OPINION: Criticism doesn’t mean phobia

When I say McDonald’s should serve healthier food choices, it doesn’t mean I have McDonald’s-phobia.

Criticism is not the same as fear. Specifically, irrational fear.

Phobia is fear, criticism is not.

Rex Murphy wrote in a National Post column that the current uses for the word/suffix phobia “is that they, none of them, refer to a discrete, specifically identifiable, unarguable object.”

In short, phobia is to describe the irrational fear of something tangible, like insects or clowns, or a small room. It had some scientific, medical connotation to it.

That’s changed.

When people throw the word “Islamophobia” around casually, it makes me think, “Really? You have an irrational fear of Muslims?”

Do you need a dose of the Quran to help you?

No, that’s just wrong.

Which is why MP Iqra Khalid’s motion on racism and discrimination (M-103) needs some fixing.

To sum up the motion, it’s just saying there’s rampant hatred towards the Muslim community in Canada, and the government should do something about it.

I’m all for inclusivity. We must do something to stop discrimination. But let’s also try to understand the conversation Canadians have about Muslims. While there are groups that spew hate and racism, the majority of Canadians are not fearful of Muslims. We may not agree with certain fundamentalist ideologies (that breed groups like ISIS). We may criticize the religion’s outdated thinking because we don’t truly understand the cultural differences. But how is that irrational? How is that hate?

I understand that it has become very easy to point fingers at the Muslim community and link them to acts of terrorism. Clearly we are still recovering from the events of 9/11. It is wrong to label all Muslims as terrorists. It is wrong, in general, to discriminate.

But it is also wrong to suppress criticism of the religion because of “systemic racism and discrimination.” Criticism is based on facts and reasoning that support an argument. Hate is hate. One is rational. The other irrational, and sometimes plain wrong. They’re two different things.

I might be getting ahead of myself because M-103 is just a motion; there’s no legal binding in its nature. And maybe I’m now treading the line of PC-ness with all this concern on wording and terminology.

Let us first understand what really is causing the “hate,” and where you draw the line between that and criticism.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s