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  #1  
Old 12-17-2011, 12:53 PM
apple
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Default Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

"There is now a stupid word trying to be imported in our culture: Islamophobia. As if to group it with anti-Semitism or racism in general. Nonsense, I won't have it. I dislike Islam very much, as I do all religions. I have every right to say that it's absurd and wicked belief. No one's gonna tell me I can't say that."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC05nI_PNuk&t=6m27s

I guess Hitchens realized what other leftists didn't - that it's absurd that Islam is entitled to a special word to demonize opposition and criticism. I've attacked liberals, conservatives, libertarians, religious Jews, fundamentalist Christians, Nazis, but no one has tried to call me a librophobe, Judeophobe or Naziphobe for that. Or even a bigot. Not even liberals call me a librophobe or bigot for attacking or criticizng liberalism. People understand that a belief system is by its very nature open to criticism. Those same people appear to think that this does not apply to Islam. Even ostensible right-wingers like sugarkang and whburgess buy into the idea that there is criticism of Islam (Islamophobia), and criticism of everyone else (which is just criticism).

More recently, individuals have shown up who believe that criticizing radical Islamists is ridiculous, offensive and Islamophobic.

Last edited by apple; 12-17-2011 at 12:56 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2011, 03:56 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

I wouldn't call Hitchens Islamophobic, since as others have noted, he's quite hostile to all religions. However, an argument can be made that support for the Iraq war was a mutant strain of the rampant Islamophobia virus.

I trace its origins as follows: anti-Arab/Muslim fervor after 9/11 required revenge and punishment somewhere in the Arab world. Iraq was a scapegoat country. So those who favored war on Iraq, like Hitchens, were acting out this irrational prejudice against Arabs. If you accept the premise, as I do, that the war was insane, gratuitous, morally wrong and catastrophic to both Iraq and the USA, then acknowledging the Islamophobe underpinnings becomes almost inescapable.

I find very hard to forgive intellectuals like Hitchens and Frum for jumping off this cliff with the likes of Dick Cheney. Cheney, I get; he was never thoughtful enough to understand the moral issues. Hitchens should have known better.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2011, 06:58 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I wouldn't call Hitchens Islamophobic, since as others have noted, he's quite hostile to all religions. However, an argument can be made that support for the Iraq war was a mutant strain of the rampant Islamophobia virus.

I trace its origins as follows: anti-Arab/Muslim fervor after 9/11 required revenge and punishment somewhere in the Arab world. Iraq was a scapegoat country. So those who favored war on Iraq, like Hitchens, were acting out this irrational prejudice against Arabs. If you accept the premise, as I do, that the war was insane, gratuitous, morally wrong and catastrophic to both Iraq and the USA, then acknowledging the Islamophobe underpinnings becomes almost inescapable.

I find very hard to forgive intellectuals like Hitchens and Frum for jumping off this cliff with the likes of Dick Cheney. Cheney, I get; he was never thoughtful enough to understand the moral issues. Hitchens should have known better.
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2011, 07:21 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Cheney, I get; he was never thoughtful enough to understand the moral issues. Hitchens should have known better.
The big problem for Hitchens getting to the other side of it was it becoming dramatically unpopular. Once that happened, he was never going to re-evaluate. Every one of his instincts (that generally served him well) were going to work against him re-evaluating an opinion of his once the conventional wisdom was against him.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2011, 07:55 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
Once that happened, he was never going to re-evaluate.
Why do you say this? Has he shown this pattern of behavior before? It seems to me that he always re-evaluates (err, past tense). It was from Hitchens that I learned Marx, toward the end of his life, spoke highly of the capitalist U.S. and disliked the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union.

Hitch was a member of the Socialist Party and ended up a neo-con. He's a persistent debater, and that gives off the impression that he's stubborn. But when a guy goes from one political extreme to another, he can hardly be called closed minded.
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2011, 08:36 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
It was from Hitchens that I learned Marx, toward the end of his life, spoke highly of the capitalist U.S. and disliked the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. .
Either you misunderstood.... or I misunderstand your grammar. Marx could not have disliked the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union because he died in 1883, long before the Russian Revolution.

