Today’s society comprises of populations from different economic, religious and social backgrounds hence, quite diverse. The diversity plays a very crucial role in cushioning people and supporting social grown from negative impact of social problems. To enjoy peaceful coexistence, members of the society have to be tolerant at all times bearing in mind that societal survival is threatened by unnecessary conflicts.
Any form of prejudice as well as discrimination denies part of global population an opportunity to share the natural resource base. Therefore, from an ethical point of view, discriminatory practices are considered unjust and immoral. This is based on the fact that they do not allow populations to benefit from their entitlements as well as their rights. In this regard, this paper offers a clear and in-depth analysis of islamophobia concepts.
After defining islamophobia, the paper also discusses a different practice that is manifested currently as well as the impact it has on affected groups. Lastly, the paper explains several measures that can be adopted to use to address the concern and to ensure peaceful coexistence between the people.
Lean (2012:23) in his research study explains Islamophobia as an irrational and powerful fear or dislike of Islamic religion. Islamophobia according to Lean attacks followers by perpetuating prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and hatred amongst them. Essentially, Islamophobia is a kind of religion based resentment and it encourages people.
Proponents of Muslim religion also present Faithfull as people who are highly resistant to change. From the point of view in regards to the western culture, the religion is an extremist, inferior, primitive and irrational (Kumar, 2012). These are prepositions that enhance hostilities against devotees and in the end, results in their exclusion from the society. In this regard, practices that are anti-Muslim are known globally to be normal and hence, live in line with social, political, religious and moral values that ensure the society stays put. It is a move that affects the afflicted individuals negatively.
There are many causes of Islamophobia. Weller (2006:295) believes that ignorance of the religion by non-Muslim societies is one of the reasons that have contributed a great deal to the current state of affairs. In this relevance, non-muslims do not truly understand ethics and values of the religion. They also presume that it promotes hatred and violence towards non-believers.
This is a believer against practices and western ideals that global community consider highly instrumental for harmonious co-existence and living. There is also misconception and it propagates discrimination based on the fact that Muslims are considered to be anti-social.
The other cause of Islamophobia according to Igbal (2010:82) is poor reporting that Muslim nations are victims of violent attacks pursued by Islam extremist groups. The media and political leaders state that Muslim states have not be disseminating and reporting factual information in regards to any violent attack. This has made the global community strongly believe that Muslims are perpetrators of the attacks and not victims.
Similarly, incitements by groups, organizations and individuals contribute to Islamophobia. In this regard, Igbal (2010: 83), states that there are different groups globally whose sole intentions are to cause and spread cross religious violence and intolerance. By perpetuating such acts in certain geographical regions for example, they are in a position to access different resources especially in the affected areas and benefit a great deal from them.
However, they cannot achieve this objective under peaceful coexistence. Since it is also globally known that many extremist groups embrace Islam, they take advantage of this to create violent conditions. The media is additionally known to play a role in the rise of prejudice and discrimination against Muslims. Khalil (2013: 87) believes that western media have played a crucial role in the growing number of people who are hurt and insulted by Muslims.
They use the strategy to achieve their economic and social interests. By perpetuating hatred amongst believers, western countries have also had an opportunity to speak out their ideals and remain highly competitive. What’s more, with the fact that the media is highly influential and powerful tool, it makes it easy to convince global population that Islam is an inferior and irrational religion.
Additionally, Lean (2012:92) also assumes that there is no legal binding instrument that presently addresses the concern. This has led to increased perpetuation of statements that incite religious and intercultural intolerance. Individuals across the globe are also free to spread false information on a certain religion as well as its cultural values that people hold in the same regard.
What’s more, the go unpunished and as a result, they consider the practice to be socially acceptable. Debates have also emerged on intolerance and religious discrimination that are more confined to the elite group in the society. In other words, a good percentage of global population doesn’t really understand different forms of religious intolerance and its impact on wellbeing of those affected.
Grass root populations are also unaware of statuses and public dialogues of these vital debates. Therefore, the objective of the malpractice has prevented them from achieving objective and rational decisions related to the malpractice (Weller, 2006). The political groups are also not willing to engage in dialogues aimed at resolving the issue amicably (Bleich, 2011). In this regard, it is worth noting and appreciating the fact that political classes are influential and authoritative.
Political classes are also responsible for creating laws and regulations that guide an individual’s behavior in different ways. Political class by showing reluctance in addressing the issue promotes its growth in the society. It also gives room for perpetrators to continue with their mission and at all levels.
Finally, following the September 11 attack, there has been exacerbation of many anti-Muslim tendencies in the global society. Muslim involvement in such event also intensified generalizations and stereotypes against Muslims. What’s more, the global community and population employ the use of collective punishment for the Islamic community focusing on adherents to be violent thus, associating them at all times with terrorist activities.
