Islamophobia – A pervasive global issue

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Islamophobia is the fear of Islam as a whole religion, and hatred towards Muslims. The question here that crops up is: Why this aversion towards Islam? Due to 9/11? Is it bigotry? Could it be due to the existence of Muslim population in Non-Muslim countries? All in all, Islamophobia is a very inquisitional and regressive term.

The underpinning of Islamophobia is a report called, ‘’ Islamophobia: A challenge for all of us’’   by the Runnymede Trust.  Islamophobia, as an expression was created to avoid the usage of hate words, like fear or, hatred. Under this, unfortunate underpinning of Islamophobia, Islam has been defined as a ‘’violent political ideology rather than a religion’’. In addition to this, the report also refers to Islam as of a ‘’low standard culture’’, as far as comparison with other cultures is concerned. Accolades for doing this task can’t be given to the Trust rather it deserves complete rejection; because the concept of Islamophobia has a very ‘negative connotation’ to it. In fact, this report should receive the severest kind of criticism, for thoroughly ‘disrespecting a religion’ in the name of a good deed.

Not just these ‘Foundations’ and ‘Think Tanks’, Islamophobia has garnered a wide range of views. Views mostly gracing ‘’negativity’’ have come up.  But, undoubtedly, there are neutral and, positive views being upheld, as well.

Douglas Murray, wrote for Standpoint, where he argues that the concept of Islamophobia, insults and questions each and every aspect of Islam.  Mr. Johannes Kandell, also thankfully, smells of negativity, as he sternly detests Islamophobia, by calling it a word encompassing hostility against Islam. As with each word the spectrum widens, neutrality has also taken its call. French Prime minister, Manuel Valls, has taken a safe path regarding, Islamophobia. He says: Islamophobia is used as a defence mechanism, to silence “critics” of Islam by Islam “apologists”. Secondly, he is not in favour of this phobia, as he believes that it invalidates all the criticism against any Islamic ideology. Middle path isn’t exclusive to Mr. Valls only. Academician, Chris Allen has also taken the mid – way. And, says that, Islamophobia lacks a clear definition.

Views are very individualistic. But, views can never determine greatness. Neither is greatness unique to one religion or, culture. It is cross cultural indeed. We have many Muslims who have made it ‘’big’’. The 21st century has witnessed the glory of one such honoured Muslim. And, she is: Malala Yousafzai, a teenage activist from Pakistan.  She is fighting the disturbing issue of female education. She is the youngest ever, Nobel Prize Laureate. Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, and pioneer of the twin concepts of: micro credit and, micro finance. He is the recipient of the ‘’Nobel Peace Prize’’. The Nobel laureate in physics, Prof. Abdus Salam. And, ex – president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and so on and forth, this list is endless! So, it is clear that: ‘’Not everyone in other religions is a good person nor all Muslims are bad either”.

From ‘my’ angle, Muslims are as ‘humane’ as anyone else and nobody has any right to be judgmental about them. I have many, extremely kind and welcoming friends who happen to be Muslims. They are like all of us. No special or different.

Muslims, have a birth right to be treated equally. The Charlie Hebdo Incident in France, Army Public School Peshawar incident, the Godhra incident, aftermath of Godhra Incident in India, is very regretful and reprehensible to say the least. These incidents have casted their shadows over humanity. We must work towards the removal of this shadow.

Raneem Ali, a Muslim, a friend of mine, studying in the very reputed ‘’Delhi University’’.  She is a very bright and, a competent girl. When asked by me: What is your opinion about the relation between Islam and terrorism; which the world has been constantly drawing? She says: It is the herd mentality. We are conditioned to develop such opinions based on what the popular media shows us. The unnecessary and unwarranted emphasis on the so-called religious identity of the perpetrators of terrorist incident unwittingly fuel Islamophobia, and this is very wrong for the simple reason that terrorists have no religion!

The challenges of every century are different. In that aspect, 21st century’s challenges are new too. They are meant to be fought for. How? That is our call. We should unite, and fight. Or, have a blind eye to these unaddressed issues. The issue of Islamophobia has brought unmitigated troubles, to Muslims globally. So, we need to take these issues as ‘’common man’s issues’’ and, fight them. Not for us, but for the children of today, and tomorrow. And, fulfill their dream of a better world.

