Photo by Ryan Askren, Wikimedia Commons. Lettering mine. 🙂
These are people who devote inordinate amounts of their free time to their pet project. Spreading hateful half-truths and lies about Islam day in and day out, they are truly obsessed!
I have tried to imagine how and why anyone would behave this way. Though I truly despise Zionism, I couldn’t devote an entire channel to railing against it day and night. No way! Swimming in that sort of nonstop negativity is unhealthy and seems to lead to warped thinking. Some of these people believe that even their most blatant lies are true.
Some of them can no longer talk to me as an individual. I’m a Muslim, so when I talk to them, in their minds, I’m a category, not a person. Let’s say I prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla. They might say that’s because I hate white people and the West and I hate them because of Islam! Yes, I’m exaggerating to make a point, but not by much.
There is now a whole corner of the Internet devoted to hating Islam and Muslims and some shelves in the bookstores too. Whether or not you’re a fan of Reza Aslan, I do think he was onto something when he said, more or less, that Islam has become the repository for all things scary or negative. I think some of this stems from the decay people sense, especially in some Western countries. Instead of seeing it for what it is, they look for a scapegoat and find Islam.
In any case, some of us feel compelled to debate and challenge “counter-jihadists,” even as we continue to insist it’s against our better judgment. It’s very difficult to resist the urge to correct them when they are spreading lies that promote fear and hatred.
The results on the ground can be very real, as hatred boils over in the streets, especially here in the US after the election of Trump. So for Muslims, these are not just academic debates. We’re fighting for our beloved deen, and for the truth, but also for the right to walk through the streets without provoking rage and possible violence.
I used to contribute to a blog where the “counter-jihadists” had a name: loons.
A loon is actually a type of bird, but the word has come to mean, “a person with confused ideas; incapable of serious thought.” A simpler definition is a fool.
Note that term is derogatory, but fairly mild, at least compared to calling someone a hater, a bigot, or even an Islamophobe–a term I’ve never liked very much. Loon is short and simple, and I would say it’s accurate. We used to call the interconnected propaganda web they’ve formed “the Looniverse.” As in, “All across the Looniverse, loons are salivating in the hopes the perpetrator is a Muslim….”
I’m avoiding naming names, since I would then feel obliged to unban a loon so that he or she could run wild here on my Disqus channel, at least long enough to address this discussion. I prefer not to! This is a loon-free zone. Mosey on over to the channel Political Islam to see the most spot-on example of the Loooniverse on Disqus.
Have fun practicing your new lexicon. Let’s see if it catches on so that all the loons all across the Looniverse know that they are loons. 🙂