Is it really so irrational to try and protect ourselves while helping those in need?
Don't blame Donald Trump
By Tawfik Hamid
A huge uproar arose against Republican candidate Donald Trump for suggesting that Muslims should perhaps be registered in a database and for refusing to accept the so-called "Syrian refugees" into the US. Mr. Trump was also lambasted for suggesting that certain mosques should be monitored.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned Mr. Trump's statements and referred to the candidate's remarks as "Islamophobic."
First of all, the freshly-minted term "Islamophobic" does not apply here. A phobia is defined in psychology textbooks as "a persistent and irrational fear ... that is excessive and unreasonable, given the reality of the threat." In light of the overwhelming statistical data which proves beyond doubt that nearly all terrorist attacks in the world today are being perpetrated by Islamic groups or by people who belong to the Muslim faith, Mr. Trump's fear of Islam is in fact supremely rational, and therefore cannot be properly classified as a phobia. The reality-and the enormity-of the threat is indisputable.
Second, those who criticize Mr. Trump for his statements need to ask themselves a simple question: Why does Mr. Trump not have the same negative attitude toward people of other faiths, such as Buddhists or Hindus? The inescapable fact is that of all the major world religions, Islam is the only one that to this day legally justifies barbaric violence in the name of the Creator. This sanctioned violence includes killing apostates, stoning women for adultery, beheadings gays, declaring wars to spread the religion, and enslaving and raping female war prisoners (Ma Malakat Aimnukum). These mainstream Sharia Laws are not opposed by any leading Islamic organizations. Before blaming Mr. Trump for his statements, his critics might be better served by asking the Islamic religious scholars (& organizations such as CAIR, ISNA, and OIC) to clearly and unambiguously oppose such violent teachings so that people stop criticizing Islam.
Third, one can imagine that if Mr. Trump had seen hundreds of thousands of Muslims demonstrating against Bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists with the same passion as they demonstrated against a silly cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohamed, he might not have felt compelled to make such statements. Surely some blame must attach to a Muslim world that gives terrorists a free pass, while rising in disproportionate rage against such relatively minor issues as a perceived slight to the Prophet or in defense of the Hijab.
Fourth, when Sheick Al-Azhar-who is regarded as the highest Islamic religious authority in the world--recently refused to consider ISIS terrorists as 'Non-Muslims,' it is surely not surprising that Mr. Trump-and many others-harbor certain misgivings regarding Islam.
Fifth, rather than criticize Mr. Trump for his position on the Syrian refugees (which does not seem unreasonable given recent events in Paris), would it not be more fair to criticize the wealthy Muslim countries that flatly refused their fellow Muslims succor and hospitality right there in the Middle East? We probably ought to ask why the US taxpayer is expected to support the Syrian refugees, while their wealthy Muslim neighbors feel no apparent obligation whatsoever. Should Trump really be blamed for at least trying to practice good stewardship of the American taxpayer's money? Surely not!
Finally, concerning the criticism of Mr. Trump's suggestion that some mosques should be monitored, do the judicial abridgements to the First Amendment right to freedom of speech in America (including hate speech and inciting a riot) not apply to Muslims? Are they for some reason excused from the limits imposed on the rest of American society? Does the US not monitor other groups suspected of teaching hatred and inciting violence? Should we blame Mr. Trump for caring about the security of his country? Since when does religious freedom in America trump national security?