“Homophobia” is a misnomer. There are people who are repelled by homosexuals, but I don’t know anyone who is afraid of them. “Islamophobia,” however, is not a misnomer. A great many people are afraid of Muslims, and understandably so. The words “Allahu Akbar!” have become associated, through repetition, with acts of carnage and murder. This explains why so many people around the world cave in to demands that Islam be treated preferentially.
At the Middle East Forum, Mark Durie writes “Islamophobia Comes to Canberra.” The Australian National University is generally considered the top educational institution in that country. Its students have for many years published a satirical magazine called Woroni. Woroni published a series of satires on religions. Eventually it got to Islam:
[L]ast week, The Australian newspaper reported that university authorities responded to a complaint by international students to compel Woroni “to pulp a satirical infographic which described a passage from the Koran as a ‘rape fantasy'”. Rachel Baxendale wrote:
The University also threatened student authors and editors of the infographic with disciplinary action, including academic exclusion and the withdrawal of the publication’s funding.
The piece was a fifth in a satirical series entitled “Advice from Religions” which had previously discussed Catholicism, Scientology, Mormonism and Judaism.
No complaints were received about any of the earlier installments.
Of course not. This time, however, university officials were nervous:
The university cited an ugly demonstration by Muslims which took place in Sydney on September 15, 2012, and the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy.The Sydney demonstration involved protestors displaying placards such as “Behead all those who insult the prophet” and “Sharia will dominate the world.”
Baxendale reported that one of the Woroni editors was told by a complainant: “I don’t think you understand the seriousness of this. In Pakistan, people get shot for this kind of thing.”
The students were no doubt under the impression that Australia isn’t Pakistan. Durie writes:
Australian National University was motivated by raw fear — of Islam. They virtually admitted as much. They did not bat an eyelid when diverse religions were mocked week after week in the pages of Woroni, but Islam is different. It seems the university did not even go through the motions of pretending they were acting to protect Muslims: they just didn’t want to get hurt.
This is a real example of true Islamophobia, in which an individual or organization discriminates between religions on the basis of the degree to which they fear Islam. The Australian National University has shown itself to be genuinely Islamophobic, yet at the same time, sharia-friendly.
This is the surrender of fear, which aligns with Muhammad’s call to non-Muslims to aslim taslam: “Surrender and you will be safe.” The Australian National University has acted to secure its safety, but at a great price.
Such incidents of capitulation to those who threaten beheadings–and, to be fair, sometimes carry them out–have become common. Islamophobia is understandable. It requires real courage to stand up for freedom. It always has.