IS CRITICISM OF ISLAM A "PHOBIA?"
excerpted from Koenraad Elst's "Anwar Shaikh – . . . A Tribute"
The one silver lining to the dark cloud of Islamic terrorism is that it alerts non-Muslim societies to the specificity of the problems which Islam poses. Westerners often feel guilty of xenophobia, “fear of what is strange or foreign”, when they criticize Islam. But the problem of Islam is not one of strangeness or foreign origin, as will readily become clear when you compare it with Buddhism. In Western culture, Buddhism is even stranger than Islam, which shares certain common roots with Christianity, yet people find Tibetans in their native dress colorful rather than threatening. There are no Buddhist gangs attacking peaceful citizens, nor are there Buddhist associations making separatist political demands such as the right to observe a separate law system. Buddhism may be strange, but informed people will agree that it is an enrichment to our society. Islam is less strange, yet its enriching contributions are unclear while its nuisance value is all too palpable. The stark reality of Islamic terrorism blows away the fog of doubt and timidity hitherto surrounding the painful question of how to evaluate Islam.
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