We should stop using Muslims’ self-chosen word – “Islamophobia” – by which they paint themselves into a corner of being feared: it destroys communication. Instead of such a divisive term, we should insert a more approachable and factual word that preserves opportunities for bridge-building and learning: “Islamonausea.” This does not render communication impossible, but enables visitors to our Western cultures to notice aspects of their behavior that make us sick.
It’s no wonder that Muslims use the word “Islamophobia” so often. Lacking convincing arguments, charm or constructive contributions to their surroundings, being feared is the only way to gain at least some kind of respect. The term Islamophobia, fear of Islam, points to what Muslims want, not to what non-Muslims feel. Who is afraid of Islam, anyway?
“Xenophobia,” an irrational fear of that which is strange or foreign, also doesn’t work. Aversion to Islam doesn’t come from unfamiliarity with the religion; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There’s no reason to fear being called a racist, either, since neither Islam nor Muslims are a race.