islam” when they speak about terrorism.
If the right wants to be taken more seriously with regards to this criticism, they should always stress that they don’t think Islam itself is the problem, and that the problem instead lies in a violent and hateful misinterpretation of the religion. This is the reality and any sensible human being understands this. Considering that there is a plethora of insensible humans in this country who don’t understand this distinction – and I hope (but do not believe) that none of these particular individuals are politicians – naturally there is some bigotry against Muslims.
This bigotry gives credence to the notion of “Islamophobia,” which essentially means an irrational fear of Muslims. Muslim groups and leftists in solidarity have taken up this cause with extreme gusto. I believe that the right should focus less on how Democrats may or may not say “radical Islam,” and more on how these elements exploit Islamophobia.
I believe that the left and Muslim groups use Islamophobia less as a means to combat the bigotry that exists against Muslims in this country and more as a means to shift the attention away from the fact that some Muslims commit violent, hateful acts of terrorism. Islamophobia proponents refuse to acknowledge Islamic violence for what it is – the biggest threat to the safety and security of this country and Western civilization – because they fear the inadvertent repercussion of possibly making the anti-Muslim bigots feel vindicated. You cannot cure ignorance with denial, however. Islamophobia therefore takes little to no steps in effectuating any type of significant, positive change; it doesn’t really bring Muslims and non-Muslims closer (outside of the solidarity leftists), it does nothing to truly challenge or educate anti-Muslim bigots, and it certainly does nothing at all to stop terrorism perpetrated by Muslims.
The most recent example of this exploitation of Islamophobia came at a rally at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The rally was held in solidarity with the victims of the Islamic State-inspired mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando Night Club, a LGBTQ haven in Florida. While most of the focus was on the victims, there were multiple signs about Islamophobia strewn throughout the mass of people, and there was at least one speaker who insisted on talking about the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry. To say the least, raising the notion of Islamophobia at a rally commemorating the victims of a terrorist attack is inappropriate. Again, it does nothing to stop an irrational fear of Muslims as much as it simply attempts to insulate nonviolent Muslims from their violent counterparts. It is somewhat counterproductive.
And of course, Mayor de Blasio, and all of the other local, mostly Democratic politicians in attendance did nothing – in the name of political correctness – to address this inappropriate move. One cannot help but to wonder that if those politicians are willing to apply this passivity in this instance, is it also possible that their political correctness could in some way be a detriment to the safety and security of this city?
The answer, clearly, is of course. Maybe it isn’t yet a very severe fault in our nation’s security, but it is a fault nonetheless, one that could possibly grow greater if left unchallenged. And this is precisely the essence of the right’s criticisms against Democrats who refuse to use the term “radical Islam”.