The Perks of Prejudice: Modern Islamophobia

By Alexander Stringer
Staff Writer

In the wake of a tragedy, there are those that have no idea how to react and those that try to find someone to blame—some focal point for their anger and pain.

Often this comes in the form of blanket prejudice, which only compounds the issue.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS on Paris, arguments over the conceptual rationale of Islamophobia have once again entered the forefront of the news cycle.

Many claim Islamophobia is a horrible thing, and all faith-based phobias are just as destructive as racism or sexism in modern society; yet in very Machiavellian terms, when it comes to Islamophobia as opposed to all other phobias, the ends justify the means.

Before launching into this discussion, there is a very specific explanation that needs to be addressed. Under the umbrella of Islamophobia, there are two major ideas.

Blanket Islamophobia is the concept that all Muslims are fully capable and moreover willing to take on extremist ideas and commit acts of terror as a result of their faith.

This group is perhaps best exemplified by the bigoted, former governor, and candidate for the 2016 presidential race, Mike Huckabee, who said on Fox News back in the summer of 2013 that “the Muslims will go to the mosque, and they will have their day of prayer, and they come out of there like uncorked animals — throwing rocks and burning cars.”

Alternatively, there is “Jihadophobia,” which is a specific fear of terror groups that manipulate the wording of the Quran to instill their destructive agendas.

Hillary Clinton best exemplifies this group of thought, as she has taken to labelling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Daesh, as “radical jihadists” rather than radical Muslims.

It is important to understand that the first group of thought is wrong in every facet and reduces a very diverse and complex group of faithful individuals to the actions of less than one percent of the whole.

Some would rather use the broadest of brushes to allow for a scapegoat to press anger and grief upon rather than dealing with the root of the problem.

On the other hand, the second group allows for massive and effective action in order to destroy the radical jihadi groups.

Fear is one of the strongest motivators, and this fear of radical groups is no different. Using “jihadophobia,” the Western world can unite with France and increase attacks upon Daesh.

To that end, in a rare display of cooperation, the United States and Russia both understand that the looming animosity of the Daesh group must be handled quickly.

As the Obama administration began increasing bombing on the group’s location, the President made a statement that the Paris attacks were “an attack against the world itself.”

Moreover, President Putin went on to comment that “it is God’s job to forgive the terrorists. It is my job to send them to him,” only a few hours before Russian planes dropped white phosphorous on Daesh holdings. France and the United Kingdom have also stepped up bombings on cities known to harbor members of the rag-tag force.

Even Anonymous, a video posting website, is doing their due diligence to take on Daesh leadership, vowing in a chilling video following Nov. 13, “we’re tracking down members of the terrorist group responsible for these attacks. We will not forgive, we will not forget, and we will do all that is necessary to end their actions.”

As always, when tragedy strikes in the West, it comes together in solidarity to be able to better ensure that such horrors have far less a chance of transpiring again in the future.

Fear of repetitive terror tragedies such as 9/11, Boston, Paris, Metrojet 9268, and Mumbai, draws together countries like the U.S. and Russia, that rarely get along otherwise, in order to tackle the common enemy. Once the threat is gone, they can go back to hating each other.

“Jihadophobia” is becoming the newest means of drawing the West together to tackle the common enemy. In the 1930s and 1940s, the West came together to tackle Fascism. From then to the 1990s, NATO came together to aid in the U.S. containment strategy.

The war of the day is not against another state, but rather against the most powerful non-state actor ever seen in modern history, capable of bringing down the most infallible cultures on the face of Earth today.

In the modern Great War, the War on Terror, no tool is too harsh, as the enemy is willing to use everything they can, legal or otherwise, to inflict their misguided hatred upon the Western world.

It is for that reason and that reason alone, that “Jihadiphobia” (not blanket Islamophobia) is less about unwarranted prejudice, but rather an effective means of channeling the collective power of multinational coalitions to drop the hammer of justice upon the heads of radical extremists.

Alexander Grey

As a member of the Class of 2019 and a Diplomacy major at the Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Alexander Stringer focuses on Eastern European studies and state security. Being a scholar of Classics for fours years, he aims to apply Roman and Greek ideas of government to the modern geopolitical climate.

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