Islamophobia is a term cooked up by a religious scholar to negate any and all criticisms of Islam. It is not a phobia and should not be treated as such.
Do you view antisemitism the same way? Point of fact, you can foment fear toward just about anything. While you can certainly make valid criticisms of Islam, you can also use propaganda to make people afraid of Islam.
If we distil your article, it will most likely be “white equals bad” and “brown equals good.” You conflate Arabs and Muslims, while also decrying the Sikhs being thrown in the same category as Muslims and yet label their treatment as Islamophobia — If they don’t follow Islam than the categorization should not apply, right?
White supremacy is bad, but nowhere do I say that “white equals bad.” You are making my point for me regarding racism, though. If Islamophobia results in attacks against Sikhs, and Sikh men are not Muslim, but are brown-skinned people with turbans and beards, then clearly there is a racist element to Islamophobia. If people just wanted to debate ideologies, there would be no violence or fear involved.
Regardless, you attack valid arguments, treat them as some sort of evil racist propaganda and don’t actually answer the issue that those questions raise. Why people treat ‘Islamophobia’ as the hatred of “brown people?” Why should people respect a religion that does not respect them? When can we criticize Islam? Is there a formula I must keep before doing so? If I am a Muslim does this allow me to criticize Islam, or does it also constitute ‘Islamophobia?’ What if I’m Jewish? Should I be a certain shade of brown or black?
Plenty of Muslims do respect me. I realize that, as a Satanist, I could be executed in certain countries. At the same time, there are progressive Muslims who believe in what the Satanic Temple is doing with regard to fighting for religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Thus, it stands to reason that adherence to Islam is not the problem. If you ask me, the problem is the degree of theocracy which a state can attain. There were once Christians who burned witches, and there are fundamentalist Christians today who would do the same thing if the law permitted it, but American law prohibits that from happening.
In the end, religions and ideologies don’t reform because they choose to. They reform because all other alternatives are taken away from the people who follow the religion or ideology.
That’s not how it works at all. Secularism results from more alternatives being presented to people. In certain jurisdictions, people have no choice but to join a religion. In certain communities that lack breadth of resources, people feel immense pressure to be a part of a church, temple, mosque, or other local religious group. When more choices are presented — such as education, skill building, scientific inquiry, freedom of expression, political activism, or a great many other things — people find that they are not ensnared by religious doctrine and can choose not to participate.