Let’s talk about phobias. Not about phobias such as
arachnophobia, and ophidiophobia, and acrophobia, or even gynophobia.
A phobia, after all,
is an intense, terrifying, and often debilitating, but legitimate or
unreasoning fear of something or of doing something. An object is perceived,
sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly, as something that poses a threat to one’s
life or values. A phobia freezes one’s rational faculties and capacity for
action; however, the suspension of one’s mind or capacity to act itself can prove
to be genuinely perilous.  A phobia is
rooted in a fear or hatred of the thing.
A friend remarked when I let her know the subject of this
column:
The hallmark of phobias
is that they are impervious to rational examination. That’s one reason it’s
used as a pejorative by manipulators, to convey the idea of an irrational hatred
and aversion. For a Muslim to acknowledge that there might be reasons for
such dislike opens the door to questions of what it is about Islam that might cause
it. Even “bigotry” invites debate. But phobia — there’s
nothing to be done but for the blameless victim to be protected from
such inexplicable malice. The “phobe” must be silenced and
immobilized like a raving maniac in a Victorian madhouse. 
To judge by the polls, I’m certain that not a few Americans have
at least a touch of Obamaphobia and if not are in the grip of an obsessive one; if
one hadn’t developed it during Obama’s first term in office, he surely must
have during his second. If not, then there’s something terribly wrong with such
a person. He must be a liberal. One could attach phobia as a suffix to the name of every person in the Obama
administration or ever passed through it.  
I would say that both Obamaphobia
and Islamophobia can be rationally
examined by focusing on the causes of the phobias: In Obama’s case, his
conscious, unchecked reign of destruction of America and of American lives; in
Islam’s case, its fourteen-century record of destruction, murder, rape, mayhem,
and slavery that continues to this day.
Of course, the liberal/left smear phobia term of the moment, in the White House and out of it, is Islamophobia.
The motto of Bare Naked
Islam
, after all, is, “It isn’t Islamophobia if they REALLY are trying to
kill you.” I wonder if the twelve staff members of Charlie Hebdo felt
“Islamophobic” before they were murdered by Muslim “fanatics,” who were
actually just carrying out Mohammad’s diktats. And, of course, there is this
latest incidence of Sharia
enforcement
in Copenhagen that has nothing to do with Islam. There are
Australian cafés and Swedish ones, both jihad-rich.
                                                              
The term has disputed origins. It may have been coined by the
Muslim Brotherhood or by someone closely affiliated with the MB. Robert Spencer
of Jihad
Watch
wrote an excellent article on the term’s beginnings, cluttered as
those are with claimants to its invention. Discover
the Networks
has an authoritative article on the term’s origins:
                                                                                                                                                
The term “Islamophobia” was invented
and promoted in the early 1990s
by the International
Institute for Islamic Thought
(IIIT), a front group of the Muslim
Brotherhood
. Former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad — who was with that
organization when the word was formally created, and who has since rejected
IIIT’s ideology — now reveals
the original intent behind the concept of Islamophobia: “This loathsome term is
nothing more than a thought-terminating cliché conceived in the bowels of
Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its
very origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as
a weapon
to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and
silencing them.
“Muslim think tanks”?
An oxymoron, to be sure. Islam has more to do with unreserved faith, rather
than with thought. However, The
American  Muslim
website has much to
say about the origins of the term, “Islamophobia.” The article is hostile to
anyone who fears Islam and is contemptuous of anyone who dares question Islam
and its sorry record of not observing individual or “human rights,” but does a
credible albeit lop-sided job of tracing the etymologically confusing and
ideological roots of the term, citing Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Claire
Berlinski, Discover the Networks, Pamela Geller, and others. The author
dismisses as paranoid hokum any factual evidence that people have legitimate
reasons to be fearful of Islam:
Islamophobes generalize specific
incidents
to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   
Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  –
we are in danger from creeping
Sharia
, – the Muslim population
is increasing
at an alarming rate, – 80%
of American Mosques are radicalized
,  –  There have been 270
million victims of “jihad”
  –  There have been 17,000+
“Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11
    – Muslims
in government
are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth
jihadists
, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be
MARGINALIZED
or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and
individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim
Brotherhood document
or the unindicted
co-conspirator
label, or accused of not
condemning Hamas
, telling American Muslims not
to talk
to the FBI, of being “Jew
haters”
, etc.
