This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Is Donald Trump Islamophobic?

       If someone doesn't agree with an agenda they might be tagged with the label of a "phobia" in order to discredit their mental health and portray them as a not very reliable loon.  This is a tactic typically used by the left and seems to easily take hold by a gullible society, a propagandist media, and the disingenuous agents of academia.  False labeling that sounds clinical on the surface is nothing more than a dishonest ruse to promote leftist thinking and destroy those who disagree.

Islamophobia and Xenophobia and Donald Trump

A number of terms with the suffix -phobia are used non-clinically...Such terms are not phobias. They are derogatory terms for negative attitudes towards certain categories of people or other things, used in an invalid analogy with the medical usage of the term. These terms were coined with the purpose of shedding a negative light on the people within these opposing groups, by suggesting that everyone within has an irrational fear towards the objects of the terms. Usually these kinds of "phobias" are described as fear, dislike, disapproval, prejudicehatreddiscrimination, or hostility towards the object of the "phobia".[47]    

      Now to continue with another installment of my  President Trump Acclimation Series.

      In this post we come to the final entries in what I've been referring to as "the litany of labels" that have continued to be assigned to Donald Trump and his supporters--xenophobic and Islamophobic.   The first of these is a legitimate term in psychology which has been misused by proponents of the Trump bashing movement.  In truth there is no actual phobia at play in anything that Trump has been saying.

       Building a wall and addressing the issues of illegal immigration are matters of law enforcement and have nothing to do with race or any fear of foreigners.  Even though some undocumented workers and others illegally in the U.S. might contribute to the tax coffers, there is no denying that the illegal immigrants and migrants of refugee status place a burden on the already overly encumbered American taxpayer. Beyond the financial aspects, which in some cases can be argued from a positive standpoint as much as a negative, there are still important issues of national security and stability of the nation.  I won't get into depth on this extensive subject other than to point out that this is not an issue of xenophobia.

        However the deceptive accusation of "Islamophobia" might be not well understood by many.  After all we have been repeatedly reminded that Islam is "the religion of peace" and terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.

        Now before I continue, as an aside and to reiterate the sentiments I expressed in my previous post, we should not harass or hurt those with whom we disagree.  What I am saying in my post does not in any way condone verbally or physically attacking Muslims or vandalizing their property. They are entitled to believe as they wish as long as it doesn't interfere with what you and I wish to believe.  Likewise I think that President-elect Trump would offer this same consideration.

        Most Muslims are just plain folks like you or I.  They want to work in their jobs, aspire for comfortable lives, and raise their families in peace without threat from their neighbors.  The typical Muslim has been raised in their faith and most are likely moderate believers just like a good many of people who think of themselves as Christians.  Probably the majority of Muslims in the United States have been westernized and do not isolate themselves from the rest of us with any religious garb or ostentatious prayer routines.  Of course this is my guess and I can not actually verify this statement, but I think I'm probably correct.  In all likelihood, if you had a Muslim neighbor you might never even know their religion unless they told you.

        I can't say that I've had many long ongoing close relationships with any Muslims.  A couple of them live in my neighborhood and though we are congenial when we encounter each other (which is rare), we don't have any close relations.  But that is true with all of my neighbors--I don't socialize with any of them and that's just the way my wife and I are.

      Once there was a beautiful young Muslim woman who was part of a study team I led at the University of Phoenix where I received my degree in 2007.  This team consisted of three men--a Mormon, a Roman Catholic, and an atheist--and this one Muslim lady. We all got along very well and worked together to produce an excellent presentation for our class project.   The lady was extremely nice, and though originally from Iran, she was very westernized and moderate in her practice of Islam.  We had some interesting uncontentious discussions about our different religions when we weren't focused on working on our project.

        I have nothing against Muslims on a one on one basis and would not desire to be in conflict with a Muslim any more than I want to be in conflict with anyone.  I've always tried to be a peacemaker as well as a peaceful person.  I like to listen to reason and take a rational approach to anything that I don't know much about in order to learn more.

         From the things Donald Trump said during the campaign I think he sounds like he takes a similar approach to other people.   More than once Trump stated that he had good relationships with many Muslims and admired many of their accomplishments.   His concern was always stated to be radical Islamic terrorism.  To me this is a totally rational statement and has nothing to do with so-called "Islamophobia".  

          Now, some will say that the phobia part comes from Trump's declaration of calling for a ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. from primarily Islamic countries.  The "Muslim Ban" is how this came to be called.    If you'll recall this ban was proposed immediately after the massacre in San Bernardino, California by two Muslims at a work-related Christmas party.  The ban was offered as a security measure to prevent potential terrorists from coming to this country.