Manifestation of Islamophobia in the current society manifests itself in different ways and in different ways. Besides social agencies, the media, political and religious leaders are also known to perpetuate the malpractice in different ways. In his study, Bleich (2011: 1583), he cites a renowned figure in Italy who planned a competition aimed at choosing the most beautiful pig.
The event organizer considered mosques as the best locations used by perpetrators to recruit terrorists who engage in violent crimes. These remarks were no doubt unfounded and the event was derogatory. It was also insulting to the Muslim community and it underestimated the fact that there are certain society facets that are ignorant of the virtues and values advocated for by Muslims.
Danish caricatures are also a classic indication of hostility towards the Islamic religion (Buehler, 2011). The caricatures of Prophet Muhammad were not only provocative but also insulting and discriminatory. These were additionally accompanied by inflammatory remarks and publications. Instead of speaking peace, making the commentaries led to social unrest and violence. Even though western governments regretted over the matter later on, they did not make any step to prevent a re-occurrence.
Such practices have continued to undermine and unabated sustainable peace. They are also pursued under the pretense of freedom of expression. The degree of negativity and hostility towards Islamic religion is additionally manifested on different types of media. Besides social media, there are also a good number of scholars that closely relate Islam to violence (Kumar, 2012).
Additionally, influential social leaders, political leaders and policy proposals portray the Islam as a religion that backs up violent practices. Therefore, the media truly succeed in convincing global populations that Islam is an extremist religion based on such speeches and publications directed at large target audience. The remarks shape up the society’s attitude.
Lean (2012:93) in his review indicates that media personalities use print and film media to propagate islamophobia. The films they present to the audience confirm that many global terror events were and are planned by Muslims. In this regard, they discriminate against and hate adherents to Muslim religion. Similarly, Poynting (2007:66) indicates that Islamophobia manifests itself through workplace discrimination.
There is also a lot of statistical evidence that confirms that since the September 11 attack of the pentagon, Muslims in different western countries have continued to live or struggle with unemployment (Igbal, 2010). Many companies as a matter of fact are not willing to employ Muslim followers despite their qualifications. This is a fact that has had a great impact on the financial or economic well being and quality of life lived by the individuals.
It is a fact that prevents Muslims from actively participating in formal employment and benefiting from opportunities presented by the society. On the other hand, political leaders are known to promote Islamophobia in different ways. Use of derogatory remarks when making public address in rallies is also not willing to cooperate with them in pursuit of economic objectives and goals. Through the speeches, they also inform the public that Islam embraces radicalism.
Muslim settlers are also faced with many challenges emanating from Islamophobia. Sheehi and Churchill (2011:89) states that there are western countries that introduce stringent regulations and laws that prohibit Muslims from exercising their cultural rights comfortably. For example, Muslim émigrés are prevented from putting on or using their religious attires and symbols publicly on the premise on claims that they cause culture clash.
Laws from Denmark and Netherlands among other such western countries have laws created to prevent Muslims from having cultural centers or erecting religious symbols public places (Igbal, 2010). Governments of such countries arguably consider Muslim as a religion that promotes values that disregard its legal provisions. They also fear the fact that expansion and growth of Muslim across the globe can undermine harmonious living. Muslim immigrants also find it very difficult to gain entry into certain countries. This is largely attributed to the fact that there is widespread fear that they engage in terrorist activities. Moreover, law enforcement agencies in many countries across the globe use the attribute in criminal reporting.
Islamophobia in modern day society is also demonstrated in many ways and fundamentally aim at alienating Muslims from the society. The negativity and hostility related to islamophobia prevents people from appreciating and understanding desirable attributes and values of Muslim religion upholds. This is a fact that has a negative impact on the welfare and functioning of the global society.
Gottschalk and Greenberg (2007:114) also points out that the concept prevents Muslims from participating in cultural, economic and political activities held in the society. For example, their needs and demands are not addressed adequately by political leaders. Negative attitudes from the public also do not give Muslims an opportunity to engage in constructive or critical debates aimed at addressing the issue.
In the end, it enhances hatred and strains vital social relations that are critical for grown and development. At this point, it is also worth noting that Muslims are an important social group. Therefore, excluding them from vital economic and social processes, the society also fails to achieve sustainable and holistic growth and development. Therefore, the practice prevents economic development and hurts Muslims (Gottschalk and Greenberg, 2007).
Social exclusion and social hostility characteristics holds on to the idea that Islamophobia has a negative impact on mental wellness of the affected persons. Apart from preventing them to participate in vital social projects, it also exposes them to a wide range of mentally distressing conditions. They also feel alienated from the society that is in normal circumstances required to support them in different ways.
