Islamomania and Islamophobia: Do these justify each other?

Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. The Muslim Times has the best collection for interfaith tolerance and to over come sectarian divide among the Muslims

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

On 3 December 2021: Priyantha Kumara a Sri Lankan manager of a sports equipment factory in Punjab, Sialkot was tortured and burnt to death on the street by a mob of Muslims after accusing him of blasphemy for “desecrating” stickers or posters containing the name of Prophet Muhammad. [4] [5]

In August 2020, at least 42 cases pertaining to blasphemy were registered across Pakistan in a single month. Most of those accused of blasphemy belonged to the Shia community and were booked under sections 295-A and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code for allegedly insulting the companions of Muhammad.[10]

According to human rights groups, blasphemy laws in Pakistan are often exploited, even against Muslims, to settle personal rivalries or to persecute minorities.[1] Almost any person speaking against blasphemy laws and proceedings can end up in lynchings or street vigilantism in Pakistan.[1]

Arrests and death sentences issued for blasphemy laws in Pakistan go back to the late 1980s and early 90s. Despite the implementation of these laws, no one has yet been executed by the order of the courts or governments as to date. Persons have only been imprisoned to await a verdict or killed at the hands of felons who were convinced that the suspects were guilty.[2][3]

Many people accused of blasphemy have been murdered before their trials were over, and a few renowned figures who opposed the blasphemy law have also been assassinated. Since 1990, 62 people have been murdered following blasphemy accusations.

In September 2021 a court in Lahore, Pakistan, sentenced a school principal Salma Tanveer to death for allegedly distributing photocopies of her writings denying the finality of prophethood and claimed herself as a prophet.[7][8]

Blasphemy Laws are only one of the manifestations of Islamomania that has taken over a nation of more than 200 million.

If you cover your face with a veil in the Netherlands, you face a fine of at least €150. The ban not only applies to burqas and other veils, but also full-face helmets and balaclavas. It’s unclear whether authorities will enforce the law — many cities have said they will not press fines.

The Netherlands introduced the ban after 14 years of debate. In 2005, the Dutch parliament surprisingly voted in favor of a proposal for a complete ban on burqas that had been introduced by right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders. The parliament passed a milder version of the proposal in 2016. Many Dutch residents see the policy as purely symbolic — the daily newspaper De Volkskrant wrote that between 200 and 400 women regularly wear a burqa or niqab in the country of 17 million people.

Full-face veils have been illegal in Denmark since August 1, 2018. The Danish parliament validated the law in May 2018: 75 votes for and 30 against. People who break the law face fines of up to €135, which can increase significantly for repeat offenders.

Face veils have been banned in Austria since 2017 under a law known as the Law against Wearing Face Veils. The law requires people to show their facial features from chin to hairline. If that area is not visible, they face a fine of up to €150.

Like the Netherlands, Bulgaria introduced a burqa ban in 2016. Wearers face a fine of up to €750 if they break it. There are some exceptions for people playing sport, at work or in a house of prayer.

Belgium has banned full-face veils in public since July 2011.  Anyone who breaks the law risks a fine or up to seven days in jail. The ban affects a very small number of people. There are around 300 people who wear a burqa or niqab in Belgium, which is home to around a million Muslims.

France was the first European country to ban anyone from wearing a full-face veil in public with a corresponding law in April 2011. To avoid allegations of discrimination, the law makes no explicit mention of religion and is rather vague. It states that “no one is allowed to wear clothing in public that allows them to cover their face.”

Religious clothing has been banned in French schools since 2004, including headscarves. Again, the number of people who wear headscarves in France is small. Only 2,000 of France’s five million Muslims wear a full-face veil.

Burqa banning is only one of the manifestations of prevalent Islamomania in many of the Western countries.

I believe neither the Islamomania nor the Islamophobia justify the other, but, perhaps in some subtle way these stoke the other.

A victory of rationality, rather than be driven by crude zeal or hatred, in one part of the world will certainly strengthen it in all others.

I neither agree with the blood thirsty Islamomaniacs, nor the bigoted Islamophobes.

I would rather agree with President Jimmy Carter, who is famously known to have said, “My faith demands – this is not optional – my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I can, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

Or, I could agree with PM Justin Trudeau, PM Jacinda Adhern or the writer Karen Armstrong. If you do not know them, it may be because the Nobel prize committee has not been paying attention to the popular demands, Building the case for Nobel Peace Prize for Justin Trudeau, Nobel Prize for a noble woman and A Nobel for Karen Armstrong will bring the Christians and the Muslims closer.

Or, I could agree with Javed Ahmad Ghamidi as he describes his analysis of the Sialkot tragedy in an Urdu video:

1 reply

  1. Ignorance does nothing to balance off cruelty. Discrimination is a direct result of ignorant arrogance how ever cruelty is the use of this discrimination to cast death sentence while hiding behind the cloak or f religion.

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