Gina Ross
Teacher, Keynote Speaker, Multi-cultural Psychotherapist

The real Islamophobia

How did our fear of Islamophobia overcome or exceed our fear of Christophobia and anti-Semitism? Isn’t our fear of Islamophobia the “real Islamophobia”? And if so, what can we do about it?

When terror attacks by Muslims far exceeded the number of attacks by believers from other religions, why did we hesitate to identify the attackers as Muslims?

Why did we show more indignation about attacks against Muslims than against any other group? Could this be the result of an unconscious “real islamophobia,” which keeps us constrained and restrained from telling the truth, because we are terrified at the idea of 1.5 billion angry Muslims rioting around the world? Are we cloaking our unconscious fear under the guise of political correctness and generous multiculturalism?

Islamist extremists succeeded in turning us “Islamophobic for real.”

Their shocking attacks and seeming endless capacity to attract new adherents, the bombings of embassies, the muzzling of the media by threatening reporters, assassinations of movie directors, and the Charlie Hebdo attacks have created an unconscious Islamophobia.  We fear that telling the truth about attacks led by Muslims might alienate and turn all Muslims into “would-be-Islamist-Jihadis if pushed.” This, in turn, affects what we call their victims. Calling them Christians may imply that there is a religious war going on, and if there is war, we will have to do something about it.

When the victims are Muslims, we can name them, because we do not fear that it will be misinterpreted as religious war; then we can fully grieve over Muslim victims and still not have to do much about it, other than pass laws meant to reassure the potential 1.5 billion jihadists that we will not provoke them.

This unconscious Islamophobia has actually made us shut off the potential voices of the hundreds of millions of non-Islamists Muslims, Muslims who do not believe in the Muslim Caliphate that must take over the world; who want to live in peace with the rest of humanity, while practicing their religion. This fear has shut off their capacity to confront the religious extremists in their midst, the imams promoting this extremism and their apologizers. We close our ears to those radical imams preaching hatred and violence against the Infidels in our own cities and allow them to proliferate.

We have failed to support and uphold the voices of leaders like Egypt’s Al Sissi calling on imams to reform or redirect Islamic teachings and save Islam from the abhorrent violence. We have even shunned the Arab and Muslim voices, warning of the radicalization taking place and have even labeled them Islamophobic.

The “real Islamophobia” is not the naming of Islamist Jihadists terrorists, but surrendering to absurd demands due to the fear of a 1.5 billion Muslims going on a rampage of destruction! Is this fear in the unconscious of every non-Muslim person? It might have seemed reasonable — there was enough radicalism in the Muslim world to lend to it.

But change is palpable. Enough voices have dared to come up in the Muslim world and reassure us that they are just as appalled by this radicalism as we are. There are also enough political changes in the Arab world, most specifically in the rich Gulf states, in reaction to the threat of Iranian hegemony, to lose this fear and start instead banging the drums of war against Muslim extremism. Although extremism is still advocated by Muslim clergy in the name of the Quran, the “Arab street” is safer now; it has not been unleashed anymore, not against the American Embassy in Jerusalem, not against the US declaring the Israeli ownership of Golan, not for the Palestinian people.

The Arab world now knows that the radical forces they unleashed will destroy everything they need, use and benefit from. They get it. They want peace in the Middle East. It is now up to the West to catch up and support the real voices of reform, without “real islamophobia.” It is time to check our unconscious racism at the door, recognize that among Muslims, there are the peaceful believers, the extremist believers and the non-believers. It is time to make our unconscious fears conscious, to allay some of them, and take the appropriate actions for the fears that are appropriate.

Let’s call each group by its name, and not amalgamate everything and everybody, for the good or the bad; let’s give each party the support they need or the confrontation they need. We need to check the unconscious fear at the door and stop its supposed remedy — political correctness. We must protect Muslim reformist voices instead of rejecting them and accusing them of being Islamophobic. Most importantly, let’s call each perpetrator group by its name and track and confront its inciters; let’s call each victim by its name.

About the Author
Gina Ross, MFCT, is Founder/President of the International Trauma-Healing Institutes in the US and in Israel. Born in Aleppo, Syria, Gina has lived in eight different countries on four continents. A specialist in individual and collective trauma, she is the author of a series of books “Beyond the Trauma Vortex into the Healing Vortex,” targeting 10 social sectors implicated in amplifying or healing trauma. She is creator of the Ross Model: Protocol for Conflict Resolution and Successful Communication. Gina focuses her analytical and advocacy work on the collective trauma behind politics, specifically the Israeli-Jewish/Palestinian–Arab conflict.
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