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Is Islamophobia on the Rise?

2517 words (10 pages) Essay in Criminology

19/03/19 Criminology Reference this

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Abstract

Islamophobia remains naturally the wort thing too, unfortunately happen, to this generation instead of moving forward as a society people are going back to being so simple-minded. Many people fear Islam and innocent Muslims and this has undoubtedly affected many innocent Muslim Americans sometime in their peaceful lives. Islamophobia traditionally represents a taught method that created fear in many Americans after the September attack. After many amounts of academic research to properly grasp why civilized people are genuinely terribly frightened of Islam and devout Muslims, it seems tacit that much middle-class Americans are powerfully undoubtedly influenced by the modern media and determined people with more excessive power like President Donald Trump. When the President insights this kind of genuine fear, it is spreadable to those that are ignorant and do not recognize the ultimate truth. And when ignorant people unanimously decide to promptly put this hate into action innocent Muslim lives are lost and negatively affected by such things. There are undoubtedly many effective ways we can voluntarily change those that steadfastly adhere to a negative view of devout Muslims and that would be typical to instantly communicate the creative power of practical knowledge through social media and be active in the local community and making sure we’re loving one other.

Keywords: Islamophobia, Islamophobic, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Islam.

IS ISLAMOPHOBIA A REAL PROBLEM?

On September 11, 2001, four passengers hijacked a plane the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda planned suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two airplanes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third plane flew at the Pentagon that was merely outside of Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. These attacks equaled many deaths and destruction of buildings that triggered U.S. to defeat terrorism.

Unfortunately, over three thousand people died during these attacks including more than four hundred of New York’s finest police officers and firefighters. And ever since this terrorist attack, Americans and Muslims lives have never been the same since. The news started to arouse the fear of Islam and Kunst (2012) informs us anti-Islam has been around and has a new identification name,

“The term ‘Islamophobia’, which was reportedly introduced at the end of the 1980s (Runnymede Trust Commission, 1997), has increasingly been used to describe this fear of Islam and of Muslims as a social group.”

Because of so many lives were lost from an Islamic extremist attack, many Americans have developed “Islamophobia”. Exploring ways to understand this disease’s development and ways to combat the feat of Islam is through the power of knowledge.

What is the reason people fearing Islam and Muslims?

After the attack of September 11, 2001, U.S. religious and social conservatives bluntly classified the entire religion of Islam as a threat which has caused many Americans to fear Muslims. Terrorist attacks are linked to Islamophobia as Aryan-Bayhan reviews a book called “Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance” (2015), “The author indicates that the historical role of religion in the construction of American national identity explicates why Americans resort to religious differences in times of political crisis.”

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Islamophobia has been associated with hate crimes and the killings of Muslim Americans. Many middle class Americans and trump supporters indicate terrorism is connected to Islam from the incident of nine eleven. People who believe terrorism is linked to Islam and fear Muslims because of their beliefs are called “Islamophobic”.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR), defines Islamophobia as, “Closed-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An Islamophobic represent an individual who adheres to a closed-minded view of Islam and promotes prejudice against or hatred of Muslims.” Islamophobic people have existed through time even our former presidents like John Quincy Adam was Islamophobic, but it was not widely accepted in the west just yet at that time.

Figure 1: Anti-Islamic hate Crime Incidents in the U.S.

However, after 9/11 it emerged publicly because of the terrorist attack and how it was widely broadcasted on the news. Ever since that day, many Americans drastically changed their views making Islam the number one enemy. And now that Islam has been one of the biggest fear in the United States. Americans have been influenced by the media to assault and commit hate crimes towards American Muslims. They used word terms like “Terrorist” or “Go back to where you came from!”

