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Refusing to Criticize Islam

December 15, 2015

I think there are clearly examples of people thinking criticizing Islam (and perhaps even criticizing fundamentalist Islam) is a bad thing as though any criticism was based on Islamophobia. This is a problem, but I think an even bigger problem is actual Islamophobia, and there are plenty of progressives who criticize Islam relentlessly and think things that are bigoted against the religion. Not all criticisms are non-bigoted.

Moreover, I sympathize with the knee-jerk reaction to not want to hear Islam being relentlessly criticized, which can become overkill and turn Islam into a punching bag, even when it is based on true ideas. An obsession against Islam can also be bigoted.

Additionally, the majority of Democrats do not view Islam favorably and seem to have very little to say about how Obama never stopped torture from happening (almost exclusively to Muslims) and no one seems to care about that at all. A majority of Democrats want the Afghanistan war to continue at this point — more than even Republicans based on a poll I saw. A majority of Democrats have little problem with drone strikes even though the ideal ethical standards they seem to assume to be used (against almost exclusively Muslim people) is nothing like the reality of how it is used. We have also continued attacking Muslim countries under a Democratic president and it is actually questionable how much good it is doing. The War on Terror, a Neo-Conserative strategy, has been continued under a Democratic president and Democrats don’t care. All this is happening and some progressives are convinced that the biggest problem is that we aren’t criticizing Islam enough. Well, there seems to be plenty of animosity against Muslims from so-called progressives and that has real world consequences that is contributing to torture, the deaths of innocents, and perhaps even a war against terror that is so ineffective that it is just motivating even more people to join the terrorists.

Are people going to oppose war and torture more by even more relentless criticism of Islam? Or will it fuel that fire even more? I think it is perfectly reasonable to think it will fuel the fire even more.

At the same time there are Muslim-majority governments of various countries, such as Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia that do things in the name of Islam that do need to  be criticized. And everyone hates Isis already. Of course their actions also ought to be criticized, and it seems obvious that religion does play a part in what is going on to some extent.

One way to solve the problem is to realize that there are many different types of Islamic religions, and we can criticize certain ones without criticizing them all.

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