SOLUTIONS FOR ISLAMOPHOBIA 1
The current global society has negative views of Islam mainly due tothe association that Muslims have with extremist groups. For example,some of the notorious groups like ISIS, Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda allcome from the Muslim background. Therefore, a significant populationof the world views Muslim with contempt and negative thoughts. A pollconducted by the Washington post found out that about 46% of Americanharbor negative thoughts about Muslims (Zaal, 2012). With the currentglobalization and interaction, Islamophobia can have detrimentaleffects on the development and integration of regions that are Muslimdominated. There are several ways in which Islamophobia can come toan end.
First, the West has strong negative thoughts about Muslims to theextent of forming ant-Muslim groups. The trend is perpetuated by thestereotypes that people have based on the generalization. Thestereotypes can only be broken by having insight into the Muslimculture. Although Islam cannot be taken as a subject to be introducedin the secular society, it would be instrumental if the educatorswould dispel the myths in learners (Zaal, 2012). For example, most ofthose who have negative thoughts about Muslims believe that they donot respect human life. Well. Looking at the gravity of the attacksthat Muslim associated groups commit it would be easy to arrive atsuch a conclusion (Esposito, 2011). For example the recent killing inParis that left over a hundred people dead. However, it would becorrect to understand the Muslim understanding of faith withoutbasing the argument on the actions of extremist groups. As the HolyQuran puts it, “…Nor take life that Allah made sacred” (Quran17:33).
Secondly, there lies a solution in the integration of educationalassignments that instigates a discussion on the currentmisunderstanding. The move will enhance cross-cultural understanding,and it will be a vehicle to spread objective and founded messages.For example, there is a high possibility that out of the 46% of theAmericans who were found to have negative thoughts about Muslims,only a few had a brief understanding of the Muslim culture.
Islamophobia can also be eradicated by having comprehensive programsthat teach against violent Jihadist in all the mosques in the world.Most of the people who commit crimes are innocently influenced andradicalize and they fight believing in a just cause (Zaal, 2012). Therefore, taking the teachings into the mosques will help to reducethe number of victims who fall for extremism.
Also, Islamophobia should be seen as another form of discriminationjust like racial discrimination (Gottschalk & Greenberg, 2008).The profiling of one community is not different from other forms ofdiscriminations based on inherent characteristics. However, it shouldnot be thought that violent jihad as dubbed by the extremist groupsand the idea of Muslim supremacy is inherent with Muslims (Gottschalk& Greenberg, 2008). Most of the partakers in these wars are theresults of radicalization. As the prophet says in the Holy Quran,“Good and evil deeds are not alike. Requite evil with good and hewho is your enemy become your dearest friend” Quran 41: 34-35). Themessage of the prophet dispels any stereotype that Muslims cannotassociate with the west. Those perpetrating the inhuman activitiesshould not be a premise to profile the whole community.
Some of the mosques have been listed as places of radicalization andteaching of the anti-western thought. Therefore, s much as theAmericans are to blame for the spread of Islamophobia, the Muslimscontribute to the perpetuation of the idea. To dispel the tendency,Muslims should teach open and verifiable lessons in the mosqueswithout profiling one community and creating enmity (Gottschalk &Greenberg, 2008).
The Muslim community should also be the primary players to dissociatethe actions of the extremists from the beliefs of the community. Theyshould work with the western law enforcers to arrest and apprehendthe criminals. When the effort is seen to come from within, peoplewill cease from seeing every Muslim as a terrorist.
Conclusively, the future of Islam will depend on the understanding ofthe Muslim culture and dissociating Islam from the atrocities commitby extremist groups in the name of the religion. Islamophobia shouldbe treated like any other form of discrimination to avoid directingunnecessary injustices to undeserving people. The global nature ofthe current world demands a significant level of culturalintelligence to understand the way of life for other communities andmake it possible for a cultural integration.
Brigitte, L. &Reyna, O. (2007). Fueling Our Fears: Stereotyping, Media Coverage,and Public Opinion of Muslim Americans. New York N.Y.: Rowman &Littlefield Publishers.
Esposito, J.(2011). What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam. New YorkN.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Gottschalk, P. &Greenberg, G. (2008). Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy.Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. New York N.Y.: OxfordUniversity Press.
Zaal, M. (2012).Islamophobia in Classrooms, Media, and Politics. Journal ofAdolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(6), 555-558.