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2014 reported anti-Islamic hate crime chart. In Figure 1, you can see the frequency of Islamophobia was the highest during 2001 just nine weeks after September 11, less than 500 incidents were reported. The numbers gradually decreased and slightly increased around 130 from 2002 to 2012. Then the incidents steadily increased from 2013 to 2014. Have you realized the incidents were the lowest before the terrorist attacks of 9/11? Furthermore, what declined the hate crimes after 2001 but kept it steady? And why did it start to increase during the last current years?

Hate crimes decreased for several of reasons. Politicians were not promoting islamophobia and terrorist attacks were not occurring after the 9/11. When a terrorist attack happens around the world like in 2005 and 2010 you can see hate crimes have slightly increased after but since it was in another country, USA was not completely affected by such incidents. If those terrorist attack happened in the US like 9/11, hate crimes would skyrocket.

How is Islamophobia broadcasted?

There are ways that highly spread the islamophobia disease. To begin with, the media spreads this hatred when there is a report of a shooter that is identified as Muslim. On the other hand, a non-Muslim shooter would be explored to understand their motivation and usually claim them as mentally ill. In addition, there are those conservative talk radio shows, successful authors, movies, and websites that share anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic scenes throughout their broadcasts.

Second, politicians campaign Islamophobia to gain supporters like Donald Trump, who promised during his campaign to ban the immigration of Muslims from numerous countries and force American Muslims to register and wear badges for being Muslim, and deport certain Muslims that could be connected to any terrorist organization. This campaign really helped raise Islamophobia to the roof as explained in the “Islamophobia”, Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection,

“In particular, people who claimed that they were influenced by Donald Trump carried out at least three separate incidents of related violence. Within a week of Trump becoming president, he had enacted an executive order that banned immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, stating that this would defend US citizens. Critics noted that no attacks had occurred on US soil involving immigrants from the seven countries named. The order was blocked by a federal court, but Trump vowed to discover a way to implement it, whether through the Supreme Court or via another order.”

This is a significant event of how Islamophobia can be impacted from politician’s influence. Islamophobic discrimination is real from politician candidates and they use incidents like 9/11 or Paris attacks for a chance to assault Muslims and hate on Islam.

How Islamophobia impacts American Muslims

Majority of American Muslims are known to be peaceful human beings. However, after the terrorist attack of 9/11 and the Paris attack in 2015, Islamophobia has only grown even more. After such incidents, many young Muslims have experienced bullying in school and online even unfortunately at work. I can remember people would joke and ask, “Is Osama Bin Laden related to you?”, “Are you going bomb the school?”, “Are you going blow up (workplace) one day?” or automatically name call them “Terrorist” or “Raghead”.

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ in California surveyed 11 to 18 years old Muslim students to examine their experiences in school and said, “50% of American Muslim students reported being subjected to mean comments and rumors about them because of their religion. Additionally, more than 21% of students reported experiencing some form of cyberbullying.” When kids are bullied and there is nothing done about it, they feel like they don’t matter and treated poorly.

Many American Muslims are being treated as second class citizen as well. Ali from the California Law Review speaks out for Muslims that have Citizenship, “I argue that today not only are American Muslims further deprived of citizenship as identify, but they are also deprived of citizenship with respect to rights and political activity.” Clearly, Muslims are being stripped away from their legal rights as an American. They no longer represent the United States and are being looked down upon as “outsiders” (Ali 1051).

Many devastating incidents like the North Carolina Chapel Hill Shooting when three innocent American Muslims have been shot to death that was supposed to be over a parking but really was more defined as a “Hate Crime” and the state of North Caroline will not recognize it as a hate crime due to its laws. It’s like relating the issue to Rosa Park’s civil right struggle over a dispute on a bus seat.

Many mosques in Texas have been vandalized or burned. Respectful Muslim community leaders have been run over while walking. Women have been assaulted in the streets and attacked for wearing the hijab. All these are hate crimes and assaults towards Muslims after terrorist attacks that occurred.

