Islamophobia – that is the ideology according to which the biggest threat to Western society comes from Islam – affects all of us in one way or another, even in our daily life.
Claudio Chipana G.
Under the mantle of the fight against terrorism, Islamophobia has legitimacy. In the case of the British public, more than half of them believe that Muslims constitute a threat to western liberal democracy (The Independent April 4th 2016).
Islamophobia has settled like a shadow over the lives of people in the big European cities, to the point of embedding itself into the mind of the ordinary person, thanks to media propaganda against Islamism. The reason for the growth in Islamophobia is not so much due to the presence of Muslim people in European cities, but rather to the incessant media campaign to devalue Islam as a religion and its followers as carriers of evil, which is to say as contributors towards the destruction of western civilization.
The alliance between media which feed xenophobia and ultra-conservative and ultra-nationalist parties has managed with some success to blur the line which separates the legitimate practice of a faith such as Islam – just as legitimate as Christianity or Judaism – and the practices of extremist groups who claim Islam as their source of inspiration.
Those who are most affected by this are not the extremist groups but Muslim communities, which in their majority are integrated in society, since it is they who are the object of harassment, especially after a terrorist attack happens.
Islamophobia is the product of intolerance, it is an extremist ideology as much as that which is behind terrorist attacks and other fundamentalist manifestations in the name of Islam. Islamophobia is just as extremist as Zionism or Nazism etc.
Doctrines such as Jihad, which form part of the body of Islam are interpreted in the West exclusively as synonyms for ‘Holy War’, although strictly speaking Jihad has many interpretations in the Muslim world, which is to say that it can be considered both as peaceful spiritual practices and as a practice involving the use of violence.
The 57 countries where Islam is the dominant religion are not embarked on a holy war against the West.
War and violence in the Middle East are not ultimately motivated by religion, their chief source is the geo-political and economic struggle for the control of oil, in which certain western countries are involved, or else by ethnic and territorial conflicts.
ISIS, one of the most violent groups in the region, absolutely does not represent Islam or the two billion Muslims living on the planet.
Islamophobia is therefore based on a false interpretation of Islam. It is a stereotyped and simplified view of the Islamic religion.
Some elements of Islam, such as Sharia Law, are exaggerated in the same way as the use of the veil by women. This latter has been represented as synonymous with the repression of women in Islam. In London, the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor, a Muslim of Pakistani origin is the clearest denial of a supposed conflict between Islam and the West.
Khan was not elected for being a Muslim, but for his political manifesto. But his election also shows that it is possible to build a multi-cultural and multi-confessional city.
In the UK there are about 2 million Muslims and many of them contribute in different areas, such as medicine, sport, politics, and so on. For example, there are about 200 Muslim Local Councillors in Britain.
Terrorist attacks by extremist groups in the name of Islam do not represent any kind of holy war, much less a ‘Shock of Civilizations’.
In every ideology and every religion there are fundamentalisms and radicalisms, and Islam is no exception. According to Global Research, only 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on US between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by people professing the Muslim religion.
Islamophobia, in consequence, is nothing more than a distorted view and representation of Islam. It is in the end a racist ideology, and the perpetuation of a colonialist attitude towards the East.
(Translated by Graham Douglas – Email: email@example.com) – Photos: Pixabay) –