Islam, a religion of people submitting to one God, seeking peace and a way of life without sin, is always misunderstood throughout the world. What some consider act of bigotry, others believe it to be the lack of education and wrong portrayal of events in media; however, one cannot not justify the so little knowledge that America and Americans have about Islam and Muslims. Historically there are have been myths, many attacks on Islam and much confusion between Islam as a religion and Middle Easter culture that is always associated with it. This paper is meant to dispel, or rather educate about the big issues that plague people’s minds with false ideas and this will only be touching the surface.
Since the incident of 9/11 occurred, many people have debated over the Muslim faith and its practices. Muslim extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS have affected the name of Islam causing majority of Muslims to be blamed. Recently, a tragic event that occurred in Paris killing over a hundred people left the people of France shaken with fear and anger. These events have lead to an increasing amount of hate and tension towards Muslims all over the world from protests at mosques, where Muslims go to pray, and anti-Muslim rally’s. Islamophobia is a massive issue that has steered European counties like France to enforce laws that ban religious garments that Muslims wear such as the niqab and burqa. Some people perceive these garments to be
Following the terror attacks in The Unites States in 2001, there has been an increase in Islamophobia in the Western World. Following 9/11, respondents indicate that levels of implicit or indirect discrimination in The United States rose by 82,6% and experiences of over discrimination by 76,3% (http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/21/3/317.short). A combination of how Arabs and Muslims are portrayed in the media, with the increase of organized terrorist groups and refugees since the Arabic Spring, makes this a big political challenge today. This bibliography is written to get an overview of why Islamophobia has increased and the challenges that comes with the rise of Islamophobia.
What is and what isn’t Islamophobia? The term is used to describe prejudice against, hatred towards, or fear of the religion of Islam or Muslims. It came into wide usage in 1997, upon the publication of a report by the Runnymede Trust, a nonprofit English think tank. This report described, “closed views” of Islam,
According to the article, "Islamophobia," the author Carl Coon simply defines what Islamophobia in America is. He explains, "Islamophobia is raising its ugly head in the US... it 's beginning to metastasize into a virulent form of xenophobia, an eruption of the atavistic human tendency to pick sides and then if necessary fight to the death for the side one chooses, and to not reason why."
Although Islamophobia stems from religious differences and oppression today's it is present because way too many people have the perception that Muslims and anyone from the Middle East is a terrorist and has an evil agenda. "Although every Muslim is not a terrorist, every terrorist is a Muslim" (Gul,2011). This view of Islamic and Middle Eastern people is present for many reasons. One being how they are being portrayed in the media. Whenever something ISIS related is reported the views of non radical Islamic people are rarely shown and if it is it's a two or three minute segment (Obeidallah, 2014). Of all violent crimes committed in the US each year the crimes of Muslims are bring to public attention more than others yet they only account for 160 of thousands (cite). In most Hollywood movies you will find nothing but Muslims being portrayed as the assailant. Another cause for Islamophobia in our society is how the government portrays people in predominantly Islamic communities. The US is constantly in need of oil and many other natural resources that are in abundance in the Middle East. With someone these countries refusing to share for the proposed prices the US has waged war against them to gain control over these
September 11th holds many hard and upset feelings around the world today. The harsh actions of Muslim extremists unfortunately completely changed the way Muslims are treated, especially in the United States. These events, exacerbated islamophobia. Unfortunately, “the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, connect Muslims and Islam to terrorism within the geographical borders of the United States.” (Byng) Although it has been over a decade since the attack, many still feel racist and discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims. Muslims are the targeted minority in the United States, “the 9/11 terrorist attacks shifted the social and political context for Muslims in the United States. Terrorism within the geographical borders of the United States carried out by Muslims places an identity at the center of national and global politics.” (Byng) The blame of the horrible terrorist attacks, rather than be placed on terrorists or religious extremist, has been placed on Islam in America. After September 11th, hate crimes towards Muslims skyrocketed, “the most dramatic change noted by the report was a more than 1,600 percent increase in reported hate crimes against Muslims -- a jump from 28 hate incidents in 2000 to 481 last year.”
According to research obtained by Cornell University scientists, 92% of Americans watch TV, 87% read newspapers, and 81% specifically watch local or national televised news stations…
Islamophobia is the fear of Muslims, or the religion of Islam, according to BBC (2017). Some people blame all Muslims for terrorist attacks, that are caused by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Isis, and Boko Haram. These organizations allegedly follow Islam, I say they allegedly follow Islam, because if they had indeed studied Islam, they would understand that Islam is a religion of peace, not terrorism. The word “Islam” means submission to God’s will and obedience to God’s law. It derives from an old Arabic word meaning “peace”. (What is Islamophobia? – CBBC News Round. (2017, June 19).