Quote:
Hitch was a member of the Socialist Party and ended up a neo-con. He's a persistent debater, and that gives off the impression that he's stubborn. But when a guy goes from one political extreme to another, he can hardly be called closed minded.
I think it would be more accurate to say that, like many Europeans of his generation, he flirted with radical "leftism" in his youth. But it was never anything but a flirtation.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2011, 02:34 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Either you misunderstood.... or I misunderstand your grammar. Marx could not have disliked the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union because he died in 1883, long before the Russian Revolution.
I butchered his original text because I have a shitty memory.

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Marx’s original insight about capitalism was that it was the most revolutionary and creative force ever to appear in human history. And though it brought with it enormous attendant dangers, [the revolutionary nature] was the first thing to recognize about it. That is actually what the Manifesto is all about. As far as I know, no better summary of the beauty of capital has ever been written. You sort of know it’s true, and yet it can’t be, because it doesn’t compute in the way we’re taught to think. Any more than it computes, for example, that Marx and Engels thought that America was the great country of freedom and revolution and Russia was the great country of tyranny and backwardness.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2011, 02:24 PM
apple
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

No offense to you, sugarkang, but anyone even slightly familiar with Marxist doctrine would not be surprised that Marx would have a more positive view of "bourgeois" America than of "feudal" Russia.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2011, 08:46 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Why do you say this? Has he shown this pattern of behavior before?
I didn't say he would never re-evaluate. I said it would be unlikely to re-evaluate into a popular position. Among other things, he was a contrarian. Once his view was unpopular, re-evaluating into the more popular position would be very uncontrarian.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2011, 09:26 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
I didn't say he would never re-evaluate. I said it would be unlikely to re-evaluate into a popular position. Among other things, he was a contrarian. Once his view was unpopular, re-evaluating into the more popular position would be very uncontrarian.
I agree with your assessment. His public persona was that of a contrarian and provocateur, always in a defiant attitude. He got a kick out of the reaction that other people had to his thoughts and statements. Coming up with the unexpected was probably a significant component as well, at least partially for salesmanship purposes.

An interesting, if somewhat twisted at times, character with great wit and knowledge and an outstanding talent for use of language.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2011, 04:55 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I agree with your assessment. His public persona was that of a contrarian and provocateur, always in a defiant attitude. He got a kick out of the reaction that other people had to his thoughts and statements. Coming up with the unexpected was probably a significant component as well, at least partially for salesmanship purposes.

An interesting, if somewhat twisted at times, character with great wit and knowledge and an outstanding talent for use of language.
Yes, I agree with this too. micelf's was a good point.
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2011, 02:26 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
I didn't say he would never re-evaluate. I said it would be unlikely to re-evaluate into a popular position. Among other things, he was a contrarian. Once his view was unpopular, re-evaluating into the more popular position would be very uncontrarian.
I agree that he was a contrarian; he was famous for that and it was the consensus view. But the problem with labels is that it deceptively limits a person from being anything more. If you watch him on old C-Span tapes, he talks about getting U.S. citizenship as an act of solidarity, post 9-11. In addition, he says a lot of non 9-11 stuff that comes across as very pedestrian. Do you ever wonder why and how he had such a great friendship with Andrew Sullivan, Christian? I don't.
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2011, 08:55 AM
apple
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I wouldn't call Hitchens Islamophobic,
And yet you don't respond to his and my argument - namely that your very acceptance of a word like "Islamophobic" is ridiculous? Why are there no such words for other ideologies? Why is Islam the one religion one can't criticize without being called a name?

