Islamophobia: False Impressions and Genuine Concerns

AHMAD VON DENFFER
Chairman of “Muslime Helfen”, GERMANY

THE TERM “PHOBIA”, BORROWED FROM PSYCHOLOGY,
in combination with Islam does not adequately describe the phenomena commonly understood as “Islamophobia”. As a general and non-clinical term “phobia” is indeed used to describe a dislike or aversion one may have towards certain things or situations, and it is most likely that we also use it in this sense during this conference.
However I would like to suggest that perhaps there is also room for application of the specific meaning of “phobia”, which basically describes an uncontrollable, unfounded and therefore unreasonable fear and anxiety. It is interesting to note that often childhood and traumatic experiences are seen to be the underlying causes for phobias.
False impressions and prejudices may hopefully be removed through constant and patient efforts to present the facts about Islam on a variety of platforms. Among the most essential measures will be for Muslim scholars and educators to continue explaining not only to Non-Muslims but to their Muslim audiences in particular that while any human being including a Muslim has a right to measured self-defence, there is no way to link Islam with terrorism or to legitimize terrorism from within Islam.

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