Historians, specifically American historians of the 21st century have demonstrated an interest in the Middle East in Islam, due to Americans frequent contact with the Middle East in the early 1960s. Islam and the Middle East have played a remarkable role in Americans discussion and reaction to the events that took place on September 11th, 2001. During this time Americans were beginning to regard the Middle East, Muslims, and Islam as one entity. Americans and the world regarded the Middle East as Islam and Islam as the Middle East. Thus, this correlation between the two made Muslims say Muslim Americans and Muslims in America as less western and more of another, but they were also seen as untrustworthy individuals. Additionally, prior to the September 11th, attacks and an after effect of September 11, was that Muslim men were violent and Muslim women as oppressed individuals. Thus, the perception of Islamophobia and the threat it brings to western society has impacted the discussion of Islamophobia in America.
“Islamophobia is prejudice towards discrimination against Muslims due to their religion, or perceived religion, national, or ethnic identity associated with Islam because Muslims have different beliefs and values”. (Islamophobia wikipedia 1) Like anti-semitism, racism, and homophobia. Islamophobia describes mentality and actions that domain an entire class of people. Jews, African-Americans, and other populations throughout history have faced prejudice and discrimination. Islamophobia is simply another reincarnation of this bigotry. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary,a phobia is an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. It may be difficult to determine or communicate the source of this fear, but it exists. From this definition we can see how is so unfair to connect the word phobia to Islam specially because the word Islam in arabic means peace and safety. All that means that a lot of people don’t know nothings about Islam and the unknown can easily provoke fear.
Islam is the religion that is followed through Muslims about the teachings through Muhammad by the prophet Allah. Today Islam is considered as one of the most prominent religions followed throughout the world. Though Islam is thought of has one of the most popular religion across the world, many still lack the understanding of what Islam is. Following 9/11, the perception of Muslims changed thus proposing the idea of Islamophobia. Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary Islamophobia is the unfair prejudice or discrimination towards Muslims due to race, religion, or ethnic identity. The idea changed the way that all Muslims were perceived throughout America and the world. Muslims today face discrimination throughout the society. Following 9/11 the Muslim people are being treated unfairly because of their religion by the exclusion of the Muslim culture in American society, Muslims are being targeted and harmed in public, and Muslims are perceived as a terrorist or threat to national security.
Before the September 11, 2001, hatred towards Muslims in the United States started in 1923, when Muslims started migrating to the United States, an unlike increased presence. The hatred towards Muslims, also known as “Islam phobia”, was first featured in The Journal of Theological Studies. Many Muslims were targeted, the religion of Islam, Muslims, or any ethnic group perceived to be Muslim were characterized as having “bad faith and cruelty”, according to prejudice Americans.
The connection between Islam and terrorism was not intensified until the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center that pushed the Islamic faith into the national and international spotlight (Smith, 2013). As Smith (2013) articulated, “Many Americans who had never given Islam a second thought before 9/11 now had to figure out how to make sense of these events and relate to the faith tradition that ostensibly inspired them” (p. 1). One way in which people made sense of these events was through the media channels that influenced their overall opinions by shaping a framework of censored ideas (Yusof, Hassan, Hassan & Osman, 2013). In a survey conducted by Pew Forum (2012), 32% of people reported that their opinions of Muslims were greatly influenced by the media’s portrayal of Islam that depicted violent pictorials and fundamentalist Muslims. Such constant negative depiction is likely to lead to the inevitable—prejudice and hate crime. For instance, in 2002 alone there were approximately 481 hate crimes that were carried out against Muslims (Smith, 2013). Ever since the 9/11 attacks Muslim people have been the target of “suspicion, harassment and discrimination” (Talal, n.d., p. 9).
Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast with tremendous force at daybreak, August 29, 2005, severely punishing regions that included the city of New Orleans and its neighboring state Mississippi. Resulting in a total of just over 1700 people killed, and hundreds of thousands missing. When we think of Hurricane Katrina stories, we think of stories that were published by the media such as, “Packing 145-mile-an-hour winds as it made landfall, the category 3 storm left more than a million people in three states without power and submerged highways even hundreds of miles from its center. The hurricane's storm surge a 29-foot wall of water pushed ashore when the hurricane struck the Gulf Coast was the highest ever measured in the United States.