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Rise of Anti-muslim Sentiment: Islamophobia

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Words: 3350 |

Pages: 7|

17 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 3350|Pages: 7|17 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Introduction: understanding the term Islamophobia
  2. The potential causes of spike in Islamophobia
  3. The aftermath of 9/11 attack
    Role of Western Media
    The exploitation of people’s fear by politicians and governments
    Extremism
    Lack of education and ignorance
  4. Manifestations of anti-Muslim sentiment
  5. Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians
    Persecution of Rohingya people
    China’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims
    Trump’s Muslim ban
    Christchurch shooting in New Zealand
    Attacks on Muslims in India
    Increased bullying of Muslim children in school
    Vandalizing of Religious Institutes
  6. Psychological effects of Islamophobia on Muslims
  7. Measures to counteract Islamophobia
  8. Be resilient
    Use media in a positive way
    Demand protection and accountability from government
    Equate Islamophobia with anti-Semitism and racism
    Promote tolerance
    Encourage inter-faith interactions
  9. Conclusions
  10. References

Every society, every community, every nation of the world has its own social, political, cultural evils that they have to deal with, however these evils are usually at a negligible level or at least manageable level. The challenges that the Muslim society is facing today are much more dangerous and complex. This is why Muslims, despite being the second largest religious group in the world are caught in a downward spiral and are as a rule abandoned in all kinds of advancement as contrasted to other different nations. 21st century is a crucial time for Muslims where they have to deal with various external assaults as well as inner conflicts and challenges which are unimaginably hard to tackle. In this report we will specifically focus on the global issue of rapidly growing anti-Muslim sentiments and intolerance against Muslims which is proving to be a great risk for the wellbeing of Muslims all around the world.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Introduction: understanding the term Islamophobia

We will first begin by explaining what the word Islamophobia means. Islamophobia, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the “intense dislike or fear of Islam, especially as a political force, hostility or prejudice towards Muslims”.

Dictionary.com defines Islamophobia as “hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture”.

It is an overstated dread, scorn, and antagonistic vibe toward Islam and Muslims that is propagated by negative generalizations bringing about inclination, oppression, minimization and exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and urban life.

In Islamophobia and its consequences on young people Ingrid Ramberg writes 'Whether it takes the shape of daily forms of racism and discrimination or more violent forms, Islamophobia is a violation of human rights and a threat to social cohesion.”

Relentless Islamophobia is one of the biggest challenges that the Muslims all around the world are facing right now. It is hindering their social, cultural, political as well as economic success. The image of Muslims and Islam is getting tarnished and Muslims are used as an object of ridicule. Muslims face discrimination in all fields of life which is why they’re getting left behind in the race.

The potential causes of spike in Islamophobia

Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world with more than 1. 5 billion followers, yet it is terribly misunderstood by the non-Muslims who despite knowing little to nothing about the religion or its followers, are quick to label it as “religion of extremists” or “radical religion” which encourages violence against non-believers. It is a terrible misconception that leads to Muslims being subjected to constant scrutiny, getting horribly discriminated and hated on by the non-Muslims of the world. This growing hatred is a serious issue that has endangered the lives of more than 1. 5 billion Muslims. We will first examine the factors that lead to the emergence of Islam and Muslims as the common enemy of western civilization:

The aftermath of 9/11 attack

Since the beginning of time, non-believers considered Muslims as an enemy however the incident of 9/11 further added fuel to the fire. The terrorist attacks carried out against the United States on 11th September 2001 causing the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York played a vital role in shaping the general world’s perception of Muslims. Westerns were quick to place the blame on Muslims and label them as terrorist and a threat to the global peace. September 11 had prompted the formation of new negative pictures of Islam and Muslims in the brains of the Westerners. It’s a known fact that Islamophobia became more and more prevalent and the West's acknowledgment of Muslims has kept on falling apart since 9/11. The event had such long lasting impact that even after 17 years the Muslim population of the world is still dealing with its consequences and paying for the crimes they did not commit.

Role of Western Media

When media took over the role of informing people about Muslims and Islam, it successfully managed to brainwash people and give rise to further Islamophobia. The media has played a significant role in demonizing the Muslims and portraying them as the enemies of peace and Islam as a religion of violence and extremism by constantly linking them to the tragic events of 9/11. Media is also severely biased when it comes to reporting the acts of terrorism. If a Muslim commits some crime, the whole religion and its followers get blamed for it, the media instantly starts screaming about how Islam is a violent religion that is encouraging its followers to commit heinous crimes whereas if the same act is committed by a non-Muslim, white person the media will try to garner sympathy for the criminal by trying to pass him off as a mentally troubled soul with a tragic past.