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
since as others have noted, he's quite hostile to all religions. However, an argument can be made that support for the Iraq war was a mutant strain of the rampant Islamophobia virus.
No, the real "Islamophobe" position is that Muslims don't deserve any better, and that Saddam Hussein is the best it's ever going to get. Hitchens had the delusion that it's somehow a moral good to have elections in a country like Iraq.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:55 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
And yet you don't respond to his and my argument - namely that your very acceptance of a word like "Islamophobic" is ridiculous? Why are there no such words for other ideologies? Why is Islam the one religion one can't criticize without being called a name?
If one criticizes other religions one gets called names -- anti-Jewish or anti-semitic, for example (the latter gets applied to a dislike of Jews beyond the religion, but can be used for criticism of the religion). Just look to that irritating Catholic League guy Bill Donohue for discussion of "anti-Catholicism," although it is not limited to him. True, Protestantism for the most part has been mainstream US culture such that there are no words for calling out people for being anti Protestant or even anti Evangelical (although the latter seems a plausible accusation) -- typically those views are combined with more general anti-religious attitudes. The exception is the extent to which being anti-evangelical or anti-fundie (attitudes of which I am sometimes guilty myself) are combined with class-related attitudes. Thus, it's subsumed by a concern about "elitism," which I think can be easily found in accusations tossed about on this website. (It's a common discussion in left-leaning forums I know, actually, between those who see being "anti-evangelical" as being against the prevailing culture, so good, vs. those who see it as being against the less economically advantaged, so not so good. I'm sure this very debate seems dumb to many.)


Quote:
Hitchens had the delusion that it's somehow a moral good to have elections in a country like Iraq.
Hitchens was reacting in large part to idiotic commentary that defended even Islamic opposition to the western elite as something that the average left-leaning opponent should agree with. Beyond that, there's a debate over the extent to which one can (and should) bring freedom to others through force. Hitchens is more willing to be prescriptive here, and this is a relatively consistent position for him, unlike many so-called "conservatives." I don't agree with him, because I'm more of a Burkean on these issues, but clearly his view is a genuine liberal one.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:31 PM
apple
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
If one criticizes other religions one gets called names -- anti-Jewish or anti-semitic, for example (the latter gets applied to a dislike of Jews beyond the religion, but can be used for criticism of the religion).
Used wrongly for criticism of their religion. Being a religious Jew has absolutely nothing to do with being a Semite. The only time I've seen bias against the religion be called anti-Semitic is the radical Christian anti-Judaism of the Middle Ages - which is also a misappellation, of course..

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Just look to that irritating Catholic League guy Bill Donohue for discussion of "anti-Catholicism," although it is not limited to him.
Anti-Catholicism is a logically neutral word. A Nazi may call me an anti-Nazi, and I would agree. However, I am not a Naziphobe (though I sometimes embrace the label, just to grate the people who call everyone an Islamophobe), because that term is a pejorative - it suggests that people who are anti-Nazi are wrong.

Also, why is the Catholic League irritating, but not terrorist-linked CAIR and its constant whining about "Islamophobia"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
True, Protestantism for the most part has been mainstream US culture such that there are no words for calling out people for being anti Protestant or even anti Evangelical (although the latter seems a plausible accusation) -- typically those views are combined with more general anti-religious attitudes. The exception is the extent to which being anti-evangelical or anti-fundie (attitudes of which I am sometimes guilty myself)
Good for you.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:54 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
Anti-Catholicism is a logically neutral word. A Nazi may call me an anti-Nazi, and I would agree. However, I am not a Naziphobe (though I sometimes embrace the label, just to grate the people who call everyone an Islamophobe), because that term is a pejorative - it suggests that people who are anti-Nazi are wrong.
Okay, I don't see the huge difference you do in context, but I'm not attached to the term "Islamophobe" or the general desire to turn opposition into phobias. Anti-Islam works better IMO.

Quote:
Also, why is the Catholic League irritating, but not terrorist-linked CAIR and its constant whining about "Islamophobia"?
Why on earth do you assume that I'm not irritated by Islamic interest groups at times?

Donohue irritates me specifically because of the role he has been permitted to play in our public dialogue -- he whines about lots of stupid stuff and gets lots of publicity, Bush apologized to him for giving a speech at Bob Jones, on and on. Plus, I'm Catholic, so feel comfortable saying that I don't think anti-Catholicism is much of a problem in current America and find it tiresome that someone claims to speak for me on this point. It's not entirely unlike my reaction to some of the things feminists more radical than me sometimes say.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:26 AM
apple
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Okay, I don't see the huge difference you do in context, but I'm not attached to the term "Islamophobe" or the general desire to turn opposition into phobias. Anti-Islam works better IMO.
It's also accurate. I'm anti-Islam and proud of it. So was CH, by the way.

