To become abhorrent has lost its prerequisites in a world where the faith and faith actors are detested for simply being. Such is a world where false narratives guided by bigotry echo louder than the cries of the children of God, begging not to be punished for prostrating the way their religion demands.
Islamophobia or the prejudice against the Islamic religion is often exacerbated with the normalisation of negative stereotypes against Muslims through a multitude of channels. Perhaps, the most prevalent and powerful of those is the media as it enables individuals who carry anti-Muslim sentiments with political authority and ability to influence the masses. This notion has existed since the early days of Islam but it has taken a contemporary form as it transitioned from being motives against a revolution in a morally corrupt world to mainstream and active discrimination against the culture surrounding the belief.
Some may argue that this agenda is not entirely irrational and originates from commonly known jihadist acts of violence and terrorism. Jihad, in the simplest of terms, refers to a struggle in the name of maintaining as well as progressing the faith and a faithful world. However, the refutation is also clear when it says that jihad is a much more nuanced aspect of Islam that in no way means to condone violence. Yet, actions of extremists who are not representative of the Muslim community along with misconstrued Islamic beliefs continue to paint a detrimental picture of an average Muslim.
Islamophobia takes many forms and is often even implicit or internalised, especially in non-Muslim countries where it causes the most harm. The question which pounds ones head; is it the feeble protection of legislation that is to blame, is it its incompetent and reluctant implementation or is it simply the aforementioned ideologies imputed to muslims that force the perpetator to be or the guard to not be? Thus, islamophobic incidents are often destined to be dusted under the carpet.
It is beyond the scope of any independent piece of writing to encompass even just recent relevant events, that too are the ones which were reported only. Yet, probing further into the phenomenon and its consequences, we find that there are overwhelming amounts of occurrences of verbal and physical assault. No country where religious diversity exists can claim absolute tolerance, albeit wanting to. To elaborate so as to further this attempt at fully grasping the intensity and generality of the matter, Denmark reported a surge in acts aimed at harming Muslims which ranged from vandalism to arson in the past three years. Australia was host to an attack entailing a pregnant Muslim woman wearing a hijab who was punched and stomped on by a man yelling anti-Islamic hate speech at the victim and her friends. While rebels massacred about twenty-five Muslims inside a mosque in the town of Kembe in the Central African Republic in October of 2017. Plus, it was in 2020 that nine people lost their lives in Germany due to a terrorist shooting spree by a far-right extremist targeting two shisha bars in Hanau. In addition to the 2020 Delhi pogrom which resulted in fifty-three dead, triggered by protests against a citizenship law deemed by many as anti-Muslim. The predicament faced by Muslims is truly drastic as can be proved by the Rohingya Muslim genocide in Myannmer, declared to be ethnic cleansing by United Nations authoritites. When it comes to addressing the obvious example there is certainly a lot that can be cited as French Muslims have suffered bombings, vehicular attacks, stabbings and more for decades.
The preceding deeds barely begin to scratch the surface of the excruciating tribulations of the Muslim plight while managing to shake one to the core. Still, for as long as the spirit of well intended religious solidarity exists, the faith is not compromised, humanity at the other end motions and strives for change; there is hope.
It is an excellently balanced approach to the issue of Islamophobia that has been seen for some time now. It has become fashionable to denounce religion by even its adherents in an effort to undo what extremists have done to the benign face of islam by killing the spirit behind the hand that wields a sword, if situation so demands of a Muslim faithful in order to protect what is sacred in its essence for being part of revealed truth.
It is a conflict of world views that gave rise to these phobias against islam, which is in a way the most malignantest of them all religions when it comes to its spreading appeal and acceptance in the rational times of today and which I may dare add, presents the only solution to the otherwise chaotic, depressed and gloomy life that is unfathomable if visited by the existentialist thought, for islam, along with other abrahamic religions, offers a tradition of spiritual enlightenment and evolution and elevation which have not been met by other religions traditions by the standards of popularity and appeal for the human mind.
I am indebted to the writer for her brave words in favour of the slain. May their souls and the hatred that brought their sad ends upon them, both rest in peace eternally.
As the writer says, “there is hope”.