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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rationalization Via Euphemism

The University of South Carolina's Vanguard has done a great disservice in dissembling the truth by only telling part of it. Now you'll get the rest of the information. Here's what the Vanguard's opinion editor Jason Shepard wrote:
The imams in question visibly prayed prior to boarding the plane. As they were boarding, a fellow passenger overheard one of the imams making "anti-American" remarks. Once on the plane, they "moved around." A concerned citizen passed the pilot a note, and as a result, the imams were subjugated to humiliation and detention, not to mention the major inconvenience that goes along with such consequences.
Mr. Shepard's saying "they 'moved around'" doesn't tell the whole story, to say the least. They didn't just "move around"; they "spread out just like the 9-11 hijackers. Two sat in first, two in the middle, and two back in the economy section." Mr. Shepard's not telling the whole truth raises serious questions about Mr. Shepard's motives in not including all the details from his column.

Mr. Shepard continues, saying:
But the fact of the matter is that there was no legitimate justification to even believe that these imams might have been terrorist. The most plausible explanation for their detention is plain and simple: They were victims of Islamophobia.
After hearing the term Islamophobia, I decided to check with the American Psychological Association to see if they recognize such a disease or condition. The researcher that I talked with said that she hadn't heard the term used in a scientific discussion. I expressed my skepticism that Islamophobia was a scientifically recognized term. The researcher said that she'd look into this. Then she said that she shared my skepticism.

The reason why I took this step is because I want to prove that this term isn't a scientific term but instead is a term used in criticizing anyone who disagrees with a Muslim. It's a term that's often used in silencing critics. It seems to me that Mr. Shepard could do better than just throw meaningless phrases around. I'd further suggest that using a term like Islamophobia shows an unwillingness to engage in serious debate about what really happened.

In other words, hearing terms like Islamophobe or Islamophobia should tell everyone that the person using those terms isn't interested in debate but is interested in denigrating the person that challenges their beliefs. I'd further suggest that Mr. Shepard's calling these imams victims is a stunning piece of propaganda. Frankly, I've read dozens of articles on what I'm now kiddingly calling the "Flying Imam Fiasco", both on the blogosphere and in the so-called MSM. Anyone who has read all of the information available can't seriously call these imams victims.

In fact, I'm not alone in suggesting that this fiasco was staged. If I'm right, then these imams aren't victims; they're victimizers. Let's finish with this:
The last time I checked, it is not only legal to critique the American government, but at least in theory, it is encouraged for all to participate in debates concerning our government and its policies.
That's true enough, except that I'd suggest that using the whole truth is needed if you're interested in having a legitimate debate. Using less than the whole truth in disputing an issue is nothing more than having an argument. It certainly wouldn't be termed deliberations, which is defined as "discussion and consideration of all sides of an issue or thoughtfulness in decision or action."

UPDATE: Jessica Kohout of the APA just got back to me with an email. Here's what Ms. Kohout said:
The word is in common use but is still considered new. There is no statement by the APA on the word or the "medical Value" of the phrase. It appears to be used descriptively as indicated by this encyclopedia.

The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

Shortcut to:
In other words, Islamophobia isn't a scientific term but rather a term used for debating.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog


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