It's So Cold
This Place is Getting to Me

The Phobia That Never Dies

Russell Blackford:

In People Like Us, liberal Muslim intellectual Waleed Aly spends a whole chapter attacking the idea of a separation of Church and State, and defending Islam from the charge that it is incompatible with secularism. He argues that the separation of Church and State makes no sense from a Muslim perspective, because Islam (or at least Sunni Islam) has no established hierarchy that could be called its "church" and no official doctrine that it could impose through the powers of the state. He is scathing about secularists in way that I find disquieting.

You don't say.

Later Blackford goes to the heart of the matter:

[...] the impression has been created by many Muslim leaders that Islam seeks to control all aspects of individuals' lives and does not shrink from using secular power to achieve its aim. We are all well aware of extreme examples in recent history, such as Afghanistan under the benighted Taliban regime. Until that fear is laid to rest, it is quite rational for the rest of us to fear Islam's political ambitions - which is one reason why the word "Islamophobia" is so stupid. A phobia is an irrational fear, but secular Westerners actually have perfectly rational reasons to be at least wary of Islam, as Aly himself fully appreciates and acknowledges.

Link via Samizdata.


Classical Liberal

We need a Greek root that means "wary of" or "on guard against," since "fear" isn't quite accurate. The modern, colloquial use of phobia as "an irrational fear" certainly doesn't fit.

Perry de Havilland

I do not like the term Islamophobia either... I prefer the term 'Well Armed non-Dhimmi'

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