Islamophobia: Causes and Consequences | Essay for CSS, PMS

Islamophobia: Causes and Consequences | Essay for CSS, PMS

CSS Solved Essays | Islamophobia: Causes and Consequences

The essay is attempted by Dr Aimeen Mehmood on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches to his students, who have consistently been qualifying their CSS, and PMS essays. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns.

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  • Islamophobia has emerged as the most threatened phenomenon in recent years.
  • Anti-Islamic laws and Muslim massacres and discriminations are the norms, threatening international peace.
  • The shattered Muslim community and insensitive media are the most significant factors causing Islamophobia.
  • The collective efforts of the Muslim world and regulated media are the need of the hour to tackle the bulwark.

Understanding the term “Islamophobia.”

  • Negative behaviour, including hostility, violence, rejection, exclusion, and discrimination toward Islam and Muslims
  • Fear against Islam, Muslims, and their sacred customs

Current Situation of Islamophobia

  • Ongoing hijab controversy
  • Ever rising Anti-Muslim campaigns for Political gains
  • Persecuting and Alleging Muslims for hate crimes
  • Profaning and vandalizing mosques regularly

Consequences of Islamophobia

Social Consequences

  • Intensifying attacks on Muslims and their Holy places
  • Deteriorating international Peace and Harmony

Political Consequences

  • Validating anti-Muslim laws and policies
  • Threatening the global democracy

Economic Consequences

  • Exploiting Muslim World in the international market
  • Discriminating immigrated Muslims in career opportunities

Causes of Islamophobia

  • Lack of unity among the Muslim countries
  • Lack of direct interaction between the Muslim world and the Western World
  • Misinterpretation of the Core of Islam
  • The misconception of Jihad and its limitations
  • The vested interest of Political Parties
  • Biased role of International media-Information Warfare

Suggestions to tackle Islamophobia

  • To unite Muslim Ummah to tackle anti-Islamic Ideology
  • To Increase direct contact of the Western World with Muslim countries
  • To clarify the proper understanding of Islam
  • To organize awareness campaigns to elucidate the role and limitations of Jihad
  • To call out Islamophobic political moves for vested interests via International laws
  • To ensure the positive and unbiased participation of media and social networks
  • To secure the effective role of international organizations mainly OIC, in fighting stereotypes

Critical Analysis

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One of the most contentious phenomena impacting the Muslim world in recent years is none other than Islamophobia. From rhetoric violence to brutal murders, Muslims worldwide are facing the challenges of social, political, religious, and cultural discrimination at different levels of society due to unfounded hostility toward Islam. Recent insights from several European countries affirm the inevitable consequences of Islamophobia on Muslims. For instance, laws and policies have been introduced in France, Belgium, and India, banning Hijab and religious minarets’ construction. However, although Europe is considered a bastion of Islamophobic racism, the sight of racism amongst Muslims and racist policies pedalled by Muslim governments are equally responsible for exaggerating the anti-Muslim hysteria. Moreover, the Muslim civil society has always been reluctant to engage adequately with wider society in fighting extremism and injustices across the board and to address the reprehensible actions and rhetoric of extremists within the community. The other reasons behind the pervasive anti-Muslim ideology that notably surged after the events of 9th September 2011- are the clash of civilizations, poor understanding of Islam, information warfare, the vested interest of the political groups, and the outsized influence of the extremist media. Nonetheless, the bulwark of Islamophobia can be shattered with collective foresighted efforts through media, international peace organizations- mainly the Organization of Islamic Community- and awareness campaigns. The following essay deals with the causes, consequences, and possible remedial measures to tackle the issue of Islamophobia.

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Commonly referred to as Islamophobia, the term is not without debate, as clearly discussion abounds concerning its origins and definition. The term was first coined in the late 90s to draw attention to harmful rhetoric and actions directed at Islam and Muslims in Western liberal democracies. In literal meaning, Islamophobia is the hatred for Islam. However, the twelfth observatory report of the Organization of Islamic Council explains Islamophobia as “A fear, or more precisely, an excessive fear, against Islam, against Muslims, as well as against anything associated with the religion, such as Mosques, Islamic Centers, Holy Qur’an, Hijabs, etc.” Thus, Islamophobia, in general, is a phenomenon that deals with negative behaviour, including hostility, violence, rejection, exclusion, and discrimination towards Islam and Muslims.

Currently, Muslims worldwide are witnessing massacres, killings, discrimination, hate speech, and the destruction of mosques and Islamic centres. Recent reports are heaped with such incidences. In India, for instance, a girl is harassed for wearing a hijab to the education institution. In France, a mosque is profaned or vandalized every three weeks. In Britain, a Muslim is punched and called a terrorist in front of her petrified daughter. In the Netherlands, the fascist Geert Wilder’s party wins many seats to sign an alliance with the anti-Islamic liberals. Sweden Democrats party chairman Jimmie Akesson warns Islam is “Our biggest foreign threat since World War Two.” In Poland, the mainstream media and some politicians aggressively attack the small community of Muslims, depicting them as the new folk devil. The list goes on, but, to put it briefly, extremist activities toward Muslims are rising continuously, and they continue to haunt Muslims throughout the world.

