With the attack on an Iraqi church and the mailbombs addressed to an American synagogue, while the media worry about Islamophobia-- Christians and Jews once again find themselves in the Muslim line of fire.
Acrophobia is unreasonable when walking across a sturdy bridge, but it is entirely reasonable to be afraid of heights when someone is trying to push you off the bridge. Aquaphobia is unreasonable on land, but when you're drowning, fear of the water is inevitable. So too with all phobias. They are only unreasonable to the extent which they are not an active and present danger.
Liberals are operating in a world in which there is no active and present danger from Islam. But that's something they need to pass on to the survivors of the Church massacre, the teenage girls executed in Somalia, to Farooq Ahmed who wanted to bomb Washington D.C. subway stations, to the Frenchmen kidnapped in Niger or any of the victims of the other incidents involving the Religion of Peace that didn't occur nine years ago, but this week and this month.
The New York Times has published a piece by Robert Wright claiming that Islamophobia and Homophobia have a lot in common. The most obvious thing they have in common, is that Muslims don't like gay people either. Or women. Or Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Hindus, atheists... and well let's face it, pretty much everyone else. Muslims are still killing each other over religion, at a time when members of other religions settle their differences with sternly worded editorials.
The recent synod to address the decline of Christianity in the Middle East took place in a strange vacuum, like a conference to discuss the reason why there's no more space in the living room and the couch has been crushed-- without ever mentioning the elephant in the room. The elephant in the Middle East is Islam. But no one dares mention it. Or draw cartoons of it. Instead the synod concluded that the blame rested somewhere between Israel and economics. Not the people who are machine gunning churches.
The reason for their silence was all too plain. Islamophobia.
And by that I don't mean that they wanted to torch a Koran or profile terrorists in airports-- but that they are actually afraid of Islam. Being afraid of Islam is a normal state for people living in Muslim countries. Or even in countries with large numbers of Muslims in them. Much like Plantationphobia among American slaves or Inquisitionphobia among Spanish Jews-- Islamophobia is the natural product of being an oppressed minority living among people who follow religious texts that command them to persecute and kill non-Muslims.
Let's apply a simple test. Western Muslims constantly complain about Islamophobia (which is rather like rapists complaining about Rapeophobia) but how many of them have actually picked up and left?
I can't count the number of European Jews that I have met, who were forced to leave Europe because of Muslim Anti-Semitism. I have yet to encounter anything similar on the Muslim side. The largest communities of Mizrahi Jews (from Muslim countries) are in Israel and Los Angeles. Not in the Muslim world. Jews from Muslim countries today exist primarily as refugees of an unacknowledged Nakba, who have gotten on with their lives, instead of endlessly dangling housekeys in front of the camera.
The Jews have vanished from most of the Middle East, for the same reason that the Christians are vanishing. Because of the elephant in the room that no one will talk about. An elephant with a Koran and a gun. You can't write about him. You can't draw cartoons of him. And you certainly can't single him out at the airport for any special attention. You had just better hope that the plane he decides to bomb isn't the plane that you're on.
The truth of Islamophobia is as obvious as the difference between the Middle Eastern Jewish and Christian immigrants to America, and their Muslim counterparts. Jews and Christians from the Middle East came to America as refugees. Muslims came here, not as refugees, but because there was more economic opportunity here than in their own overpopulated countries. That is the difference between the Mizrahi, the Maronite, the Copt... and the Muslim.
And that is the ugly truth at the heart of it all. Muslims are not victims. They are victimizers. They have reduced every minority in the Middle East to second-class status, and then when those minorities try to demand some semblance of human rights, they're machine gunned, set on fire, bombed and shelled to within an inch of their lives. And then the victimizers laughingly dispatch flotillas to the aid of their own fanatical terrorist gangs.
Islamophobia? What Islamophobia. The last remaining Jewish and Christian communities look carefully to their Mukhbarat (secret police) minders and denounce America and Israel. Then they go back to the few remaining houses of worship that they have, and hope that no one will kill them this week. They do their best to send their children out of the country. To Europe, to America, to Israel. Anywhere but a Muslim country. Not because there's anything wrong with Muslims. Allah forfend. No, it's because, like the Soviet anecdote about the man who punched a hole in an American diplomat's tire and tried to breathe in the escaping gas, they want to breathe the air of freedom.
But of course we're determined to pretend that none of this is happening. And anyone who says otherwise must be crazy. If you doubt that, just look at the thriving communities of Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians in the Muslim world. Look at how well Muslims are co-existing around the world, in Thailand, the Philippines, China, France, Holland, Israel, America, Kenya and Australia. And just look at the brotherly love between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, who can hardly take a breather from hugging each other with suicide belts wrapped around their waists. It's such a touching spectacle of fratricidal tolerance that only a lunatic would assume that there's anything in Islam to be worried about.
Islamophobia? Absurd. Just stop by the World Trade Center and ask the happy employees in either of the two towers about that. They'll tell you the same. There's nothing to be worried about. Nothing at all.