Presumably, banning the display of the American flag won’t be far behind.
As you’ll see, that’s not random hyperbole. We’re busy fighting Islamic State under the banner of that flag, and students at the University of New Mexico consider it Islamophobic to fight Islamic State. So it should only be a matter of time now until the American flag is banned at UNM, lest it convey criticism of Islam merely with its presence.
But first, the story. The student association of UNM — ASUNM — passed a resolution last Wednesday that calls on the university administration to “state their [sic] opposition to Islamophobia.” (Emphasis added.)
Sen. Udell Calzadillas Chavez, who introduced Resolution 6S, said there is a widespread culture of fear and ignorance that perpetuates violence against Muslims. The purpose of the resolution is to provoke better understanding of Islam in the UNM community.
“This is a proactive approach to events in the United States and around the world,” he said.
Citing domestic attacks against Islam such as the February killing of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina and a Molotov cocktail being thrown at the Albuquerque Islamic Center last year, as well as the continuing fight against ISIS in the Middle East, the legislation states that UNM “should stand strong in opposition of Islamophobia and related hate crimes.”
The document defined Islamophobia as “dislike or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.”
Now, I’m actually quite taken with this latter concept. We should all demonize as a phobia any dislike of us or our beliefs that focuses on us “as a political force.” It should certainly be illegitimate to dislike or be prejudiced against conservatives, Republicans, Christians, Jews, pro-life advocates, gun-rights advocates, free-market advocates, traditional-marriage advocates, small-government advocates, libertarians, school-choice advocates, audit-the-Fed advocates, deregulation advocates, federalists, constitutionalists, or flat-tax advocates, “as a political force.” If you simply have to hate them, at least hate them for something else.
But in a more serious vein, it seems remarkably particular that the students –after exaggerating out of all proportion the supposed threat to Muslims in (presumably American) culture — homed in on these two points cited from their document: ISIS, and “Islam as a political force.”
The Obama administration foregoes no opportunity to insist that ISIS is not Islamic. ISIS is gruesomely bloodthirsty, brutal, aggressive, apocalyptic, and incontrovertibly political — but, according to Team Obama, not Islamic.
Yet the UNM students cite fighting ISIS as an example of “Islamophobia and related hate crimes.” They are also quite explicit that disliking Islam “as a political force” is Islamophobia. It certainly sounds to me like they’re saying it’s Islamophobia to object to Islam in a political guise, and that that includes objecting to Islamic State.
It’s hard to take this kind of thing seriously. But it would be a grave error to simply ignore it as a sophomoric phase these kids will grow out of. For one thing, they’ve been too old for at least half a decade, if not more, to be excused for such irrational thinking on moral and political topics. Remember, these students can vote. They want to proclaim that it’s a phobia — a form of psychosis — to oppose political agendas that may arise from Muslim beliefs. Yet it’s one of the most basic premises of liberty that political opposition is inherently legitimate: anyone can oppose anyone else in the political arena. Period. Opposition on substantive political topics is legitimate, in the sense that we are all entitled by our moral status as human beings to express it and be motivated by it; there’s no codicil about whether it arises from religious beliefs, reading “science blogs,” or putting your dog’s paw on a Ouija board.
These poor kids couldn’t explain American political philosophy to save their lives. And they don’t seem to even be trying to appeal to it anyway. With this resolution, they’re just nakedly trying to privilege Islam — including the grotesque Islamic State movement. I wonder if they realize that that’s what they’re doing. I’m not sure it’s worse if they do, or if they don’t.