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14 thoughts on “Islamophobia – A pervasive global issue

  1. Beautifully crafted article on one of the most sensitive topics across the globe. Well articulated and the colourful language simply makes it an interesting read.
    Keep up the good work. Hope to see more of this kind of stuff in future.
    Best wishes
    Pickwick

  2. Before praising for your writing , I on behalf every Muslim would like to thank you for making such an attempt to aware the people who are suffering from “Islamophobia”. If every person of all age group would start seeing Muslims by their own eyes(i.e. explore islam and its teaching. Not only relying on media showing and coming under the influence of some fringe elements) they will surely get rid off from islamophobia.
    Miscreants are present in every community, religion etc. But, surely we cant blame the whole community/religion. Stopping of such practice is the need of the hour.

    Coming to your writing, you have drafted it very beautifully and the message you want to convey is loud and clear. And, yes their are lot of examples you could add. but the one you have presented are enough to hammer the brains.

    keep on writing and come up with your positive thoughts. Don’t wait for the change, be the change you want to see and then definitely this world will change and will be more peaceful.

    Good luck!
    Have a bright future 🙂

  3. We are rather blessed in Asia. I don’t really see much religious hatred going around. I’m glad we have you to be concerned about world issues. I for once have given up on humanity as a whole. War, hatred, etc etc are persistent issues that have gone on for centuries. I believe that this world needs a calamity before it would bond people to work together to survive.

  4. I am so proud of u my friend! Your article has been written very well. Moreover, the way you play with the english language makes it even more interesting to read.
    Coming to the topic on which you have written, even I believe that this is a phenomenon, or rather, a fad which needs to be abolished. I agree with your friend’s views on “herd mentality”.
    Cheers Darshi! Keep writing and enlightening your readers!

  5. Thank you junaid for thanking me, as that is a clear indication of my article’s message being passed to you. Secondly, I completely agree to your view. I’m sure with consistent efforts, Islamophobia will come to an end. And, once again thank you for encouraging me to write through your words of appreciation.

  6. As your article explains, Islamophobia is a consequence of our misconceptions usually fuelled by media channels. For example, a statement potrayed as ” All terrorists are muslims” is misconceived as “All muslims are terrorists.”
    Your article does a great job in countering these misconceptions and creating awareness regarding this sensitive issue .
    It was a great read.

  7. Islamophobia. I must say Darshita you have chosen a very good issue for creating awareness.
    Coming to your article, I honestly loved the way you use words. I really admire it.(Words are something which I am very particular about :P)
    Secondly, I completely agree with you on this one. Islam is just a religion. People are free to choose whatever religion they want, there is absolutely no need of judging or criticizing the religion and its practices. It is a culture not a product you buy from the supermarket after judging its quality.
    Also I would like to add. People need to change their mindsets. All Muslims are not BAD people. They are normal human beings just like you and me. Everybody does not have wrong intentions.
    All cultures teach us the same thing if you really look into it.
    I too have many friends and neighbors who practice this religion and I will be more than happy to be a part of it and treat them them the way I treat everybody else.

    Loved this piece of work. You go girl!
    I’ll wait for the next one too 😀

  8. Dear Darshita,
    I want to thank you for writing this essay as you have raised some excellent points about “Islamophobia” and Islamic life. My Honors Sophomore English class and I read and studied your thoughts and ideas during the course of a unit when we read and studied “Persepolis,” a graphic novel that is set during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. I teach in a primarily middle class, educated, white high school in Portland, Oregon in the United States. Ironically, while my students would refer to themselves as “liberal” and “progressive,” they are quite ignorant and close-minded when it comes to Islam and lives other than their own. From my observations in the US, it seems “okay” among non-Muslims to say horrible things about Muslims and to repeat anecdotes and rumors about Muslims. This is why reading and studying articles and information as well written and thoughtful as your essay is so important in helping me educate my students and help them realize and “see” their own areas of ignorance. I will likely continue to use your reflective essay in all of my English classes in which we read and study Islam.
    Thank you very much, and I hope you continue to share your fine writing.
    Tracy Groom
    Honors English Teacher
    Wilson High School
    Portland, Oregon USA

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