MediaTenor inspected 2. 6 million Western news stories from 10 American, British and German outlets, and found that the media's inclusion of Islam has once in a while, if at any time, been positive. The normal tone of inclusion, which has dependably been poor, kept on exacerbating in the decade after 9/11.

According to a study, conducted by Georgia State University, Published in Justice Quarterly “Terror attacks which are carried out by Muslims are given on average 357 percent more media coverage than those committed by non-Muslims”.

The exploitation of people’s fear by politicians and governments

Islamophobia isn't the natural aftereffect of terrible Muslims doing awful things. It is likewise an apparatus of open control to produce assent for terrible wars and for votes. The politicians and other people in power have been blatantly using 9/11 to further their own agendas. The politicians have successfully manipulated people into thinking Muslims are a violent group of people who are disrupting the peace and order of world and should therefore be dealt with strongly. They used this same tool to justify their intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and the other Muslim countries. The same anti-Muslim rhetoric has been used by them to garner support of the people who have an irrational fear of Muslims taking over their countries and forcing “Islamization” upon them, despite Muslims being a minority in their countries.

Extremism

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Islamophobia and extremism are two evils that reinforce one another and the two terms are indistinguishable in their disdain of the 'other'. Islamophobia rises and shows in radicalism, the more Muslims arrange against it and conversely, the more the Muslim opposition, the more Islamophobic inclinations intensify. Seen Islamophobia in the West and in the Western media may make a few Muslims become fanatics. Some may feel segregated and estranged prompting a dismissal of law based and multi-social qualities. A large portion of them build up a solid feeling of Muslim personality and severe adherence to conventional Islamic lessons. The quantity of Muslims effectively upholding radical legislative issues is little yet Islamophobia may help swell their numbers.

The brutal acts of terrorism committed by radical jihadi groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda act as an icing on cake in further solidifying westerner’s belief that Muslims are nothing but a violent and vicious group of people whose sole purpose is spreading terrorism even though the actions of those jihadi groups are not in accordance to the teachings of Islam and are condemned by both Muslims and Islam.

Therefore, this vicious cycle of extremism and Islamophobia needs to be eradicated in order to restore the peace of the world.

Lack of education and ignorance

A large number of anti-Muslim westerns are highly misinformed about what Islam and Muslims truly are about. According to Public Religion Research Institute’s study: 62% of non-Muslims have only from time to time or never talked with Muslims, 27% say they know nothing about Islam and Muslims whereas 57% claim they know a little about it. This means their fear stems from the largely exaggerated and misleading narrative that media feeds them. If they actually took the time out of their day, to educate themselves and understand what true values of Islam are they wouldn’t hold the views that they are currently holding.

Manifestations of anti-Muslim sentiment

Islamophobia is typically becoming rich in non-Muslim social orders, or in nations where Muslims are among the minority. It is a serious issue that is having life changing effects on Muslims throughout the world. Some of the manifestations of anti-Muslim rhetoric are discussed ahead.

Following 9/11 Muslims have been subjected to all kind of hostility and violence ranging from verbal assault, physical violence, vandalizing of their religious institutes and property to more severe crimes such as forced conversion, murdering and putting Muslims into concentration camps solely for following their religion. In America alone, there were 257 anti-Muslim incidents reported in 2015, up from 154 in 2014 — a 67 percent increase. In 2001, immediately after 9/11, 481 such incidents were reported.

There has been a surge in hate crimes against Muslims in the recent years, the prominent ones are:

Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians

Palestinians have been the victim of Israel’s atrocities for quite some time now. According to the statistics at least 9000+ Palestinians have been brutally killed by Israeli forces since 2000.

According to the figures provided by Defense of Children International, 2000 children were amongst the 9000+ Palestinians killed by the armed forces, which means that on average a Palestinian child has been killed every 3 days for the past 18 years. Since we all know that kids are innocent beings incapable of inflicting harm on others, their killing at such a massive scale shows a pretty clear picture on who the real aggressor is.

Persecution of Rohingya people

Rohingya people were an ethnic minority in Myanmar which is a Buddhist majority country. The crisis that broke out in August 2017 resulted in the killings of 6700 Rohingyas, which included at least 700 children under the age of 5. The women were raped and killed and at least 250 villages were collectively burned to ashes, which forced the remaining Rohingyas to migrate.

China’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims

It was reported that about 1 million Uyghur Muslims are being detained in the Xinjiang region of China. Muslims are being forced into internment camps where they’re said to be undergoing “re-education”. The Muslims are under constant surveillance by the government, Islamic names, veils, beards are banned, Muslims are being tortured, abused mentally as well as physically, and being forced to eat pork, drink alcohol and renounce their faith. This is ethnic cleansing at a massive scale that needs to be addressed immediately.

Gay McDougall, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said during a review of China's human rights last month that China is turning Xinjiang into 'something resembling a massive internment camp, shrouded in secrecy, a sort of no-rights zone'.

