AhlulBayt News Agency

source : dailytimes.com.pk

16 July 2023

4:26:47 AM

Muslim countries urged to take practical steps towards combating Islamophobia

It is high time Muslim countries come together at an organized platform and take practical steps towards combating Islamophobia, a Pakistani journalist said.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): It is high time Muslim countries come together at an organized platform and take practical steps towards combating Islamophobia, a Pakistani journalist said.

It will be more effective than unorganized protests within countries which bears no fruit, added Wajeeha Ashfaq in an article published on the Daily Times:

Growing Islamophobia calls for firm action by the joined efforts of Muslim countries. Cases of anti-Muslim sentiments have been seen across the globe which has fostered hostility and hatred towards Muslims leading to their exclusion based on religion in Western nations.

The recent case of burning the Quran outside a mosque in Sweden has sparked another debate and is for sure the result of the wave of hatred that has been implanted in minds through organized action over time.

What is Islamophobia? It’s the bitter and fearful feelings towards Islam that lead to such actions which ultimately consider Muslims and Islam as aggressive and harmful.

Beginning at the end of the 20th century, Islamophobic sentiments paced up after the 9/11 attack followed by other events. It is not a random phenomenon that just began and sparked but has been systematically inculcated through behaviors and expressions that lead to the weakening of Muslims politically and hinder their progress in the Western world due to their engagement in actions protecting their identity and proving themselves to be normal citizens.

It would not be wrong to say that such feelings are innate in the Western World. A child born is continuously subject to such perceptions and representations that portray Muslims in negative roles. The inculcation of the idea is so strong that a strong bias against Muslims remains with them throughout their lives.

Different platforms contribute to the idea of which media is the strongest. Mainstream and social media have both played an active role in promoting the idea in the West and a strong symbolic interactionism has been developed including negative feelings attached to dressing, beard and sometimes prayers of Muslims.

One of the examples of how media platforms engage in spreading propaganda against Islam and pollute minds with this dangerous concept is how an important news platform, the Wall Street Journal, shared the news with the headline “Islam is cancer” quoting a filmmaker “Sam Bacile”.

The issue isn’t limited to individual hatred only but is expressed structurally within the system which leads to such legislations and policies that exclude Muslims from many opportunities and the civil liberties that the West usually talks about, ultimately unveiling the hypocrisy.

According to a report by Global Justice Program’s Human Rights Agenda report, “Because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion, Muslims are unjustifiably the target of unlawful profiling, exclusion, and discrimination.”

Islamophobia is understood as a type of xenophobia and ethnic and religious discrimination that targets and excludes Muslims. This assumption serves as the foundation for a misguided worldview that considers Muslims and Islam to be inferior to Judaism and Christianity and a danger to “Western” civilization.

Since 2010, there have been 223 anti-Sharia measures presented in state legislatures in the United States. Twenty of the measures introduced have become law in 13 states. These bills impose legal barriers that specifically seek to prevent Muslims from fully and freely engaging with their religion by preventing Islamic interpretations that guide ethical and moral life, as outlined in Sharia, from being considered in US state courts, as well as by infringing on Muslims’ rights.

There is a strong clash of civilizations that has led to this hatred for reaching political purposes and anti-Muslim feelings have been spreading like fire in the West. The implications of this agenda can be seen in the form of violence against Muslims due to the installed fear against the whole community including the recent case.

The French anti-separatism bill was yet another step towards curbing the freedom of Muslims which although seemed to be a step towards secularization but the main purpose is not hidden anyway.

Protests across many Muslim countries including Iraq and Turkey were seen as a result. In Pakistan too, the masses participated in protests as disrespecting the Holy Book isn’t acceptable for Muslims at any cost. The West is aware of the cards it has to play to instigate reactionary responses from Muslims which helps them prove their agenda right.

Pakistan demanded Sweden to clarify its position on the burning of the Quran in Stockholm and Sweden too has condemned the scenario but this seems to be a part of a greater game than it seems.

It is high time Muslim countries come together at an organized platform and take practical steps towards combating Islamophobia rather than unorganized protests within countries which bears no fruit.

The matter must be resolved through awareness on global platforms and seriously posing a threat to media houses that propagate such views which are hostile towards the Muslim community. Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the platform that can be used for the purpose and must be actively involved in protecting the interest of the Muslim community as a whole.


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