Stop Saying Phobic!!

I am increasingly angered by the way the media accuses people of being phobic – afraid without rational reason – if they disagree with a particular political stance. Some examples:

Islamophobic: Depending on the media, I am Islamophobic if I am

  • against the building of a Mosque
  • wonder whether Jihad is a core element of Islam
  • whether there is a benefit to profiling for young, Muslim men

 

Homophobic: Depending on the media, I am homophobic if I am

  • questioning the idea of same sex marriage
  • wondering whether the repeal of DADT is a good idea
  • questioning whether the city should provide funding for Pride Week

 

To be clear:

  • I have the same concerns regarding building a mosque as I do for a church, synagogue or condominium
  • I do wonder whether Jihad is a core element of Islam. I am not sure whether this is truly an internal or external element
  • I lean toward the idea that profiling is a bad idea though the stats I have seen make me wonder
  • I don't care if gays get married, they should have the right to the same suffering as all others. I do wonder the tax advantages which are in place as incentives to procreation should be available to any married couple who cannot or will not have children. This includes gay and straight couples
  • I applaud rescinding DADT
  • I think the city should provide funding for major cultural events. They should also track the return on these investments in order to determine the events with the best ROI.

However, whatever my personal stances on these an other issues, I will and must consider them. I am not phobic because I may not come to the politically correct conclusion. Calling anyone phobic because their don't agree is just a way to diminish their argument before it is heard. This is counter to our culture and our intellectual heritage.

Let's pretend that we live in a democracy and allow the difficult discussion.

Update 20110127:

I enjoy reading Salon.com. Oddly, I ran into this example of the above point later the same day in a Salon entry by Justin Elliott.

The full article can be found by clicking on the text of the quote.

CPAC's anti-Muslim film festival

The Conservative Political Action Conference, a high-profile annual gathering that will be held in Washington next month, recently came in for some criticism from the anti-Muslim right for allegedly being "penetrated" by radical, sharia-pushing Islamists.

But the newly released CPAC theater schedule, posted online by the group Citizens United and noted by LobeLog's Eli Clifton, suggests that CPAC will still be safe for all stripes of Islamophobia.

The Conservative Political Action Conference, a high-profile annual gathering that will be held in Washington next month, recently came in for some criticism from the anti-Muslim right for allegedly being "penetrated" by radical, sharia-pushing Islamists.

But the newly released CPAC theater schedule, posted online by the group Citizens United and noted by LobeLog's Eli Clifton, suggests that CPAC will still be safe for all stripes of Islamophobia.

It is easy to label the above as Islamophobia. It is easier than understanding why those attending CPAC feel so strongly about the subject. Is it purely phobia? Is it based on propaganda? Is it assumptions based on a kernel of truth? Much easier to simply call it an irrational fear.