Some other incidents fueled by Islamophobia include:

Trump’s Muslim ban

In2017, Trump administration implemented a discriminatory and Islamophobic executive order of “Muslim ban” which prohibited Muslims from 5 specific countries i-e Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering US. This resulted in the separation of many families and endangering of many refugees from this war torn countries.

Christchurch shooting in New Zealand

On 15th march 2019, a white man in his 20s opened fire on unsuspecting Muslims offering their Friday prayer. As a result, 50+ Muslims were killed in what was described as the biggest mass shooting in the history of New Zealand. The gunman showed zero remorse and made a white power gesture when he was brought into the court.

Attacks on Muslims in India

Muslims who form 14% of the total population of India are constantly marginalized by the pro-Hindu groups. According to the 104-page report, “Violent Cow Protection in India: Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities, ” describes how between May 2015 and December 2018, 44 individuals – including 36 Muslims – were slaughtered due to cattle trading or consumption of beef. Police frequently slowed down arraignments of the aggressors, while a few BJP lawmakers freely legitimized the assaults.

Increased bullying of Muslim children in school

CAIR-California issued a report that analyzed how the degree to which Islamophobia- or disdain of Islam and Muslims, manifests itself into the school environment through tormenting, separation and bullying. The research carried out in California including 621 students studying at public and private schools found that these youngsters routinely confronted verbal ambushes, explicitly those referencing bombs or calling American Muslim students militants and terrorists. The investigation additionally detailed that 55% of Muslim students had been tormented; 29% of hijab-wearing students experienced hostile touching or pulling of their hijab; and 19% of the respondents report encountering cyber bullying due to their religion.

Vandalizing of Religious Institutes

Religious institutes such as mosques have become a common target of Islamophobes. In 2016, in US alone there were 92 hate crimes committed against mosques which mainly included arson and vandalism. This results in Muslims feeling unsafe in their own places of worship which are considered sacred.

Psychological effects of Islamophobia on Muslims

Sadly, likening Muslims with fear based oppressors has turned out to be irritatingly normal in American culture — and the outcomes can be disturbing. The west constantly stereotypes Muslims as violent, aggressive, terrorists, criminals-this has without a doubt disturbed the personality, identity and the lifestyles of Muslims, mainly those living in Western countries. Underestimation and suppression of Muslims have resulted in antagonistic mental side effects which also include dread, stress, anxiety, disconnection, deadness, desensitization, weakness and isolation. A lot of studies have linked the discrimination and disempowerment of Muslims to depression. A recent report by the American Psychology Association, found that 82% of Muslim Americans felt insecure after 9/11 signaling PTSD. Now, like never before, Muslims need to search out therapeutic treatment and guiding.

Measures to counteract Islamophobia

Islamophobia is becoming disturbingly normalized all around the world, the issue needs to be addressed on a global level before it ruins the lives of any more Muslims. Some of the solutions for curing this fatal disease (Islamophobia) are:

Be resilient

Muslims all around the world must stay strong, resolute and patient in the face of hostility from the non-Muslims. Prophet (P.B.U.H) too was exposed to such maltreatment, one of the many incident is when he was praying close to the Kaaba and Uqba-ibn-Abu-Mu'ayt tossed the guts of a yielded camel over him. Abu Lahab's significant other Um-e -Jamil would normally dump garbage outside his entryway and set thistles in the way to his house. Despite being subjected to such horrific name calling and hate crimes, he remained steadfast and patient. We must follow his example.

It is said in Quran:

“Good and Evil deeds are not alike. Repel evil with good, and he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend. But none will attain this save those who endure with fortitude and are greatly favored by God”.

Use media in a positive way

Media is a powerful tool which can help to mold the behavior and mindset of masses. Talk freely and vocally through prevailing press to promote the positive image of Islam and Muslims. Stand up when you hear derisive talk or fear inspired notions being spread about minorities, since hate speech prompts violence. People also need to call out media for their biased and bigoted coverage of crimes. Dalia Mogahed, research director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding said: “If folks aren’t aware of these biases, they are bound to believe that most terrorists are Muslim when in fact right wing and white supremacists extremists kill more Americans than any other group”.

Therefore, need to take steps to hold media accountable for spreading hateful narrative against Muslims since discriminatory coverage by the media is a leading cause of widespread marginalization of Muslims.

Demand protection and accountability from government

When top pioneers in government spew anti-Muslim rhetoric and advance Islamophobic enactment, it empowers much more scorn in the people which could prompt brutality. The government and politicians should therefore be mindful of the things they say. People should speak up against the government’s biased policies which are discriminatory towards any group. All citizens must be treated as equals and given equal basic rights by the government. The government also needs to make stricter laws against intolerance, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes. We cannot expect a change at a national level without the cooperation of governments.