There have been over
20,000
“specific incidents” of fatal Islamic jihad since 9/11. Uncounted
tens of thousands have died from Islamic terrorism since then. Government
demographic studies show that Muslim populations are increasing in Europe and
in the U.S.  Dozens of Muslims occupy
sensitive positions in the government. And so on.
The author, Sheila Musaji, obviously has referred to the
articles and records cited by the “Islamophobes,” but their reality means
nothing to her. To her, reality is malleable, or it’s a lie. The evidence can
be interpreted any way one wishes, except objectively. Reality is a Rubik’s
Cube and reality can be twisted to any combination of colors and be right, as
long as it’s “subjective” or “relative” and the matching color is Islamic Green.
She blanks out the evidence of her senses in favor of what she wants to believe. Possibly she worked in
an Islamic “think tank.” That would explain her voluntary blindness.
Read this long piece at your own risk. It is much like crawling
through the development of Modern English from Medieval English, with many of
Shakespeare’s loan words thrown in for good measure. And, the author of the
piece reveals her true allegiance in her by-line:
Sheila Musaji is the
founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989. 
Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic
Community Service Award for Journalism
,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons
of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award
for her work in fighting
Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The
Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims
published since 2009
by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman,
Jordan.    Biography 
You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji
)
Daniel Pipes discusses the phenomenon of Islamophobia in his
February 13th article, “What
Actually Causes American Fear of Islam and Muslims
?” He reports:
An ambitious 81-page
document, Fear,
Inc. 2.0:
The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America
,
just appeared from the Center for American Progress, a liberal Democratic
organization. Unlike its first
iteration
, in which a group with a $40-million annual budget and deep ties
to big business had the nerve to claim that seven much smaller institutions
were overpowering the country through their financial clout, this one looks at
what the alleged “Islamophobia network” actually does.
The report, written by
Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, and Ken Sofer, makes for interesting
reading. Its premise is that critics of Islamism (1) are really anti-Islamic
and (2) have single-handedly distorted the fundamental American value, namely a
“basic respect for the rights of minority groups throughout the country.”
According to the CAP study, “the views of anti-Muslim actors stand in
stark contrast to the values of most Americans.”
By dint of hard work,
however, “a well-funded, well-organized fringe movement can push
discriminatory policies against a segment of American society by intentionally
spreading lies while taking advantage of moments of public anxiety and
fear.” This effort “takes many shapes and forms”: a general
climate, cynical political efforts, and institutional policies. Despite some
setbacks, continues the CAP narrative, the network’s efforts “continue to
erode America’s core values of religious pluralism, civil rights, and social
inclusion.”
Pipes reaches the logical explanation of why Americans fear
Islam and Muslims:
                      
Maybe it’s Islamists who
are prompting powerful and spontaneous responses through their threatening
behavior. Maybe we critics are not “intentionally spreading lies” but
honestly interpreting Islamist aggression and supremacism. Maybe CAP and its
ilk should blame the fear of Islam less on us critics and more on the Islamists
themselves.
Fear
Inc. 2.0
begins by discussing a straw man, Anders Breivik, the
rampaging Norwegian “Islamophobe” and his manifesto against Marxism and the
Muslim colonization or settlement of Europe. In the manifesto Breivik cited the
writings of Robert Spencer and other “Islamophobes” as evidence of the
widespread “anti-Islam” meme about Islam. This is the launching pad for the
rest of the  Fear Inc’s  screed against
any and all critics of Islam.