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Why on earth do you assume that I'm not irritated by Islamic interest groups at times?
Leftists criticize that doofus Donohue in a way CAIR is never targeted (but usually defended), despite its connections with terrorism, despite its incessant whining about nothing, despite the fact that it (the California branch) even called on all-American Muslims to not co-operate with the Fascist Bureau of Islamophobia. I probably shouldn't conflate you with leftists more generally, this is not the first time I've been burned by it.

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Donohue irritates me specifically because of the role he has been permitted to play in our public dialogue -- he whines about lots of stupid stuff and gets lots of publicity, Bush apologized to him for giving a speech at Bob Jones, on and on. Plus, I'm Catholic,
Surprising, I thought that you were a liberal protestant.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:31 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
It's also accurate. I'm anti-Islam and proud of it. So was CH, by the way.



Leftists criticize that doofus Donohue in a way CAIR is never targeted (but usually defended), despite its connections with terrorism, despite its incessant whining about nothing, despite the fact that it (the California branch) even called on all-American Muslims to not co-operate with the Fascist Bureau of Islamophobia. I probably shouldn't conflate you with leftists more generally, this is not the first time I've been burned by it.



Surprising, I thought that you were a liberal protestant.
The original has been taken down or I'd post a direct link instead of one to an old blog post; but Donohue deserves every bit of criticism he receives and far more - a fact completely unrelated to whether CAIR is criticised.

http://eponym327.blogspot.com/2010/1...e-rubbing.html
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2011, 01:19 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by apple View Post
It's also accurate. I'm anti-Islam and proud of it. So was CH, by the way.
But Stephanie is right. Islamophobia, etymologically, means "fear of Islam." It doesn't mean opposition to Islam.

The confusion began with the ridiculous term "homophobia," which combines the idea of fear of homosexuals (or homosexuality) with the idea of the dislike or hatred of homosexuals (or homosexuality). They are hardly the same thing.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2011, 01:55 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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The confusion began with the ridiculous term "homophobia," which combines the idea of fear of homosexuals (or homosexuality) with the idea of the dislike or hatred of homosexuals (or homosexuality). They are hardly the same thing.
The idea is to pathologize the conditions. It is debatable whether that is a good approach. But "phobia" is a clinical condition that can provoke different emotions, typically fear and anger. For example, if a claustrophobic is put in a confined space, s/he may react by huddling in a corner and whimpering and screaming and banging the walls to get it. When a Judeophobe is placed near a Jew (psychologically or in physical space) s/he may respond with horror and fear (the cooties reaction; Jews contaminate Gentiles) or with rage (we must kill them!)

People who are treated by professionals for homophobia or Islamophobia ( real conditions) may have a range of symptoms that include wanting to harm Muslims and/or fearing them irrationally (they look at my children funny in the street).
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  #21  
Old 12-21-2011, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
The idea is to pathologize the conditions. It is debatable whether that is a good approach. But "phobia" is a clinical condition that can provoke different emotions, typically fear and anger. For example, if a claustrophobic is put in a confined space, s/he may react by huddling in a corner and whimpering and screaming and banging the walls to get it. When a Judeophobe is placed near a Jew (psychologically or in physical space) s/he may respond with horror and fear (the cooties reaction; Jews contaminate Gentiles) or with rage (we must kill them!)

People who are treated by professionals for homophobia or Islamophobia ( real conditions) may have a range of symptoms that include wanting to harm Muslims and/or fearing them irrationally (they look at my children funny in the street).
I don't think anger is implicit in the term "phobia". There are two concepts that are closely related that are implicit in the term: excessive fear and avoidance. It is the desire to avoid the phobic stimulus that may lead to actions towards making it disappear. But in its original sense, it's mostly staying away from, not entering in contact with. The irrationality of the fear obviously is part of the connotation as well.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:12 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I don't think anger is implicit in the term "phobia". There are two concepts that are closely related that are implicit in the term: excessive fear and avoidance. It is the desire to avoid the phobic stimulus that may lead to actions towards making it disappear. But in its original sense, it's mostly staying away from, not entering in contact with. The irrationality of the fear obviously is part of the connotation as well.
Also, with "homophobia," there's the tacit implication that at least some of those to whom that word is applied have a fear of something that might be used to describe some feelings or tendencies of their own.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2011, 02:39 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Also, with "homophobia," there's the tacit implication that at least some of those to whom that word is applied have a fear of something that might be used to describe some feelings or tendencies of their own.
Hmmm.... do you think that self-professed "islamophobes" like apple have secret feelings of tenderness towards Muslims?

