Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When NOT to accept the term “bigot”…

The term “bigot” is has been thrown around like baseballs during the World Series.  Sometimes its application hits the mark and sometimes it totally misses the mark.  Too often it misses the mark when it is used against an individual merely because they dislike what was said, even if it is the truth.   In the case of Muslims or their apologists, they will often call someone a bigot even when what is said about Islam or Muslims is correct.   Sometimes we impose on ourselves the label of “bigot” when we have negative thoughts about a particular group of people.

But what about the times when the negative thoughts or comments we feel or that are expressed about a particular group of people are factually correct – i.e. “the truth.”

When are we most likely to be called a “bigot?”  Here are four of my favorites:

  • When we speak the truth about Islamic history and beliefs
  • When we express distrust of Muslim based on their avowed practices
  • When we express concern about illegal immigration
  • When we express concern about an out of control immigration policy that takes away jobs of US citizens

Let’s look at the definition of “bigot” from Merriam Webster:

: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

Dissecting this definition,  the word “unfairly” is important.  Unfairly implies that the dislike is for reasons that are not justifiable, are unfair, or are false.  On the other hand, if the reasons for your negative feelings or statements are justifiable, fair, and true, the dislike is not bigoted.

Next, the word “dislike.”  Having negative feelings about a person may not necessarily be “dislike.”  It could be “fear”.  It could be “disagreement.”  It could be “discomfort.”     It  may be “pity” or “deep concern.”  “Dislike” may or may not be a component of your feelings, especially if your feelings are fact based.  In fact feelings of fear, disagreement, discomfort, pity, or deep concern may be justified by factual knowledge about an individual who is factually known to be a threat due to his known beliefs, associations and declarations.

The “especially” part of the definition is merely an example based on the criteria set forth in the first part of the definition.  It should not be interpreted without the overarching application of the first part, especially “unfairly” and “dislike.”

Now, let’s apply the definition of bigot to those of us who may be called a “bigot” or who might tend to self identify ourselves as a bigot for harboring fear of, or disagreement or discomfort about  Muslims.

Are we bigots for harboring feelings of fear, disagreement, discomfort, pity or deep concern with Muslims?

The answer:  Absolutely not!  Why not?  Because those feelings are based on the following facts:

  • The life and example of Islam’s leader, Muhammad.  Learn the life of Muhammad and you will know the beliefs and tendencies of Muslims.
  • The interpretation of Islamic texts, both historically and currently.  Learn the doctrine of abrogation and you will know the parts of the Qur’an that take precedence.
  • The teaching and practice of mainstream Islam throughout history and currently.  Learn the historical conquests of Islam and you will know what to expect from an Islamic resurgence, renewal, revitalization or whatever you want to call what is going on today.
  • The words and declaration of Muslims throughout history and currently.  Listen to Islamic leaders and spokesmen today, take them at their word, and know what to expect.
  • The fact that those who identify as “Muslim” declare their faithfulness to all of the above.  Why would they self-identify if they did not believe?
  • All the above provide factual evidence that Islam is intolerant, supremacist, vengeful, and declare hatred, annihilation, or second class citizenship toward anyone who does not convert to Islam.
  • Those who call themselves “Muslim” and claim they do not hold to the above beliefs are either apostate or are liars, practicing the Islamic doctrine of “taqiyya.”  Why would a person identify with the known evil of Islam if they did not believe it?  Without knowing such person intimately, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference.

Those who use the word “bigot” or anything-“phobe” against us do so with the intent to silence us.  We sometimes silence ourselves unnecessarily as a result of our cultural conditioning.  Get over it!

So, in answer to the question:  When should we NOT accept the term “bigot?”

Don’t accept the term “bigot” when our observation or concern is factually correct and verifiable.  The term bigot is inappropriate for our fact-based feelings and expressions of concern regarding Muslims. 

1 comment:

Brother Michael said...

Add to that "racist."