Islamophobia or Xenophobia?

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman, Secular Humanist: studied theology, social work, some philosophy, anthropology

Hate is a strong word. To hate all the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) is to hate half the human population.

Major World Religions populations pie chart statistics list

According to that pie chart, Islam is significantly less than half of the Abrahamic religious population.

Islamophobia

Does this person’s hate qualify as Islamophobia? Let’s look at a few definitions:

  • Dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force. (QUOTE from English Oxford Dictionary)
  • Islamophobia is a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure. …Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended. (QUOTE from Defining Islamophobia, Center for Race & Gender, UC Berkley)

Obviously, Islamophobia is directed very specifically at at Islam. A person who also hates Christianity and Judaism may be one or all of the following: anti-theist, paranoiac, xenophobic, or “other.”

Anti-theism (About.com)

QUOTE: Atheism is simply the absence of belief in gods; anti-theism is a conscious and deliberate opposition to theism. Many atheists are also anti-theists, but not all and not always.

Paranoia (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  1. a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations
  2. a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others

Xenophobia (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  1. fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

Other

I don’t know all the conditions that may exist. If you are concerned you may need to consult someone who specializes in race and religion issues, or even in mental health depending on the situation.

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