Socially, the increasing Islamophobia has threatened Muslims’ lives and the religious places-mosques-. The extremists use soft targets to manifest their hatred for Islam. From the legitimized destruction of the Babri Masjid in India to the terrorist mass shootings at Christchurch mosque in New Zealand, Muslims are being oppressed, targeted, and subjugated worldwide. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents has increased to 257 yearly. Further, more than one-fourth of American Muslims surveyed by several public opinion polls reveal personal experiences of Islamophobia or know someone who has experienced it. The killing of Muslims on such a huge level without any apprehension of being punished has destroyed the peaceful living of immigrants and Muslim students in the West. Moreover, they are also facing restrictions in practising religion. And all those who condemn the anti-Islamic moves are declared radicals and are frequently challenged and criticized, and their status as victims is denied. Therefore, the anti-Islamic prejudice has not only instilled a sense of fear and Xenophobia toward Muslims and the Muslims towards the West but also deteriorated international peace and harmony.

Furthermore, many countries like France, Belgium, and India have declared Islam legally a false religion and legalized anti-Muslim activities in their states. For personal political gains, world leaders like Donald Trump- the former US president, Netanyahu- The former Israel Prime Minister, and Emmanuel Macron- the French President, have initiated political campaigns to portray Muslims as a threat to society and ban the religious symbols of Islam. According to the Organization of Islamic Council (OIC) report, more than Ten European States have banned the freedom of exercising Islam as a religion, practising Hijab in public places, and constructing minarets in mosques. Additionally, the ever-rising legal policies against Muslims by the world democratic powers are a question of their own promulgated norms of their governments. To cut it short, Islamophobia is causing existential threats to the Muslims living under Anti-Muslim leaders and hindering the evolution of democracy across the world.

Besides social and political discrimination, Islamophobia is also posing the challenges of economic discrimination against Muslims around the world. The Muslims living in European countries are forced to emigrate from their long remained hometowns as Islamophobia rises. They are not provided opportunities for jobs and business. They have no place in the governmental departments. Above all, they are not allowed to run street ventures on local grounds. Olivier Esteves, a professor of British Studies at the University of Lille and a researcher, says, “People who wear visible signs of religious belonging, such as a beard or hijab (headscarf), often find it impossible to access the job market in France.” Thus, more than eighty per cent of the Muslims in the western states- most of them are well-educated- cannot find jobs and resultantly suffer from a high level of unemployment rate because they have Muslim-sounding names. The discrimination is not limited at Intra states markets. Still, it expands to the international Markets where the Muslim countries are looked down upon and kept from trade opportunities and even the free market business. Thus, Islamophobia is disturbing the economic status of the Muslim World despite being rich in natural and young human resources.

Since the phenomenon of Islamophobia comes with dreadful impacts at the global level, it has originated overnight. There are multiple factors responsible for the widespread anti-Islamic attitude of the world. Predominantly, the lack of unity among the Muslim states is the most significant cause responsible for the exaggerated Islamophobia in the world. After the 9/11 attacks, when the Western world initially targeted Muslims, no Muslim country has come forward to clear the status of Islam and Muslims before international forums. Instead, they have been busy fueling or settling internal disputes. For instance, both Iran and Saudi Arabia always have aggressive policies against each other, and one has always been busy suppressing the other and vice versa. Additionally, as many Muslim countries believe in having been supported by the west in one way or another, they hesitate to interact with the western world, particularly on the issue of Islamophobia. Consequently, the issue is not addressed on serious grounds at any international peace conference or platform, and the opinion of the Islamic world remains sidelined. Although the UNGA has passed the resolution to counter Muslim hatred, how far is it going to implement is still a question mark as no previous resolution of the United Nations against Muslim massacres is known to have been implemented in any region of the world.

Another critical factor responsible for aggravating Islamophobia is the misinterpretation of Islam as a way of life. Since most British nationals and the general public are unaware of the true nature of Islam, they are brainwashed by Islam’s enemy mindsets. For instance, Shahram Hadian- an Iranian-born pastor who converted from Islam to Christianity- tried to inculcate his point in the youth against Islam with statistics and scripture. Further, the world is unaware of the Islamic teachings of Jihad, its need, and its limitations. As a result, the ignorant non-Muslims are made to believe Islam is an extremist religion that exhorts its followers to kill humanity. Additionally, some terrorist attacks by the So-called Islamists have added fuel to the fire. Hence, Islam is the religion of peace and kindness, and it does not allow harming a single person on the land, which has been buried under widespread misconceptions.  