Figure 2: Anti-Muslim assaults at highest level since 2001

In Figure 2, from the Pew Research Center, shows the same rate as figure but on anti-Muslim assaults. The highest being in 2001 and it drastically goes down, in 2015, it drastically raises back up which was after the Paris attack. You can see it is somehow related to figure 1, but the assaults are lower than the hate crimes. Look at 2010 and 2013, they seem to be the highest periods in between. Those peak periods are high because of terrorist attacks that happened in that year.

What are some educational resources to help end Islamophobia?

Despite the Muslims deal with Islamophobia, stereotyping, and historical discrimination in Western countries. They undoubtedly remain the number one reason to break these barriers and help people properly understand their genuine culture and profound faith through their genuine actions of peacefulness. Also, Islamic organizations adequately represent outstanding examples of accurately delivering effective speeches, accurate presentations, excellent documentaries and creative workshops like The Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI). Organizations offer many ways to discuss the harm of Islamophobia in Islamic communities and effective ways on how to respond positively to the fierce hate. Many other organizations like The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Islamic Society of North America are great at helping people understand the official religion and profound faith of devout Muslims. On top, people can find an Islamic community in their city too.

How to end Islamophobia?

Responding to hate can be done in many ways. Have a conversation and contribute to the knowledge of ending Islamophobia with the ones close to you. You have the power to spread the love and change the ignorant hearts and minds. Social media is another powerful 21st century platform that can change hundreds of people in a few minutes. Just share with the world a paragraph or photo of your pleasant experience with a Muslim or promote them in general. In addition, Muslims can offer their support, donate blood and help after a terrorist attack to show people and the victims such actions are not Islamic.

Miss Osborn, a writer from the Journal of Ecumenical, shares her experience with Muslims and how she directed the ‘Shoulder to Shoulder” campaign, “At that time, a number of U.S. religious denominational leaders rallied around the American Muslim community to stand in solidarity publicly against this rhetoric, and the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign was born.” This organization was created when an anti-Muslim bigotry from Florida, a pastor named Terry Jones, threatened to burn the Quran.

Conclusion

Finally, exploring Islamophobia’s fundamentals and developing ways to end it is through the power of knowledge. Islamophobia has been long around and raised after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Hate crimes have skyrocketed after 2001 and drastically lowered down at a steady pace, but increased with another terrorist attack that was linked to Islam. Many people have suffered from Islamophobia.

Despite the fact, anti-Muslims and anti-Islam exists today there are many ways to combat this hate through communication, social media, and community meetings, etc. People need to stop judging an entire group over terrorist attacks. It’s like picking up the bad apple and choosing to not buy apples. In reality, people keep looking for the good apples to pick. That is how people should be when it comes to judging a whole group of people like Muslims. People consistently take the good apples every time because it causes joy, peacefulness, and safety plus it is healthy.

References

Y, Ali. (2012). Shariah and Citizenship—The way islamophobia is creating secondary class. Citizens Reviewed by California law, 100(4), 1027-1068.

Bayham, Artane, S. (2015). Turkeys insight of islamophobia In America 17(1), 234-236.

Islamophobia. (2017). Viewpoints on opposing views the online collection. Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from https://islamophobianetwork.com/

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Kunst, J. R., Taj Amal, H., Sam, D. L., & Kleberg, P. (2012). Coping with Islamophobia: The effects of religious racial views on Muslim minorities’ identity formation. International Journal ,36(4), 518-532.of Intercultural Relations

Muslim youths that are targeted in California. (2015). In N. Belinsky (Ed.), Current Controversies. Bullying. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven. (Reprinted from Faith growing: California Muslim Youth Experience with Bullying, Harassment, and Religious Accommodation in Schools, n.d.) Retrieved from 9-11 magazines outlet formed by AL. khan

http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010956220/OVIC?u=nhmccd_main&xid=9139e138

-Osborn, C. (2016). Shoulder to shoulder with Muslim Americans: What the Interreligious Community Is Doing to Combat Anti- Muslim Bigotry in America. Journal of Ecumenical

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