When did “Islamophobia” become “racism”?
I think the answer is 2013. Before then, no one ever equated the two terms. Because Islam is a religion and not a race. Duh! However, during the last two years, replacing “Islamophobia” with “racism” has crept into commonplace usage among liberals.
The problem with the term “Islamophobia,” from the perspective of liberals, is that it doesn’t sound evil enough. Everyone knows that “racism” is the most evil “ism” known to mankind. But “Islamophobia” sounds like a mental disorder and not evil.
“Homophobia” was a good term for the gay rights movement because it tended to shame people into thinking that the only reason they opposed gay marriage was because they were too chicken of gays. Maybe they were secretly gay and in denial, or something like that? And besides, most prominent gays are white, so you couldn’t easily call people who disliked gay people “racist.”
The term “Islamophobia” might have the opposite effect with respect to Muslims. Muslims did, after all, kill thousands on 9/11, and Muslims (admittedly not all Muslims) continue to perpetuate terrorism. Being afraid of Muslims might actually make sense! Certainly, a lot of cartoonists are legitimately afraid to mock Mohammed after the Charlie Hebdo incident.
Muslims are, conveniently, for the most part, more brown than the typical American, even though Middle Easterners do get to check the “white” box on government forms. Turkey is an Islamic nation and a lot of Turks look pretty white to me. Check out this photo of Ataturk. He looks pretty darn white. Nevertheless, if you don’t want more Muslims moving to the United States, then you are “racist” goddammit!
Perhaps, there’s also the ironically racist assumption on the part of liberals that white people are too smart to join a stupid religion like Islam.