WHEN I'M TALKING about Islamic teachings, sometimes people say, "That seems racist." I usually respond that I'm talking about the teachings, not the person, and that it couldn't be racist anyway because Islam is not a race. There are Muslims of every race on earth.
I make the point that: "Even if I were to say, 'All Muslims are evil,' that's not racism, either. It would be an overgeneralization, but it's not racism. If I said, 'Indonesians are evil,' THAT would be racism."
I just came across a story I'm going to keep in mind next time someone accuses me of racism. As the story shows, anyone from any race or country can be a devout Muslim, and if he is following the strict teachings of Islam, he is a threat to any non-Muslim of any race. The story is about training whites in Muslim training camps.
The "racism response" is one of the most common reactions people have when they hear about Islamic supremacism. You and I need to be clear on why our criticisms of Islam are not racism so we can answer effectively.
If I said the tenets, recruitment practices, and indoctrination techniques of the Ku Klux Klan are dangerous to civil rights in America, would anyone call my statement "racist?" Would it be called "hate speech?" Am I suffering from KuKluxKlanophobia?
No, those criticisms would be ridiculous. Rather, my statement that the tenets, recruitment practices, and indoctrination techniques are dangerous to civil rights is a legitimate statement of debate, and there is nothing the matter with stating it openly and talking about it.
But say the same about Islamic supremacism in mixed company and there is an almost audible gasp, and an embarrassed silence, as if you had broken some sacred taboo. Why? The Islamic supremacists themselves have been accusing their critics of racism and hate speech and Islamophobia, and they've influenced the mainstream media to do the same, so it has entered the mainstream cultural thought-process. Now, it is an almost automatic emotional reaction.
Islamic supremacists have been using these accusations because they know in this country we have a hot-button on those issues. Nobody wants to be considered racist. The Jihadis use this fact as a weapon.
So we need to carefully and effectively explain to everyone why criticism of Islam is quite different from hate speech, Islamophobia, or racism. Make this distinction clearly and persuasively. People need to hear about Islam, but as long as they have this barrier to their listening, you can't get through.
Start with the idea that learning about Islam actually prevents racism.