The Role of Muslims in the Age of Islamophobia

By Faraz Tariq

TO begin with the veracity, a Muslim is not welcome to any non-muslim country today. The international media and the hostile forces to Islam have succeeded in their mission of alienating and isolating Muslims. The beard is no longer the beard but a token of being barbaric, savage and brutish. The veil or scarf is now the sign of being primitive, uncivilized and backward. The call of minaret is considered to be a war cry and the Muslim cap is equated with the war helmet. Muslim women are physically attacked in markets, elevators, ATM cabins, public transport and are vulnerable in all public places.

The international authorities feast their eyes at the pogrom and massacre of Muslims. The aggressive and belligerent nations invade Muslim countries one by one like a pack of wolves fall upon the sheep. Muslims living as minorities are too terrified to give their kids Muslim names.

Islamophobia has permeated through the warp and woof of the global society. The sun of Islam is entangled in the darkest clouds in its history and it seems as though the earth is drenched with the warm blood of Muslims engulfed in wars, worries and woes inflicted on them.

The words of Altaf Hussain Hali evocatively sum up the plight of Muslims today:

Pusti Ka koi had se guzarna daikhe

Islam Ka gir Kar na ubharna daikhe

Maane ne Kabhi ke madd hai har jazar Kay baad

Darya Ka hamare Jo uttarna daikhe

”Have a look at the transgressed degradation.

Have a look at the unstoppable fall of Islam.

None will ever believe that every ebb is not followed by a flow,

After looking at the ever receding river of ours. ”

The targeted hate against Muslims is not scattered, it is a systemic industry which operates under the rubric of Islamophobia. The term   ‘islamophobia’ means ‘fear of Islam’. In a broader sense, Islamophobia means the detestation, rancor, disgust, dislike, hate and animosity towards the religion of Islam and Muslims. Islamophobia has been enabled by global political trends that have sought to equate this religion with terrorism.

Though the term ‘Islamophobia’ was first used by a few French orientalists in the beginning of the 20th century [before WW1], yet it gained popularity at the beginning of 21st century, after the 9/11 attack, as it is called. However, the theory that the United States had in fact been hand in glove with Taliban, is no longer a rare one. The US had allegedly trained and used Taliban in Afghanistan in 1970’s-80’s to break the Soviet Union. In a recent interview, Hilary Clinton accepted this and called it, “a big American blunder”.  She added that her country failed miserably to deal properly with Afghan Mujahideen after the fall of Soviet Union.

Those who label Islam as a religion that promotes terrorism must turn the pages of the recent history of the world and they should read who killed millions of human beings in the world war 1 and the world war 2? Who killed civilian people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ruthlessly? Who decimated Vietnamese? Who massacred people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria? Who is funding the wars in the Middle East?

The reason that Muslims all across the world are at the trigger of some non-muslim nations is fundamentally because Muslims are a growing geopolitical force and Islam is the fastest growing religion on the planet.

Western civilisations claim a monopoly over civilizational progress to hide capitalistic and exploitative ends. Western talk of women’s liberation is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body in the guise of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.

Every Muslim must take it upon themselves, to understand the nuances with which Muslims are demonized and must learn to counter these narratives, to speak the truth and to say it fearlessly. We must use mainstream media as well as social media to promote the truth. God has blessed us with social media and we can change our image in the world. We must bring the real culprits before the world and dispel misconceptions about our religion, Islam.

Go out and tell the world that Islam teaches that killing a human being is like killing the whole humankind and saving a human being is like saving the whole humankind.  Tell them that Islam wants its followers to treat women equally, give them equal rights, give them share in inheritance and allow them to marry the men of their choice . Present the right and genuine image of the holy prophet of Islam (May peace be upon him). Teach them the masculinity espoused by our Prophet which wasn’t violent like the west but full of kindness, fortitude, humility, grace, righteousness and excellence of conduct.

  • The author is an IMBA student at IUST, Awantipora

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