Everything is a phobia these days. It’s not possible, for example, to have a complex position on the ability of two people of the same gender to marry. That opinion is meaningless because it must be based in an irrational  fear, and thus it’s nothing more than a manifestation of “homophobia.” (Let’s leave aside that fact that, linguistically, “homophobia” means either “fear of men” or “fear of the same,” and thus is a nonsense word that no intelligent person would use.)

Then we have “Islamophobia,” which is supposedly an irrational fear of Muslims. It’s irrational because the dominant western experience of Islam is one long line of puppy dogs and lollipops and gentle sages wisely quoting from the Koran, and not suicide bombers and decapitations and death planes and men with explosives in their underwear and endless wars in awful places. No one is saying terrorism is the entirety of Islam, but it’s certainly a main theme of our modern interaction with it. Continue reading