        Not Islamophobia in my estimation, but wisdom.   One of the most brilliant things that I think Donald Trump said during his campaign for president was “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” 

         Why do I say "brilliant"?   I'll tell you in the next part of my  President Trump Acclimation Series.  This upcoming post just might be the most inflammatory of all of the posts in my series.  You can decide for yourselves. 

          That next part will come next week--Wednesday maybe, since Friday is Inauguration Day, and I'm aiming for another post on that day.   Of course this Sunday January 15th will be my special Battle of the Bands Inauguration Day post so I might be stepping on that post by having another so soon after, but I'll put a BOTB reminder on any subsequent posts I might do that week.

          Please do stop by on Sunday or shortly thereafter to vote on the BOTB post.   I've got one heck of a classic song in store and I don't want anyone to miss that train before it leaves the station.

          Does using "phobia" as a derogatory reference annoy you?   Do you think it's appropriate to use clinical terminology to describe things you might not like or agree with?   Have you ever disliked someone for what they were rather than who they were?


  1. Phobia is an irration fear albeit flying, spiders, but that dosen't make them mental.
    People are all too soon labelled as being "Phobic" if they do not agree with the norm.
    It's a sad world we live in. Why can't each individual have their own opinions (we are all unique to each other) and live their owns lives.
    A most interesting subject Lee, I read all about phobias whilst reading Paul McKenna's self help books after my two berevements years ago.


    1. Yvonne, there is fear, often normal (like heights, closed spaces, or spiders), and then there is a fear that prevents us from living a relatively normal life. For example the person who is so afraid to leave their house can lead a very obstructed life. At that point a fear can become "mental"--when measurable symptoms (profuse sweating, vomiting, extreme shaking, etc) are present and prevent a person from doing typical things because of their fear then that is a time for some psychological intervention.

      Fear is sometimes confused with a deep concern of consequences. A person might talk about the subject more often than others and they might think about it (eg--Islam, getting sick, or Donald Trump for that matter). These types might have the concern on their minds, but that doesn't stop them from leading an everyday type existence. That is not a legitimate "phobia" and those people should not be stigmatized as such.

      Live and let live would be best. Live in harmony and don't persecute others for what they believe. Sounds great, but can it happen? Probably not in this world of diverse opinion.


  2. I've know a beautiful family for over ten years ... my neighbors. I watched their children grow from birth. They brought me wonderful dishes of food during their Muslim holidays. They invited me to their mosque and I was so impressed by the welcome I received, along with learning more about their religion. The biggest population is in Indonesia (not the Middle East). Most Muslims who are US citizens are from Indonesia.

    This development with ISIS and the politics behind it is really sad and frightening for many like my neighbors. The father told me his 12 year old son asked "Papa, what if we go to visit grandma in Indonesia and Donald Trump won't let us come back home". His father is a kind soul and reassured him and didn't say anything negative about DT.

    I just learned that they are returning to Indonesia after living here for years as good, decent citizens. They have dual citizenship.

    So, I am personally touched by the current events and see how groups of people can be affected by rhetoric. Donald Trump has done very little to emphasize the need to not take our fears out on the whole Muslim population. I remember GWB did emphasize that.

    Yes, there is definitely a need for tight security on who comes into our county. I do feel, outside of the political realm, there are some who are using the rhetoric to inflame a dislike and distrust of all Muslims.

    I don't like the name-calling and 'phobias' either. There is a genuine concern for the growing threat or ALL terrorism and violence within our country. Not all coming from Muslims.

    Sorry, Lee. I know this is a long one and it's dear to my heart. Mary Lou

    1. MLQ, sadly the misinformation coming from media, the opposition, and extremist groups like CAIR have incited the fears that people had concerning the Muslim Ban. When things are blown out of proportion then delusional and incorrect thinking can set into people's heads.

      I'm sure many have touching stories like yours dealing with the regular Muslim folk like you described in your comment and I did in my post, but there are deeper concerns that need to be addressed which are at the heart of Trumps "until we figure out what the hell is going on". The political rhetoric has not just been directed towards Muslims, but it comes from the Muslim side toward the Kafir (the non-Muslims) so that this becomes a bigger problem leading to distrust and hatred. This all needs to be studied to a greater depth and this will be where I will be going in my next post on Islam.

      No problem with the long explanatory comment--it's important to hear stories like yours so we need these types of comments to gain greater insight. Judging from all the comments I'm getting so far, yours isn't going to be the only long comment.