But of course you and wonderment are right. People who dislike, hate, despise....fill in the blank.....are usually driven by unconscious desires/fears of some kind.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:46 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Hmmm.... do you think that self-professed "islamophobes" like apple have secret feelings of tenderness towards Muslims?

But of course you and wonderment are right. People who dislike, hate, despise....fill in the blank.....are usually driven by unconscious desires/fears of some kind.
Yes, anger/fight is a response to a real or perceived threat. Such threat may be direct (fear of being attacked by an animal), or indirect, the desirability of the phobic object is unacceptable and creates a conflict with one's values and morals.

Pure Freud.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:55 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Yes, anger/fight is a response to a real or perceived threat. Such threat may be direct (fear of being attacked by an animal), or indirect, the desirability of the phobic object is unacceptable and creates a conflict with one's values and morals.

Pure Freud.
Absolutely. I forgot to mention you ocean, but I was thinking of you.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Absolutely. I forgot to mention you ocean, but I was thinking of you.
Sweet.
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  #27  
Old 12-21-2011, 06:56 PM
apple
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Yes, anger/fight is a response to a real or perceived threat. Such threat may be direct (fear of being attacked by an animal), or indirect, the desirability of the phobic object is unacceptable and creates a conflict with one's values and morals.

Pure Freud.
While you are making mindless pseudo-scientific analyses on why people are opposed to Islam - the number of deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11 in the name of Islam stands at 18,167.

I wonder... whether that may have anything to do with people opposing Islam? No, it must be an unconscious Theseus-complex. Give him a few electric shocks, and that will cure him of his 'Islamophobia'.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:50 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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While you are making mindless pseudo-scientific analyses on why people are opposed to Islam - the number of deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11 in the name of Islam stands at 18,167.

I wonder... whether that may have anything to do with people opposing Islam? No, it must be an unconscious Theseus-complex. Give him a few electric shocks, and that will cure him of his 'Islamophobia'.
apple, refrain your mistaken impulses to come after me for what I didn't say. I was just clarifying a point about the meaning of the term "phobia".

I'm not interested in the original discussion about Islamophobia. I don't need to analyze the etymology of the term to know you're a mindless pseudo-rational Islamophobe. And only god knows why that is! Pun intended.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:52 PM
apple
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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apple, refrain your mistaken impulses to come after me for what I didn't say. I was just clarifying a point about the meaning of the term "phobia".

I'm not interested in the original discussion about Islamophobia. I don't need to analyze the etymology of the term to know you're a mindless pseudo-rational Islamophobe. And only god knows why that is! Pun intended.
No, apparently, you were born with that piece of perfect knowledge - no analysis, thought or logic needed.

By the way, did I just get a temporary reprieve from your feared ignore list, Ocean?
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:08 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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No, apparently, you were born with that piece of perfect knowledge - no analysis, thought or logic needed.
Idiosyncratic answer, apple.

Quote:
By the way, did I just get a temporary reprieve from your feared ignore list, Ocean?
You and sugarkang have such obsession with my ignore list. I use it as I please, not for reasons of perfect knowledge but for reasons of reserving the right of ignoring unworthy comments like the vast majority that you write.

Instead of engaging in endless arguments with people with whom I don't share enough common ground to have a meaningful interaction, I prefer to ignore comments. It works well for me. I suggest you give it a try.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:32 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
The idea is to pathologize the conditions.
It is a historical leftist tactic to suggest political dissent is a sign of psychological illness. Obviously suggesting that opposing the strange political agenda of an active leftist gay group is a sign of pathology is pretty bad. But I suppose it could be worse.....
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  #32  
Old 12-21-2011, 05:29 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

It gets tricky. There are homophobes, Islamophobes, Judeophobes whose condition is a form of mental illness and treatable. But there is usually a grey area between mental illness and legitimate political opinion and vewpoints that should be respected in a democracy. 9/11 conspiracies theorists are another example. Is it a mental illness to think George Bush planned 9/11?