(Khalil (2013: 48), also agrees disrespect from the global society leads to development of destructive anger feelings, alienation and disaffection. This underrates performance of young Muslims in different spheres of life. Apart from leading to their educational failure, negative treatment also leads to unemployment. Social alienation generally prevents young Muslims from living a normal life.
Mainstream parties also use anti-muslim messages and slogans to succeed in elections. The messages convince the masses that they do not support Islam. This indicates that they distance themselves from the religion. Since they assume vital political positions and leaderships later on, it also implies that laws and rules formulated by the politicians, implemented and enforced by the same people do not favor the general wellbeing of Muslims. Lack of political will to address Muslim problems also has an adverse impact on their survival.
It also reveals that social programs and other development initiatives do not focus on the needs of the Muslim brothers and sisters. This kind of exclusion deters Muslims from sharing and benefiting from available resource base. Finally, injustice and violence drive young Muslims to engage in criminal activities. According to Sheridan (2006:324), characteristic disaffection towards Muslims leads to violent radicalism. This can also be used to explain rising representation of this group in the criminal justice system.
From a psychological point of view, populations that are considered to be violent reach a point where they actually engage in violence to assert the claims. Rising incidences of violence also prevent governments from addressing terrorism and initiating development. It also exposes the masses to negative religious extremism and violence. It also divides the society and leads to significant losses.
Ultimately negative effects across the nation outweigh and overwhelm the benefits of Islamophobia. For this reason, it is vital for governments to employ ideal ways to address the matter effectively and efficiently.
Different stakeholders need to formulate, implement and affect laws addressing religious intolerance to counter the effects of Islamophobia. These will help to define clearly the meaning of freedom of expression and to advocate for exercise of related rights to the later; Kumar (2012:72) in his study indicates that laws should promote cultural and religious tolerance. Those who contravene the provisions should be held responsible for their actions.
The strategy will be quite instrumental in ensuring that religious and political leaders refrain from making insulting or inflammatory comments. Additionally, it will reduce incitement as well as negative impact on the general wellbeing of Islamic religion. To ensure its effectiveness, legal provisions should also be quite comprehensive and inclusive.
Non-governmental organizations and civil society should also assume active roles in reconciling differences and in addressing the concern. Therefore, in his research, Weller (2006:295) is contended that these are the institutions that play a very critical role in today’s international relations. They also contribute significantly in addressing global matters of great importance. Specifically, their activities help to bring together different stakeholders including academicians, religious leaders, diplomats and the media.
Therefore, they can make the most of such a platform to discuss important issues that relate to manipulation of religious practices and faith by radical groups and unlawful justification of their acts. Additionally, they can make suggestions on the best solutions that can be used to manage the trend and to ensure the wellbeing of Muslims.
Governments should also incorporate important also incorporate changes in the educational systems used in their institutions. Such vital changes enhance sustainability and in this regard, Gottschalk and Greenberg (2007:98), recommend that the syllabi should be revised by the government at all education levels. The revision should additionally include incorporation of vital concepts that focus on religious tolerance as well as the negative effects associated with cultural defamation.
Philosophy, history, religious studies and human sciences among other related disciplines are vital avenues that can be used to achieve this goal. They should also in this respect focus on presenting a balanced view of religion, civilization and cultures to target audience. Education is a vital tool because of its capability to align and change attitudes towards achievement of set goals. What’s more, it redefines behaviors and beliefs of the people.
Education is no doubt an important instrument that can be used efficiently to address the issue in a sustainable and effective manner. Similarly, the national, local and state governments should focus on developing and engaging in campaigns against Islamophobia. As earlier indicated, such institutions are highly influential and they can use their authority to bring change.
They can also use the strategy to relay factual and important information on religious and cultural diversity. The government should involve relevant stakeholders from all facets in the society actively and utilize all forms of media. This will be very effective in creating awareness amongst current population on Islamophobia, its negative effects and its implications on the wellness of the society. Most importantly, it will enhance objectivity in decision making process by ensuring that the masses base their decisions on informed choices or opinions.
Islamophobia is a delusion that has affected Muslim population negatively. It is a concept that enhances aggression and hostility towards this group of the population. From the preceding review, the concept of islamophobia is caused by many factors including misuse of the freedom of expression, ignorance on Muslim religious values, lack of legal instruments addressing the concept and misinterpretation of the idea of freedom of expression among others. It is highly manifested through enhance media coverage of islamophobia, discriminatory employment tactics and political commentaries that are derogatory.
Besides propagating hatred, the concept compromises economic development, strains social relations and prevents Muslims from sharing or benefiting from natural resource base. This is a concern that can be addressed efficiently by educating the society on the importance of cultural and religious respect as well as tolerance. It is a step that will take the efforts of the civil society as well as nonprofit organizations and pursuing anti-discriminatory campaigns to achieve the goal.
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