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Minute with a Muslim #191 – Should Muslims Use The Term Islamophobia

Tom Facchine

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Channel: Tom Facchine

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I

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don't personally like to use the term Islamophobia, I think that Muslims should not use it.

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And that's because we're mimicking other groups. When we do that, right, it started with homophobia, or this phobia and that phobia. And this is this is a political move, to call it a phobia. To call it a phobia makes it seem like an irrational fear. And it makes it seem like some sort of disease that needs to be read out. It's tempting to want to resort to that language. Because when we face discrimination and persecution and these sorts of things, because we're Muslims, we want to criminalize criminalize that behavior, we want to have some sort of legal mechanism to punish that sort of behavior so that we can have a better outcome. However, when we do that, through the

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language of Islamophobia, we're at the same time strengthening all the other groups out there that use the same logic, right. So then if you disagree with homosexual marriage, someone's going to tell you you're a homophobe. Right? And then the argument stops, and you're potentially you know, you have to go to some sort of training, you know, diversity and inclusion training, and you have to be re educated, sent to their reeducation camps, right. And the same thing now with transphobia. And these sorts of things, right? You want to say that there are only two genders, God created human beings and only two genders. We exist in a binary situation, the only thing that's not binary is

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ALLAH SubhanA, WA Tada, right, that makes you a trans folk.

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So I don't like using Islamophobic. For that reason, I think that it's politically short sighted. We have categories to make sense of the persecution that we experience as Muslims, we have categories that are in the Koran, right? We have Kufa, we have people that are enemies, open enemies of Islam. And these are people who they know the truth, right, but they're antagonistic towards, and they want to end us and they want to undermine us, this has always existed, and it's always going to exist, I don't see the utility and the use of of inventing a new term for this sort of thing. And then you have people who are ignorant, you have people who mean, well, maybe they think they're defending

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their homeland or something, or they think that they're defending, like traditional, you know, quote, unquote, American values, or Judeo Christian values, all these sorts of myths that are out there. But they're actually coming from a place of sincerity, those people need to be educated. And those people can be educated with your example before anything else, because FaceTime and experience is sort of the ground level that people use to make sort of judgments and generalizations if somebody has experience with Muslims, as a good neighbor, as a good colleague, as a good friend and advisor, right, somebody who is sincere towards them, then if the news comes out with some sort of

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hit piece against Muslims, and says that Muslims are though some Muslims believe that the person is not going to believe it, because they have experienced already, they already know about this thing, right? So Muslims should be super aware and keen and proactive to get out there to try to make the first impression for ourselves before the media makes the first impression for us, because we know how that's going to end up. But I don't think we have to resort to the whole idea of Islamophobia. In order to do that. I think that we can be a good example, we can focus on the people who we believe that actually are open to being educated or who might change their mind, right, and then

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recognize the people that are actually coming from a place of complete hatred for Islam as what they are and find a way to deal with it. We're never going to get rid of that group of people. Allah Spano, Tala told us in the Quran, this group of people, they're here, and they're here to stay. And part of our struggle as an OMA is to maneuver and deal with those sorts of people, right? We, it's not going to work if we just criminalize it and criminalize the language and try to, you know, wipe it out on that way. So there are other things, you know, when it comes to specific sort of discrimination when it comes to being discriminated against, because of your religion in schools or

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at the workplace and things like that, then yeah, of course, we need the legal mechanisms. We do need legal mechanisms, but we can achieve the results that we want, I think, and we can establish those legal mechanisms of redress, without necessarily going down the path of calling it a phobia. Yeah. So for one example, is like a free health clinics, I think that's a huge way forward for Muslim communities in North America and elsewhere, especially in places where there's a lot of Muslim doctors in many communities. We have a lot of Muslim doctors, and they're involved in masajid at various levels. One community that I'm familiar with, they established a Free Health Clinic. And

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it has taken off in just five years, it's become an enormous success. It's got tons of recognition from non Muslims and the politicians and it's a win, you know, it's an easy win. It's low hanging fruit, every single person loves the idea. They love the output. They love the community outreach, and everybody wants to be a part of it, right? So this is something that can really go a long way to change people's perceptions or to just give that FaceTime, you know, create a space where people can come in and have an experience in our community. We have a backpack giveaway that we do every summer and I hope that eventually we can get a sort of Free Health Clinic for people without insurance for

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people who are high needs and low income and things like this. These are easy things. I mean, just look around you. I mean, take take take a drive down the main street of any downtown area in the United States of America or elsewhere and you're going to see needs that need to be filled. Okay, if we want to

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to better our position and strengthen our position and strengthen our reputation, we need to put ourselves in a place of service and we need to fulfill these needs and we need to step up and we need to show people that not just Islam as the truth in some sort of sort of theoretical way, but that Muslims are willing to go and solve those problems and they're going to have the the the motivation and the sense of duty that we need to fix these problems.