Rising racist Islamophobia in West- III
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Menace of anti-Islamic western pigs
Islamophobia is associated with colonialism and imperialism of western powers and the rising wealth of Arab nations following the discovery of oil in Mideast gave impetus to anti-Islamic nations to target Islam. Sept-11 hoax, engineered by anti-Islamic forces in USA, indeed accelerated the racist Islamophobia trends globally.
Non-Islamic world may love and worship pigs and they may prefer pork to other meats. That is their problem but when they try to impose their pork culture on Muslims that becomes a serious crime.
True, every anti-Muslim society night try to insult Muslim community by using dead pigs and porkish ideas as a viable tool to defame Islam, insult and injure Muslims.
India is known for its crudely nasty anti-Muslim operations targeting mosques where slaughtered pigs are thrown into the Mosques time and again as one of the “fittest” methods of insulting Islam and terrorizing Muslims in localities. Anti-Islamic forces throw a challenge not to Muslims but to the God almighty to stop their anti-Islam strategies if he can.
When mosques in India are made impure by throwing pig pieces there that has a message for Pakistan too because both fight wars and cross fires over Kashmir. Today, in order to insult Pakistan and appease Indian regime, the Hasina government is punishing those who support Pakistan. In doing so, Bangladesh hopes for some economic benefits.
Similar anti-human activities are “famous” in other essentially anti-Islamic nations. Europe and Israel are also known for their cowardly anti-Muslim tactics, strategically targeting Muslims, their customs, their belongings, especially mosques.
The problem is UN general Assembly is powerless and today it is west controlled notorious UNSC and NATO terror organization are spearheading anti-Islamic wars in Mideast/West Asia, empowering all anti-Islamic nations to speed up their own bids targeting Islam and Muslims.
Islamophobia is thus thriving in every nook and corner of the globe and it is doubtful if any non-Muslim country is sincerely friendly with Muslims and Islam. Media lords , financed by capitalist corporates, work systemically against the security of Muslims.
Australia, a close ally of Hindutva India and as a part of NATO’s anti-Islam war, also tries all possible nasty methods to make Muslims feel insecure. Very recently, a severed western pig’s head was found in a toilet of a Muslim prayer room at the University of Western Australia, which led to police investigations, reports RT.com. The pig’s head was found by Majdi Faleh, a PhD student from Tunisia. Faleh was quoted saying by ABC: “The first feeling was the feeling of someone who’s being threatened. I didn’t expect to see that…It’s not because it was a pig’s head – it can be anything, any other animal – it was the message that was clear…there clearly is motivation of these people trying to say you’re not welcome here, or some similar message,” he further told ABC.
Faleh posted pictures on his Facebook page, and wrote: “Needless to say, if this happened at a university, then THINGS ARE ESCALATING.” A spokesman for the University of Western Australia (UWA) said that they were ‘saddened’ by the ‘deplorable act’.
It is concerning that people using the UWA prayer room have been targeted in this way while the university strives to support a culturally inclusive and tolerant campus.
The UWA Guild also condemned the incident, saying it was investigating the unprecedented display of Islamophobia.
The largest project monitoring Islamophobia was undertaken following 9/11 hoax by the EU watchdog, European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). Their May 2002 report “Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001”, written by Chris Allen and Jorgen S. Nielsen of the University of Birmingham, was based on 75 reports — 15 from each EU member nation.
The report highlighted the regularity with which ordinary Muslims became targets for abusive and sometimes violent retaliatory attacks after Sept-11 hoax. Despite localized differences within each member nation, the recurrence of attacks on recognizable and visible traits of Islam and Muslims was the report’s most significant finding.
Incidents consisted of crude verbal abuse, blaming all Muslims for “terrorism” as a routine criminal fun, forcibly removing women’s veil (hijabs), spitting on Muslims, calling children “Osama”, and random assaults for which no punishments are possible. A number of Muslims were hospitalized and in one instance paralyzed. The report also discussed the portrayal of Muslims in the media. Inherent negativity, stereotypical images, fantastical representations, and exaggerated caricatures were all identified.
The report concluded that a greater receptivity towards anti-Muslim and other xenophobic ideas and sentiments has, and may well continue, to become more tolerated.
Western prejudices and Islamophobia
One way to read the unfolding events concerning the global war on terrorism is to focus on its unintended consequences in domestic politics, exemplified by the increasing racism toward the faith of Islam and its ordinary practitioners in these so-called “liberal” democratic host societies.
Over the last couple of decades policy makers have claimed that Samuel Huntington’s argument in The “Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” will be the fault line of 21st century world politics. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the emergence and radicalization of unconventional international actors in the name of Islam, seemingly used by western anti-Islamic forces to target Islam as “terrorist religion”, and the subsequent terrorist attacks in major metropolises such as New York, Madrid, London, Istanbul and most recently in Paris and Copenhagen unfortunately led to stigmatization of ordinary believers of Islam who live in various Western countries as minorities and Muslims are terrorized.
The terrifying incident in North Carolina that resulted in the death of three young Muslim Americans marks a sharp controversy for years to come. It is not certain yet whether the perpetrator, who happens to be an atheist, committed this crime due to hate or a parking dispute. However, this infamous event reveals several points regarding rising anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rhetoric in the US and many other Western countries with Muslim minorities.
Various studies have been conducted to investigate Islamophobia and its correlates among majority populations and among Muslim minorities themselves. To start with, an experimental study showed that anti-Muslim attitudes may be stronger than more general xenophobic attitudes. Moreover, studies indicate that anti-Muslim prejudice among majority populations is primarily explained by the perception of Muslims as a cultural threat, rather than as a threat towards the respective nation’s economy.
