As a child, I knew that a phobia was an irrational fear. I knew of some common psychological disorders like Claustrophobia (confined spaces), and Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), as well as the irrational fear of heights, flying, and germs. With the release of the latest Time Magazine: “Is America Islamophobic?”, those who oppose the Ground Zero Mosque, Franklin Graham, myself and the majority of American citizens have been identified as fear mongers and closed minded bigots. The press has introduced us to a whole new category of phobias lately that vilify those with differing opinions.
This is nothing new to me. As a pastor I have been called a homophobe, because I believe that homosexual acts are a sin. I don’t have an irrational fear of people who are homosexual, and their behavior does not hinder my day to day activities at all, but the label is given, whether I am seeing a psychiatrist or not.
Is fear not a good thing to have? In fact, rational fear is a very good thing, because it can save your life! Don’t we want our kids to fear being run over by a car when crossing a busy street? Fear of the Nile Crocodile is a good thing to have if the Nile River is your primary source of water. Fear of the growing radicalization of Islam is not irrational at all. For those families who are mourning their loved ones in New York, or thousands of other places around the world, where terrorists have achieved their objective, fear is not only rational- it is the very objective of the violence! If you were a 14 year old Pakistani girl, who’s best friend lost her eyes, nose and ears from an acid attack because she said "no" to a marriage proposal, would your fear of saying no to a proposal be irrational? If you lived in Poland in 1938 and your neighbors were disappearing would your fear of Nazi’s be irrational?
New terms have been created that are intended to silence people with legitimate concerns, and in an ironic twist, used to label those who voice opposition as fear mongers. Are all our new security measures that we are hassled with at airports, ferries, and sports events due to irrational fears too? The fact that our national security administration has shrunk back from naming Radical Islam as the primary danger does not negate the rational response. Am I an abortionphobe because I oppose abortion or a broccoliphobe because I don’t like that vegetable?
Airport security has the approval of the press to calculate risk and thereby protect the public from terrorists. But they would become "islamophobic profilers" if they were to focus on certain characteristics that identify those terrorists, such as an Terrorist harboring country of origin or one who faithfully attends the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, because that would be totally irrational. Instead of the identifying the mosque as the learning center for two pilots of 9/11 and the Fort Hood Shooter, they print quotes like these: “We at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center reiterate our condemnation of this brutal murder. We continue to send our condolences and prayers for the recovery of all the families and victims of this godless act.” and “Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is one of the largest and diverse Islamic Centers in the nation. We are committed to serve the community as a place of worship, education and social services.”
The greatest irony of all is that when Radical Islam succeeds in their goal of instilling terror into their enemies, their allies, the American press, identifies the real threat to the American ideal: Islamophobes. I think I am developing PhobiaNovusPhobia. (Fear of New phobias)
Wayne's Worldview is a place to share my unique perspective of the world as formed from my interpretation of the scriptures and my experience as a Christian. As a pastor, I am asked a lot of questions about current issues, life dilemmas, personal problems, politics, biblical interpretation...etc.I offer these "How I see it" thoughts in effort to challenge people to think about their worldview, and to stimulate good conversations that will help us become more whole.
Welcome to the conversation.
Welcome to the conversation.