The resistible rise of islamophobia has become a challenge for Muslim community all over the world particularly in western countries. Islamophobia is a term used to express discrimination, prejudice, negative sentiments, and hostility towards Islam or people who practice Islam. With the reference to oxford English dictionary islamophobia is an “Intense feeling of dislike or fear of Islam.”
Islamophobia was first adopted by a French scholar, Quellien in 1910 to define prejudice against Muslims in western countries. However, the term islamophobia was developed in 1919’s and early 2000’s by political activist, non governmental organization, commentators, and international organization to grasp the attention of people to harm Muslim community. According to chairman of the Muslim council for religious and racial harmony UK, Dr. Abdul Jalal Sajidi, islamophobia is “Fear or hatred of Islam.” Islamophobia depicts that all Muslims are religious fanatics, have violent aptitude towards non Muslims. Nevertheless, the tragedy of 9/11 was a catastrophe for Muslim community that entirely changed the perception of American people about Islam. Muslims are considered as “terrorist” and their biggest enemy. On the other hand, west media is not less responsible for broadcasting a negative image about Islamic followers which influenced American to perpetrate offence towards American Muslims. Such irrational behavior has physically, socially, and economically effected Islamic followers. Nonetheless, islamophobia must not be taken for granted. The spread of islamophobia needs to be addressed by Muslim countries to enhance a positive image about Islam as it is in holy Quran.
The role of media in islamophobia can not be underestimated. In 21st century, media is one of the most powerful weapon that has the potential to change anyone’s mind easily. As it is quite apparent that how western media has changed the mindset of American people about Islam which is considered as a conservative, barbaric and an intolerant religion. West media has negatively portrayed Islamic culture. Actually, a new research found that the most watched news, the fox news broadcasts a negative sentiment about Islam. According to Nielsen media research, more than 1.7 American watch it every evening in 2014. The other Radio program ( rush Limbaugh show) which is listened by an average of more than 13 million people in America that too contribute to radicalization about Islam. And one can predict how these false beliefs can lead to rise of islamophobia.
Islamic community is regarded as the major source of issues of the world; particularly, terrorism after 9/11 attack of the win towers in America for which Muslims are supposed to be perpetrators. After that tragedy Islamic followers have been targeted of antagonism and hospitality. Since that tragedy, majority of American Muslims (50./.)people say it has been a arduous to be resided as a Muslim there. Radicalization, discrimination, and misconception about Islam and enmity towards Islamic community is a normalized attitude there . In fact, Islam is acknowledged as a extremist terrorist in western countries.
Islamophobia is among the abhorrent ideologies that has affected a large portion of humanity in European countries. Like discrimination in education sector. The council on American Islamic relation’s in California surveyed 11 to 12 year old Muslim students to examine their experience and according to that report, 50 percent of American Muslims children bully in school due to stereotyped towards Muslims. And they are taunted by the name of Osama Bin Laden who became a school yard taunt. Besides that, Muslims are confronted with social at workplaces is horrible. Discrimination, violence, and social rejection is a common attitude towards Muslims. The unemployment rate of Islamic followers is at the peak in European countries that has affected them socially and economically.
In most European countries, Muslims are victims of physical assaults. Many brutal actions accoured and North Carolina Chapel Hill shooting is one of them when Muslims were killed due to a over parking but in actual it was a hate crime that followed as usual. A horrendous attack by a white Australian was another disastrous accident that left 50 Muslims died in mosque on march 15, 2019 in new Zealand. Such hundreds and thousands worship places have been burned with innocent Muslims. Apart from that, Muslims women are tortured or molested for wearing hijab on the streets. As we could see one of those brutality against Muslims through social media, a pregnant woman was beaten in a restaurant for wearing hijab. Such hate crimes against innocent Muslims is a daily practice in western countries.
During covid 19 pandemic, brutal act towards Muslim in Sri lanka was commendable. A great deal of Muslims were cremated who were effected by the pandemic in violation of their religious belief. According to the guardian news, many Muslims whose body was burned were not tested positive even they tested negative. The number of cremated Muslims are more than 50. In fact, under the constitution, the violating of religious belief is prohibited but still that crulity towards Muslims lasted for a period of time that terribly hits Muslim souls. This cruel act was commendable, but the silence against that crulity was more commendable.
The same case was there in India who got an opportunity to attack on Muslims community during covid 19 pandemic . Muslims were perpetrated for the spread of virus. Even Muslims were not allowed to sell on streets. There was a trend on social media using a new term “Crona jihad” to define their conspiracy. Beside that, India is home of one hundred ninety five million Muslims, that is one of the largest populous countries of Muslims in the world; however, Islamic followers are facing discrimination, prejudice, and violence in spite of constitutional protection. It is very dishearten to see the world being silent against continues violation towards the largest religious minority in India.
In a nutshell, in spite of dealing with discrimination, sterophying in western countries, responding to hate can be done in many ways. Muslims countries can overcome islamophobia through their genuine culture, action, and profound faith of peacefulness. For instance, Islamic organization, delivering effective speeches, making documentaries, and contribution in societies can be much effective to change the minds of western people. In addition, although media is one of the causes for misleading Western people about Islam. However, it can also be used as a tool to overcome it. We can use media as an instrument to construct and rehabilitate stereophyte about Islam. The construction of resources must include scientific or education research in universities. Furthermore, government had better control media presenting about terrorism and radicism. However, it is also the responsibility of the United Nation to maintain peace all over the world.
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