Islamophobia - A Global Crisis
What is Islamophobia?
Islamophobia is the extreme fear or prejudice against the followers of Islam as well as Islam itself. Like all other forms of racism and xenophobia, the hatred for Islam also leads to hate speech, hate crimes, social discrimination, and political discrimination. Specific domestic and foreign policies are standing on the grounds of Islamophobia, leading to the rationalization of discriminatory practices. Muslim communities suffer due to the normalization of anti-Islam policies in many countries. The agenda is propagated through well-funded organizations and networks of idealogues, media, think tanks, and political organizations.
Islamophobia, bigotry against Muslims? Challenging the views of Islamophobes
The word Islamophobia being a neologism poses a problematic view. There is no actual "phobia," and it is mere hatred towards Muslims. Islamophobia is a form of racism, more precisely a religious intolerance against Islam. Some of the anti-Muslim views that became the cause of Islamophobia according to a Runnymede Report were Islam being seen as a monolithic bloc, rigid and unresponsive to change. Anti-Muslims think of Islam as a religion inferior to the values and culture of the west.
Islamophobia is more precisely a political ideology used to justify discrimination against the followers of Islam. Islam, as a whole, is considered by the extremists as barbaric, irrational, and sexist. The unjustified views of the anti-Muslims or "Islamophobes" fuel the hatred towards Islam, promoting Islamophobia to a dangerous extent over the world. Anti-Muslim sentiments are considered natural and normal.
Islam has always been accused of incorporating oppressive dogmas to its followers. Ironically, the accusers are those who haven't studied Islam at all. Even after the racial ideology of Islamophobia being challenged openly by the followers of Islam, the oppression against Muslims has been consistent throughout the recent years, if not rising. Still, the mere ideology behind Islamophobia remains utterly untrue.
The rise of Islamophobia:
Although Islamophobia has been criticized for hundreds of years, the "new wave" against Muslims came after 9/11. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre intensified the hate against Muslims, the presumption that Islam is inherently violent and supportive of terrorism was getting largely accepted by people.
Muslims all over the world have been subject to unparalleled hatred after 9/11. Islamophobia has spread significantly all over the world, from Eastern countries such as China to Europe and the United States. Inhumane acts have been done to Muslims all over the world.
Xinjiang's Uyghur Muslims:
Xinjiang, a region of China with around 12 million people (the majority of them being Muslims), has been under the control of Han Chinese for the last seven decades. As a result, the Uyghur Muslims have been left high and dry, as the Han Chinese has taken control of not only industry and agriculture, but hospitals, administrative forces, media, and their agricultural lands as well.
The Han Chinese separate children from their families. In the "vocational and training program" of Uyghur Muslims, they are taught Chinese Law in addition to Mandarin. In the concentration camps, the ideas of deradicalization are implanted in their heads, including the ideology that there would be no China without it. A proper cultural and ethnic genocide has been going for a long against the Uyghur Muslims.
There has been forced labor, forced birth control, and the implantation of political thinking in the concentration camps. Muslims are stripped off of their fundamental rights, ideologies, and religious beliefs.
Islamophobia in the United States:
Islamophobia has been rapidly growing in the United States, particularly after 9/11. According to a survey by the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding, it was found that about 62% of all Muslims around the US faced some form of religious discrimination and bullying. Muslims have been subject to extensive security checks around most of the US airports just because of the way they dress and look. Airlines have forced women to take off their Hijab.
The Republicans in US Politics have a negative view of Muslims. According to research, 63% of the Republicans state that Islam supports and encourages violence and terrorism. Furthermore, 56% of Republicans think of American Muslims as extremists. Since 2010, the US has been introduced to 201 anti-Sharia bills.
Islamophobia in France:
France has the most significant proportion of Muslims in Europe. Still, there is segregation and alienation against the Muslims in France. The French think that Islam opposes the laws of secularism and modernity. In 2011, Burkas and Hijabs got banned in France. The efforts of France to deal with the "crisis" of the Muslims have been going on for 200 years now, dating back to the French colonization of Africa. France considers itself to be a secular state to root out "Islamic Radicalism."
49 Muslims were murdered in cold blood in 2017 in New Zealand Christchurch, and the killer was primarily motivated by a French far-right extremist politician.
Discrimination against Muslims all over the world:
In 2016, French officials forced a burkini-wearing Muslim woman to take off her clothes. France isn't the only European country targeting Muslims. Belgium almost passed a bill in 2011 that would ban veils. Muslim women have been bullied and discriminated against all over the world. Spain and Italy imposed laws regarding Muslim dress. In cities of Spain, Hijab is banned. In Italy, a ban was imposed on Burkini.
Muslims are generally shown negatively in the media throughout the world. For example, 80% of news coverage shows Muslims as associated with violence and malice.
Tragedies like the Christchurch shooting lead to solidarity with Muslims worldwide, and it fades away after a while. Worldwide grief and affirmations of support and solidarity get silenced down after a short time. Muslims need help beyond temporary solidarity. Islamophobia is becoming a global crisis, and it should be identified as such.
Like any other bigotry and hatred, Islamophobia is easy to identify when it occurs at extreme levels. However, the truth is, Islamophobia not only happens on higher grounds but lower, much less identifiable grounds, as well. From being implemented into the minds of the far-right white nationalists to the massacres such as Christchurch.
To solve the rapidly rising problem of Islamophobia worldwide, the anti-Muslim views of political leaders and other celebrated intellectuals must be acknowledged and pointed out. Yet, despite many acknowledgments, anti-Muslim acts hide in plain sight. When such anti-humanity views are allowed to fester, events like the Christchurch Massacre can be seen. Extremists against Muslims are apparently "condemned" by political leaders and influencing personnel. But then, the question arises, if they actually condemned such acts, why would Islamophobia still exist?