Equate Islamophobia with anti-Semitism and racism

The west as we know today is highly sensitive and aware about anti-Semitism and racism. To make them understand the seriousness of Islamophobia, we need to compare it to anti-Semitism and racism since they’re all identical in basic nature. Islamophobia is another sign of this monstrous disease (intolerance), and it should be examined as such. This clarifies that just as we no longer endure anti-Semitism and bigotry, we can't endure Islamophobia either.

Promote tolerance

One way to bring about change is to promote tolerance. Tolerance comes from recognizing human beings dignity and basic equality, upholding human rights and through freedom of conscience, belief and thought. Tolerance generates harmony amidst chaos. It does not mean completely finishing differences; it means accommodating other’s values, faith and view. Tolerance is the religion of love, which does not recognize geographical boundaries, no religious and racial differences.

Encourage inter-faith interactions

Face to face interactions, education, and interreligious dialogues are critical to breaking the grasp of Islamophobia in this nation. Inter-faith interactions are one of the most effective ways to combat Islamophobia. Most people with negative perception about Muslims and Islam are those who have never or seldom talked to other Muslims. Talking to people from other religion, getting to know each other’s beliefs and values will remove the misconceptions, stereotypes and decreases Islamophobic responses marginally.

Quran says:

“If God had wanted, He would have made you all in one state and one religious conviction, but that He left you in dissimilar religions to strive in good acts and society welfares. The return of you is to God; then He will tell you about that in which you differ”.

Conclusions

Threatening vibe towards Islam and Muslims have been an element of Western social orders for a considerable length of time however in recent years, it has been getting absolutely relentless. Muslims persevered through racial slurs, dehumanization, dangers of brutality, and badgering efforts, which proceed to spread. These are proving to be a constant threat to the physical as well as the mental well-being of Muslims. The issue needs to addressed at a global level, however it is impossible to dismantle the widespread Islamophobia in a day or two, making a difference is going to take a lot of effort and patience. We should put our faith in Allah and hope for the best.

“You cannot guide those you would like to but God guides those He wills. He has best knowledge of the guided. ”

(Holy Quran/28: 56)

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“You shall certainly be tried in your possessions and your lives, and you shall certainly hear many hurtful things from some of those who were given the Book before you and from some of polytheist. But if you persevere patiently and guard yourselves against evil, that is a matter of strong determination”.

References

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  3. CAIR-California. (2015). CAIR-CA. Retrieved from CAIR-CA Website: https://ca. cair. com/sfba/publications/2017-bullying-report/
  4. Clay, R. A. (2017, April). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from American Psychology Association website: https://www. apa. org/monitor/2017/04/islamophobia
  5. Dictionary. com. (n. d.). Dictionary. com. Retrieved from Dictionary. com website: https://www. dictionary. com/browse/islamophobia
  6. Georgia State Univeristy. (2019, February 19). Georgia State Univeristy. Retrieved from Georgia State Univeristy website: https://news. gsu. edu/2019/02/19/terror-attacks-by-muslims-get-disproportionate-news-coverage/
  7. Herreria, C. (2019, March 16). How To Fight Islamophobia In America, No Matter Your Faith. HUFFPOST.
  8. MediaTenor. (2007-2013). MediaTenor. Retrieved from MediaTenor website: http://us. mediatenor. com/en/library/speeches/260/coverage-of-american-muslims-gets-worse
  9. Middle East Monitor. (2018, April 7). Middle East Monitor. Retrieved from Middle East Monitor website: https://www. middleeastmonitor. com/20180407-israel-has-killed-a-palestinian-child-every-three-days-for-18-years-reveals-shocking-statistic/
  10. News, B. (2018, April 24). Myanmar Rohingya: What you need to know about the crisis. Asia Migrant Crisis.
  11. Oxford English Dictionary. (n. d.). Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved from Oxford English Dictionary Website: https://en. oxforddictionaries. com/definition/islamophobia
  12. PRRI. (2017, June 02). PRRI. Retrieved from PRRI website: https://www. prri. org/spotlight/social-contact-muslims-refugee-ban/
  13. Ramberg, I. (2004). Islamophobia and its consequences on young people. Budapest: the Directorate of Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe.
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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Rise Of Anti-Muslim Sentiment: Islamophobia. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rise-of-anti-muslim-sentiment-islamophobia/
“Rise Of Anti-Muslim Sentiment: Islamophobia.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rise-of-anti-muslim-sentiment-islamophobia/
Rise Of Anti-Muslim Sentiment: Islamophobia. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rise-of-anti-muslim-sentiment-islamophobia/> [Accessed 19 Jul. 2024].
Rise Of Anti-Muslim Sentiment: Islamophobia [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2024 Jul 19]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/rise-of-anti-muslim-sentiment-islamophobia/
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