There are also people who hold "crazy" views for other reasons. Vast ignorance, indoctrination and cyncial motives also come into play. Most people who believe Jews cook Christian babies for Passover are ignorant or brainwashed , but some are crazy. Many birthers are probably paranoic, but Donald Trump is probably just a non-crazy who uses birtherism to get attention (which also may be a pathological disorder of a different kind).

Generally, it's wise to avoid pathologizing political views, no matter how bizarre they may be.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
It gets tricky. There are homophobes, Islamophobes, Judeophobes whose condition is a form of mental illness and treatable.
Don't forget conservatophobes, librophobes, Naziphobes, hoplophobes (gun control advocates like yourself) - all the other pathological, treatable conditions.

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
But there is usually a grey area between mental illness and legitimate political opinion and vewpoints that should be respected in a democracy. 9/11 conspiracies theorists are another example. Is it a mental illness to think George Bush planned 9/11?
No, it's just very stupid. If you believe Bush planned 9/11 and that the CIA has put bugs in your wall, then you are mentally ill.
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  #34  
Old 12-21-2011, 11:37 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

Ok, we don't really disagree. I think you have a mild form of mental illness. I think your views about Arabs and Muslims can be described as mildly hallucinatory, but I think nearly everyone has some whack views like that.

I mean, if we are xenophobic as a species, xenophobia (and how it manifests as Islamophobia, Judeophobia, etc.) is by definition normal and non-deviant.

I think you need education rather than therapy. Probably today most people would agree that bigotry is amenable to reduction, if not eradication, through education. But the opposite is also true: bigotry can be taught, as it was in your case. I assume you're an Internet autodidact on all things Islamic.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:57 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I think you need education rather than therapy. Probably today most people would agree that bigotry is amenable to reduction, if not eradication, through education. But the opposite is also true: bigotry can be taught, as it was in your case. I assume you're an Internet autodidact on all things Islamic.
Seems like a conceit to me. Many of history's greatest men were "bigoted" in one way or another. Are you suggesting they were "ignorant"?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:04 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Seems like a conceit to me. Many of history's greatest men were "bigoted" in one way or another. Are you suggesting they were "ignorant"?
Yes, I'm suggesting.

But I'll bite: what "great men" do you have in mind and what do you mean by bigotry?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:28 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Yes, I'm suggesting.

But I'll bite: what "great men" do you have in mind and what do you mean by bigotry?
Do you believe Marx was a great man?
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:33 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
Do you believe Marx was a great man?
I do. And there isn't a greater friend to naked capitalism on this board than me. I do, however, wish that Marx would be assigned reading in conjunction with Hayek and Adam Smith.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:01 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Do you believe Marx was a great man?
You haven't answered my questions, but I will assume that you think Marx was both a great man and bigoted, but that his bigotry was not due to ignorance.

If that's what you're saying, I think you're being nonsensical.

If it's not what you're saying, please stop posting pompous riddles and say what you mean.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:14 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Hitchens on "Islamophobia"

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
You haven't answered my questions, but I will assume that you think Marx was both a great man and bigoted, but that his bigotry was not due to ignorance.
To suggest "mental illness" is responsible for unpleasant aspects of people is a religious exercise. It isn't much different than when people blamed things on the devil, or demonic possession. It allows the in group to retain complete control over a particular narrative, while dismissing outliers as people falling victim to uncontrollable phenomenon leading them to error.

Similarly, "ignorance" is so vague as to be useless. People need to learn that intolerance, just as much as tolerance, has to do with value judgements and circumstance. Marx's problem with practicing, religious Jewry wasn't a biological matter, it was a judgement on the value of an insular orthodox grouping as a means for opposing proletarian interests. Is that ignorant? Is it crazy? Is it any different than apple on Islam?

Explain.
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