Western countries want minorities to consider themselves first as citizens and work for majority welfare and reject all ideas of their own uplift or equal rights. Governments want Muslims to give up Islamic practices and customs and imbibe state Christian values. If Muslims refuse to “oblige” discriminations follow and life of Muslim community becomes even more difficult.
Studies focusing on the experience of Islamophobia among Muslims have shown that the experience of religious discrimination is associated with lower national identification and higher religious identification. In other words, religious discrimination seems to lead Muslims to increase their identification with their religion and to decrease their identification with their nation of residence. Some studies further indicate that societal Islamophobia negatively influences Muslim minorities’ health. One of the studies showed that the perception of an Islamophobic society is associated with more psychological problems, such as depression and nervousness, regardless whether the respective individual had personally experienced religious discrimination.
The study suggests that anti-discrimination laws alone may therefore be insufficient to fully protect Muslim minorities from an environment which is hostile towards their religious group.
Islamophobia as a form of racism and ideology, though it came to the public domain only in 1997, can be traced back to 19th century European social thought in connection with orientalism and colonialism. This could be considered the European trajectory of Islamophobia, which is rooted in deep historical animosity toward Muslims in general and the Ottoman Empire in particular. As a result of decolonization and immigration in the second half of the 20th century, today many xenophobic European circles seem to be having deja vu, once again confronting Muslim populations once they had forcibly rid them from Spain and the Balkans.
Given what we know of the public memory of European countries, the current existence of Muslims in Europe is not very desirable for the native societies. In contrast, the United States does not have such a historical memory. It is a blank slate . Thus, the American trajectory of Islamophobia is a new phenomenon. But, it shows itself as a particular operationalization of racism and bigotry toward Muslims that identify all individuals of this faith with certain derogatory labels such as backward, terrorist, oppressive and radical.
Such a strategy also sees Islam as monolithic. It makes Muslims identifiable through symbols such as beards and hijabs. This reasoning is quite similar to the stereotyping of African-Americans in racial terms. For instance, African-Americans may well have different socio-cultural values and ethnic identities, but a mindset of “otherizing” reinforces the socially constructed normalcy that all African-Americans are identical because they have the same skin color.
Stereotyping Muslims is consistent with the demonization of communists during the Cold War in which individuals who identified themselves with communist ideology were treated as traitors. However, Islamophobia poses greater challenges to Western societies than these examples. Not only does it undermine the social cohesion of these societies whose core values rest on human rights, rule of law, and difference, but also fuels global cultural wars in the name of religion.
The media in the USA and the entire West in general have contributed to the diffusion of Islamophobia as a hegemonic discourse. The nationwide news channels were reluctant to focus on the Chapel Hill event in the first place. The mainstream media started paying more attention to the incident as a result of pressing worldwide criticisms. Had the murderer been a Muslim, this incident would have unconditionally been considered a terrorist attack under Islam. Similarly, if the murderer had been an African-American, the media would play its cards on racial tones. They refuse to accept their crimes.
Islamophobia is not about religion, but about bigotry and racism. The recent events also show that one does not need to be a believer to be Islamophobic. It is an invalid argument that it is only Muslims who kill in the name of religion or a belief system. Criminal kill people and blame Muslims for that. Let us recall that the perpetrator of the Chapel Hill murder is an atheist. Some atheist public figures in the US openly asserted that Islam is the only religion that acts like a mafia and kills a person if one says a wrong thing.
Some feminists in French society humiliate Muslim women in France who wear a hijab, veil or burqa ad non-Muslim women want Muslim women to be “free” and “open”. Such racist and bigoted attitudes do not add any meaningful value to improve western human conditions such as racism and hatred. Perhaps the unfortunate thing about the media in the USA is that those who speak and criticize Islam on dismissive grounds and demonize Muslims are not knowledgeable of Islam. They set false debates. Their discourse, just like that of their 19th century British counterparts, public intellectuals such as James Bryce and William Gladstone, continues to be under illusions, shape ordinary citizens who gain their knowledge mostly through nationwide news channels, feeding and fueling Islamophobia.
The media has an enormous complicity in the spread of Islamophobia in the west , especially in America, a country that is distinguished by its capacity to absorb religious differences compared to many religiously homogenous European countries that are hostile toward religious difference and its visibility in the public sphere.
Compared to mainstream European countries that made little concerted effort to accommodate the Muslim minorities, the USA has the necessary, democratic means to overcome Islamophobia.
The American trajectory of Islamophobia could be improved if the media and policy makers act more carefully. It is likely that Islamophobia will increasingly become a hotly-debated topic. The actors in society such as the media, policy makers, and nongovernmental organizations should more actively open the ways in which misperceptions about Muslims can be dispelled before this issue becomes intractable. Only war mongers will benefit from such tirades.
Attacks on Islam and Muslims continue unabated because of capitalist-imperialist agenda of the western powers. Arms manufacturers want to make more and more terror goods for regular sale for making huge profits. Obviously, they press the rulers and media lords to help prolong wars on Islam in West Asia in the name of “regime change and democracy” by resorting all tricks of Islamophobia.
Islamophobia serves media fascism and as a global phenomenon with hidden agenda it plays crucially central part in the promotion of fascism the western media and western arms dealers seek to achieve.
Anti-Islamic forces globally with hidden agendas slam Islam and Muslims as terror cause, knowing fully-well that Muslims and Islamic world can do literally noting to fight the trends and sources of Islamophobia. In fact, many Muslims are also working for the enemies of Islam willingly for money.
The ongoing multi-wars on Islam could be a permanent feature as the western countries and their media have no real faith in their own religions and do not trust in God. They are simply the capitalist war mongers and enemies of humanity.