Breivik’s manifesto
contains numerous footnotes and in-text citations to American bloggers and
pundits, quoting them as experts on Islam’s “war against the West.” This small
group of anti-Muslim organizations and individuals in our nation is obscure to
most Americans but wields great influence in shaping the national and
international political debate. Their names are heralded within communities
that are actively organizing against Islam and targeting Muslims in the United
States.
Breivik, for example,
cited Robert Spencer, one of the anti-Muslim misinformation scholars we profile
in this report, and his blog, Jihad Watch, 162 times in his manifesto.
Spencer’s website, which “tracks the attempts of radical Islam to subvert
Western culture,” boasts another member of this Islamophobia network in
America, David Horowitz, on his Freedom Center website. Pamela Geller,
Spencer’s frequent collaborator, and her blog, Atlas Shrugs, was mentioned 12
times.
From there it’s downhill, through dozens of pages of factual
errors, half-truths, and countless ad
hominems
. The report concludes:
Of course, the
Islamophobia network was utterly contemptuous of Cain’s efforts to reach out to
moderate Muslims. At the Western Conservative Conference in Denver this summer,
Frank Gaffney alleged that [Herman] Cain had actually met with members of the
“Muslim Brotherhood apparatus in Washington, D.C.” Gaffney added, “If, in fact,
he’s now changed his position in ways that are being reported, that’s even more
troubling than if he was spending time with Muslim Brothers.”
Such unchecked bullying
by the misinformation experts should not be tolerated. Our nation needs more
responsible conservatives to stand side by side with progressives to safeguard
our national security and uphold America’s core values of religious freedom and
respect for ethnic diversity. A required first step is to expose the influence
of the organizations, individuals, and groups, who make up the Islamophobia
network in America. {pp. 126-127}
Never mind Herman Cain, “once a favorite on the Islamophobia
network for his outspoken views about Sharia law when he first launched his
campaign for the Republican Party nomination for president” and his “walking
back” his positions on Islam and Sharia. There’s President Barack Obama, who’s
rarely “walked back” his pro-Islam positions in any circumstance. Just
recently, he has met with key “low profile” members of the Muslim American leadership.
The
Blaze
reported on February 6th:
The White House quietly
released the names of the Muslim leaders who met privately with President
Barack Obama earlier this week to discuss the Islamic State, anti-Muslim
“discrimination” and even Obamacare.
After initially declining
to reveal who attended the meeting, the administration attached the list of 14
people who attended the Wednesday meeting.
Among the fourteen people were (allow me some levity here): 
Bilqis “Qisi”
Abdul-Qaadir
, Director of Women’s Basketball Operations, Indiana State
University, who gave Obama some dribbling pointers; Arshia Wajid,
Founder, American Muslim Health Professionals, who gave Obama an impromptu
check-up; Dean
Obeidallah
, Comedian, Dean of Comedy, who coached Obama on timing and
suggested changes in Obama’s joke delivery in public speeches (“You gotta lay
off of that ‘folks’ stuff, Bubba, it ain’t buyin’ you friends”; and Farhana Khera,
President, Muslim Advocates, who offered her legal services should he need them
in case Michelle beats him up again for flirting
with a Danish prime minister
or any other blondes (“Forgive me for saying
so, Barack, but I think your wife could crush the Hulk in arm-wrestling and
bend all your
golf clubs
with her bare hands”).
An unlisted guest was Huma
Abedin
, “confidante” of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Huma
performed a fan dance
with transparent feathers to the delectation of the male members of assembled
conferees, and also to that of the Secret Service guards present. Arisha Wajid
joined Huma in a lascivious belly-dance. Farhana Khera wasn’t amused, and
complained to Obama that it was blatant “sexism” calculated to offend Muslim moral
sensitivities.
So much about phobias. My next column will discuss the appeal of
Islamic terrorism.