ISLAMOPHOBIA????



Islamophobia is a very interesting term which has become more prevalent since the 11 September terror strikes. Home minister John Denham referred to the term as a cancer. But what is Islamophobia? It is the fear of Islam, a behaviour in some people when they hear about Islam. This leads to the intolerance of Muslims because of their religion. It can be caused by the negative image that is being portrayed of Islam.
     

The impacts of Islamophobia have affected the global community especially the Muslims. Ever since the events of 11 September, the intolerance of Muslims and hatred towards them has escalated – there has been a big rise in physical attacks on Muslims in Britain including attacks on places of worship. This includes men, women and children being harassed in the streets, schools and at the work place.

 


The Muslims living in the ‘Free World’ feel as if they are ‘under siege.’ They are becoming completely demoralized. Muslims now feel afraid to do their daily shopping. They do not feel safe anymore at places of worship, leisure or even at home.

Immediately after the 11 September attacks, there were a number of cases where Muslim passengers were asked to leave the plane even after boarding because some of the Non-Muslim passengers were afraid. Till this day for some reason, it seems as if only Muslims are singled out and double – checked before boarding airliners.This whole scenario has caused the Muslim community to feel vulnerable and victimized.Although the level of Islamophobia might have fallen now according to various surveys that have been carried out, it must be acknowledged that there are a vast number of cases that were not and still are not being reported

How can we end the affects of Islamophobia? What measures need to be taken to tackle the problem? What is the way forward?

THE MEDIA

The damage caused by the media was colossal. Inflammatory reporting needs to come to an end. One of the most serious problems caused by the media is its use of language and terms that become big bold headlines across the globe.
‘Islamic Militants,’ ‘Muslim Terrorists .’ Why are the words Islam and Muslims used? A terrorist is a terrorist! They have no link with Islam and Muslims. The fact that they claim to be fighting for the cause of Islam is irrelevant.
It is interesting to note that Roman Catholics have bombed parts of England, but they are referred to as the Irish Republican Army, they are not called Christian Militants for some reason!
Similarly, when one of the Prime Ministers of Israel was assassinated by a Jewish suicide-bomber, the whole of the Jewish community was not hated because of a certain individual’s extremist views.
When a devout Christian blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma , no connections were made with his acts of terror and Christianity. It is unfair to stain the pure teachings of Islam by making a direct link between Islam and terrorists.
(HOW STRANGE IS THAT???)

However, the media has improved its stance since its inflammatory reporting during the immediate aftermath of the 11 September attacks but the damage had already been done. The way forward is to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

EDUCATION

A large majority of Non-Muslims around the world, do not really know what Islam really is. They only get to see Muslims in war-torn Iraq , Palestine and Afghanistan and an image of violence is created in their minds.Immediately after the U.S. terror attacks, the Japanese government consulted Muslim leaders in Tokyo and broadcasted Islamic programmes on Japanese television. These programmes would be shown four to five times a week. This has helped Japanese people understand Muslims and their culture.“Islamophobia was wrong before 11 September and is wrong today. The real Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and understanding.”

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