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Are You An Islamophobe? By: Phyllis Chesler
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 28, 2009


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The greatest danger is a closed mind and a finger-on-the-trigger. The minds are closing all over Europe; rather late in the day, a small resistance emerges. American minds have also been shutting down for many years. For example, one is really not allowed to talk about race or religion (gender is fair game–look at all the photos of naked women that still surround us). One cannot say “black” or “African-American” without raising a storm. One dare not say “Islam” or “Muslim” without raising an even bigger storm.

Americans (students, professors, journalists, film stars, media talking heads, left-liberal bloggers) are especially sensitive to the wrongs done to the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims–and, no doubt, wrongs have been done. But these same Americans are a lot less sensitive to the sorrows, nay, the atrocities, that these very groups (Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims) have inflicted upon their very own and upon all infidels, for 1400 years.

Try to talk about this, try to raise the issue of Islam’s long history of colonialism, genocide, and gender and religious apartheid and you will quickly be demonized as a “racist” or as an “Islamophobe.” Google notes 616,000 references to “Islamophobia.” What is really going on? Why is “racism” not a good enough word to describe prejudice towards people with different skin colors, if that indeed is the case? Or is “Islamophobia” more complicated, or more specific in terms of Muslims and Islam?

Lorna Saltzman, a really good writer, an environmentalist, and once a Green Party Presidential candidate, has written a tongue-in-cheek Test Guide for all those who are worried about their own racism or Islamophobia. She writes:

Are you an Islamophobe? Here is a simple test.

Lorna Saltzman’s Test

Do you favor equal rights and treatment of women and men?

Do you oppose stoning of women accused of adultery?

Do you favor mandatory education of girls everywhere?

Do you oppose slavery and child prostitution?

Do you support complete freedom of expression and the press?

Do you support the right of an individual to worship in her chosen religion?

Do you oppose government- and mosque-supported anti-Semitic publications, radio, TV and textbooks?

Do you oppose the wearing of burqas in public places, schools and courts?

Do you oppose segregation of the sexes in public places and houses of worship?

Do you oppose the death penalty for non-Muslims and Muslims who convert to another religion?

Do you oppose “honor” killings?

Do you oppose female genital mutilation?

Do you oppose forced sexual relations?

Do you oppose discrimination against homosexuals?

Do you support the right to criticize religion?

To continue reading this article, click here.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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