  3. Several of the president-elect’s national-security appointees have argued that the United States is at war with “radical Islamic terrorism,” or “radical Islam,” ...or the term I use, Jihadists. At least the people in my world know the difference between these terms and the average Muslim who lives next door. I wish Trump would mention all the other cultures that are running not only the U.S./Mexican border but other ways of getting illegally into the country. Here's something from the Pew Research Center: From 2009 to 2014, the unauthorized immigrant population decreased in seven states: Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina. In all of them, the decline was due to a decrease in unauthorized immigrants from Mexico. In six states, the unauthorized immigrant population rose over the same time period: Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. In all of these but Louisiana, the increases were due to growth in unauthorized immigrant populations from nations other than Mexico. Also, I'm sick and tired of being called a racist, homophobe, Islamaphobe. Recently, I was in a discussion with a male liberal who called me all of those. I finally got so annoyed I called him - to make a point - a male chauvinist pig. He got offended. I asked him if he could now relate to being labeled something he's not? Nope. **sigh**

    1. Em, I think Trump has dealt with the most obvious because that's what most regular people understand. Rhetoric has the most impact if it is reduced to that which is easiest to understand. To get into too much explanation loses the audience which is something I think media analysts often failed to understand or willingly ignored in order to find fault.

      Especially after the faulty polling results of the election, I question a lot of "research" results so I'm not sure what to believe anymore other than what my own observations tell me.

      Reversing the labeling rarely seems to make any point since the other side is often blinded by their own outlook. I guess this goes for all of us to some extent, but I think it is worse on the left.


  4. People who always go to phobias for things are rather pathetic and uneducated enough not to know what they really mean. Phobia is when you have irrational fears of something. If a lot of attacks are Muslim based, then the fear isn't irrational. Not that I think condemning all for the acts of a few is right, but sometimes you have to worry about you first and others later. On a personal scale most would agree with that, but on a country wide scale all just see you as the bad guy.

    I do think trying to get Mexico to pay for a wall that he wants to build is stupid. And all the whining many do about the illegals, is in some cases, just that, whining. Because they won't do the jobs these illegals do even if the illegals weren't around. Why? Because they are whiners and it is too hard for the poor pimpsy idiots to get off their butt. If all the illegals got kicked out they'd be whining sooooo much more because none of them want to do the so-called crap jobs. Think they are sooo far above it. Pffffft. Little off track, but meh haha

    And I just roll my eyes at any average joe blow who tries to use clinical terminology to describe anyone. Especially when all they did was find it on the internet. They haven't been trained, they aren't a doctor, so pffft. Now you can think someone just plain nuts, but pretending you are a shrink or something and fluffing it up with actual conditions is dumb.

    As said, whether I like you or not depends on who you are, not what you are.

    1. Pat, fear, or as I'd prefer to call it, concern, is not at all irrational if their are factual circumstances to back it up. This is the case with Islamic terrorism. There is a definite basis of fact to it.

      No matter what the illegals are doing in a country, the fact that they are there illegally makes their presence wrong. Just get the proper documentation and then work--my wife did that and now she's a citizen.

      If people are doing the right thing then I'm okay with them being in my country. Part of the right thing is following the law.


  5. In this I have to say I do believe Trump is Xenophobic. Not because he specifically hates foreigners. But because some of his statements have been towards specific countries. There are many other places besides Mexico with illegal immigrant issues, yet if I believe what I see in foreign media he seems obsessed with that country specifically on illegals. Yes there needs to be better control of illegals. But too many times I hear the name of a country more than discussion of locking out illegals worldwide. Yes there needs to be targeted legislation where specific issues are concerned and I believe in common sense and protecting countries from negative outside influence. But when a country seems to be more on your hit list than the issue as a whole. That's a problem. In Jamaica we let in Haitians because we understand the issues with poverty and disease. Over the last few years we have had an increase of crime from some of these haitians. But we specifically saw in the news that a 'Haitian National' was involved. We don't say because of their crimes that haitians are a risk to our country as a whole. Trump could be misquoted or his rhetoric twisted by sections of the media. But until I see some proof many of us abroad believe that he is xenophobic and will turn on a country on a dime with the right incentive. That is troubling for me.

    Also in Jamaica the United States is not known as the most tolerant country. Years ago when there were sniper murders it turned out to be two people. One of which was a Jamaican born teen who was influenced by an adult American citizen. But there were people and media in America who tried to pin this on Jamaica. We immediately rose up and told them they had a lot of nerve. When a person moves to a new country and grows up there. They are a member of that country and when legalized, a true citizen. He was Americanized by that point and the country where he was living in had the responsibility of ensuring he didn't turn into a criminal, not us. Yes his Jamaican family was also responsible. But that does not make an entire island responsible for his behaviour when he moved away long before.