Together with Muslims’ disunity and misinterpreted concepts of Islam, the vested interests of the politicians both in the Islamic and Western world have aggravated the prevalence of Islamophobia in the world. The anti-Muslim campaigns are run for political gains. Recent studies show that Islamophobic attacks and hatred in Western countries are relatively higher near the elections. For instance, Muslims have increasingly been portrayed as a threat to French society under Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. Likewise, the Muslim world- Particularly Turkey- following the footsteps of the West is, known to be involved in anti-Muslim politics to prove itself a secular state. World leaders have been exploiting Islam to strengthen their position in liberal Politics. According to Esteves- a British researcher, “It is dog-whistle politics to talk about Muslims without sounding Islamophobic.” Thus, if the world politics on Islam remains to be continued, it would be the biggest hurdle in alleviating the threat of Islamophobia from the minds of the general public too.

Above all, the biased role of international media has contributed the most to instilling Islamophobic perception. The world is living in the age of information warfare, where particular events are aggravated. Recent history is full of events when the media highlighted Islamophobic incidents to spread hate for the Muslim Community. Any bearded man responsible for any suspicious activity is regarded as a terrorist attack. Contrarily, the violent acts performed by non-Muslims are justified as a mishap. To put it briefly, if the media had been unbiased in publishing news regarding all attacks post 9/11, the idea of Islamophobia would have been diminished by now.

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Nonetheless, Islamophobia can be tackled by foresighted steps to alleviate anti-Semitism- hatred towards Jews- and Hispanophobia- hatred toward Spanish. First and foremost, the Muslim ummah needs to be united on the cause of Islamophobia. Since unity is the prerequisite for developing relations and enhancing cooperation among nations, the Muslim world should gather at a common point to address the world against Anti-Islamic Ideology so that Islam enemies should apprehend before initiating any hatred move toward Muslims. Within the community, the Muslim countries are also to foster a balanced neutral environment, eliminating Westernphobia. Second, there needs to be more direct interaction between the Muslim World and the Western world to remove misconceptions.

Third, the world is to know the true meaning of Islam as the religion of peace, happiness, and kindness. For this purpose, more awareness campaigns and peace talks are to be conducted at the international level, particularly in the Western countries where Islamophobia is the most prevalent. Moreover, Muslims living in the Western world is to manifest true kindness based on the teachings of Islam in their everyday activities. It can not only change the attitude of the world towards Muslims but also transform the perception of Islam in the minds of the general public. Fourth, seminars need to be held to clarify the concept of Jihad in Islam. Finally, the world needs to be explained that Islam does not exhort its followers to initiate any kind of war. As it is clearly depicted in the Holy Quran [2:190], “You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors.” 

Fifth, international peace organizations like United Nations are to call out insensitive hyper-nationalist groups that are using Islamophobia to win their vested interests. Although the UN has passed a resolution against Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim hatred urging tolerance and neutrality, the organization has not made any strict laws against anti-Islamic politics. Thus, Laws against Islamophobic moves are the need of the hour if the bulwark of Islamophobia needs to be dealt with. Sixth, the positive and unbiased participation of the media can do wonders in building the positive approach of Islam in the minds of the international public. Through the constructive discussions and social activities in the screen era, Islam hatred could be alleviated from the world in no time.

Last but not least, the Organization of Islamic Council (OIC) – the collective voice of the Muslim world to ensure and safeguard their interest in economic socio and political areas- with its power of fifty-two countries, need to play its role efficiently. It should develop an international Islamic channel where all Muslim countries- keeping their grudges behind- should cooperate to stand firm against Islamophobia. That is the only way to eliminate the Islamopbhobic ideology and protect the rights of Muslims across the world.

Critically, despite the centuries’ worth of glorious Muslim contribution to Europe’s culture, art, innovation, science, and philosophy, Islam in the west is portrayed as an evil, extremist, and violent religion whose disciples tend to spread harm to the followers of other’s religions. And the trend is continuously increasing even in the highly democratic world of the twentieth century. It has demolished the status of the Muslim community and deteriorated the peace of the world. Therefore, it is high time the threat needs to be taken seriously or it would- if allowed to spread unabated- leave none unaffected.

In a nutshell, the rising tide of Islamophobia has led the world towards social, cultural, and religious turmoil, posing an existential threat to global peace and harmony. It is an indisputable fact that far from it being an abstract intellectual exercise, Islamophobia is a reality today. Its manifestation is in the rampant attacks on Muslims in the West at different levels of society. However, along with the Western discriminative framework, the Muslim community is equally responsible for the prevailing Islamophobia worldwide. As it is clearly stated in the Holy Quran [13:11], “God does not change the condition of a people until they change their inner selves” Therefore, the Muslim community, through international organizations- like OIC, need to play its role in tackling the anti-Muslim threats so that the real picture of Islam could be manifested, the global peace could be restored.

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