Wiki defines a phobia as “an irrational fear”. Therefore, a straightforward definition of Islamophobia is “an irrational fear of the religion of Islam”.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s definition is not as succinct or to the point:
Negative stereotyping and discrimination as a result of pre-existing perception of Muslims as “different” from the rest of Canadian society, along with negative association of their communities with violence and terrorism.
I suspect that the Parliamentary Committee (Canadian Heritage) tasked with substantiating the accusation made by Ms. Khalid of rampant Islamophobia among Canadians will adopt the convoluted misleading definition, or a variation thereof, of the organization most responsible for the confusion that now exist about the separation of Church and State.
Equating Islamophobia with an irrational of fear of people who are “different”—racism being implied—means they can ignore inconvenient truths about a "rational" fear grounded in scriptures and in the actions of those who swear by them.
The difference between an islamist and a jihadist and why you should be more worried about the former!
Of those who swear by the Book, the most dangerous are probably those whom Maajid Nawaz, author of Radical, My Journey out of Islamist Extremism labels “Political Islamists”
Islamism is commonly expressed as the desire to enforce a version of Shari’ah as law … An Islamist attempts to impose his version of Islam on society, and a jihadist is an Islamist who attempts to do so by force … Political Islamists seek to impose their views through the ballot box, biding their time until they can infiltrate the institutions of society from within.
Our Parliaments is one place where you will find them, but it is in the school system where intimidation of compliant officials has proven as effective as electing your own that this infiltration is the most worrisome.
Is a fear of Islam a legitimate fear and are Canadians being unfairly maligned for voicing their apprehension? That is the question Islamophobia, my submission to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on Motion 103, tries to answer.
To counter the inevitable accusations of racism I have included in my submission to the Committee the story of my friendship with a black working girl from West Africa.
I could also have reminisced about Audrey, but she had nothing to do with my future desire to get close and personal with a holy book; the same for my Indian damsel in distress. Then there are my recollections about how Sohrab and I became friends and my time with Bob and Marina.
I will admit to not including the story about how a priest saved my life which may have betrayed an agnostic’s bias towards the teachings of one man in a submission which is very much about religion and how we must remain on guard against the worst it has to offer.
Islamophobia Extended Edition
The "extended" edition, available in print at cost, contains additional information in the form of eight sub-appendices which may be of interest to the Committee and to you should I be invited and agree to appear before it.
Sub-appendix Dead Poets and Songstresses in Chamberlain's Legacy and sub-appendices Zaynab, Safiyyah, Mariya and Aisha join Rayhanah in Massacre of the Banu Qurayzah. Five Weddings and Two Massacres provide further evidence to support an argument that they should not recommend making it a crime to write and talk in less than flattering terms about a man falsely revered, in my opinion, as the embodiment of the perfect human being whose every action is to be emulated as closely as possible.
As to the addition of sub-appendix Muhammad Abdullah on Democracy, Liberty and Western Art as Blasphemies in A Strange Devout New World, perhaps “the play’s the thing” to make them understand what is at stake.
Sub-appendix Daggers are In, Flutes are Out! was added to God in the Canadian Charter of Rights to illustrate a real-world consequence — the education of our children in this instance — of putting scriptures first.
In 2005, when the McGuinty government was set to introduce Sharia tribunals, it was moderate Muslims, who patiently explained the consequences of such a rash decision to a largely clueless electorate, who were the difference. They saved us from ourselves. Sub-appendix Wars-Never-Ending is about returning the favour as is much of my submission to the Committee.