    Part One of my comment.

  6. Part 2 of my comment. Seems blogger thought my entire comment was way too long.

    When it comes to terrorism I'm just dropping my thoughts as I'm no expert in any fashion. I will say though that banning all Muslims in my opinion is a terrible idea. It brands an entire religion as untrustworthy and even reports from various groups including military ones have said that it can be used as a marketing tool by ISIS and other terror cells. And let's not forget that there are some local Americans who are getting recruited by these radicals. I believe not nearly enough is being done to stop this. A terrorist is a terrorist no matter where he or she is from. I mean we had an incident with a Jamaican teen who was held because the path he was going was a suspected travel for some terrorist recruits. He was proven innocent and released. But when have you heard this being done in America instead of a call for an outright ban? It was annoying when I heard it first, yes. But when he was released and apologies made, I understood the move better.

    Another thing. I'm sick of hearing that some who have made certain attacks in America recently were on terror watch list but not monitored. If you can put a pedophile on a list once he has been caught then why not have a private list of all terror watch list individuals sent to all law enforcement and for any who can't be easily removed the list demand ankle monitoring until things are sorted out? If they're not American then put laws in place that they either can't come in or have to surrender to regular ankle monitoring and weekly security checks. Yes it will cost but when I hear about millions being spent on checking the healing properties of pickles (in 2015 and people were protesting that budgetary spending) then maybe there needs to be stricter monitoring of where money goes and slash every unnecessary cost and put some of towards making it extremely hard for potential terrorist to move around freely. To me that would spread more goodwill than the talk of a ban which is just spreading more fear and prejudice.

    But at the end of the day there are just my opinions. And just to make clear, I don't believe Trump is a racist. He loves his country or otherwise why run for president instead of just staying a rich celebrity and businessman? Like I said to my father who agrees, I think the only color Trump sees as something to put great emphasis on is green. And yes that's money and why he's such a successful businessman. Trump is a smart man and knows how to focus on the bottom line. I hope that he is an amazing president and fear I or others might have about any issues are put at rest. He has four years. Either way we will find out.

    1. Sheena-Kay-

      One thing I would point out is that America shares a border with Mexico, which is why Trump may call out that country by name.

      I live in Arizona where illegal immigration from Mexico is a problem, and where there are parts of the state that the federal government owns but has posted signs warning American citizens that they are not safe.

      Residents of southern Arizona have fallen victim to violent crimes from criminal crossing the border.

      Sometimes, even if it sounds like xenophobia, the problem can be real.

      And for the record, if there were any disparaging remarks said in the US media about Jamaica, they were few and far between-I don't recall any.

      Like you, I hope Trump is a good leader-it is pointless to wish otherwise. I wish his critics would take a breath and someone on his staff would disable his Twitter account so we can all judge him on the merit of what he does (or does not) do.


  7. Thanks Lee, you raise interesting pints. Time will tell I guess as to what pans out. As here in South Africa, we have STILL to learn that there is no 'other' - and put more energy into what unites rather than what divides ..

  8. Excellent points you've covered here, Lee. Phobic everything is just another example of the media using a new word or phrase until you dread to see them open their mouths to speak. If psychiatry is a new requirement for the media these days, you'd think those who 'practice' it would know that a phobia is basically an irrational fear of that which poses little or no danger and certainly should not be associated with Mr. Trump. What does seem likely is a lot of folks running around with Trump-phobia.
    Regarding the Islamophobic claims, "Once (or thrice) burned, twice shy". And as to the "one bad apple" that looks like all the rest until you trust it - maybe the good ones should change uniforms before the whole tree gets destroyed. If I knew that wearing a yellow polka dot shirt would get me killed or at the very least mistrusted, I surely wouldn't wear one.

  9. I've been following your Trump posts with interest as both a Brit ex-pat and a new US resident. I may disagree with your general viewpoint but I've found your stance well argued. These are tense times everywhere and we will have to see what happens. One of my concerns is on climate change - apologies for the curve ball - have you discussed that or will that come later. (As you might remember I was a green in the UK.)

  10. Yes, the whole phobia thing has spiraled out of control to the point of being ludicrous. Facebook bullies are the worst. They may shut down attempts at good dialogue, but they can't control people's votes or the letters folks write their representatives and senators.


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