Post 9/11 a major drift has been created in the overall tolerant western society. Over the past decade, reported incidents of attacks on Muslims had increased rapidly. The growing ‘Islamophobia’ in the west particularly in the US is creating many difficulties for the Muslim citizens residing there. After the selection of Donald Trump as the President of the U.S, the ‘Islamophobic’ elements have strengthened. The violent and stereotypical uncivilized Americans (the likes of Ku Klux Klan) are the ones behind this increasing social aversion and biasness.
Many organizations are working to create awareness among the general public that Islamophobia is not right and hating women who wear hijab is wrong. According to a survey, it shows that the US isn’t a religiously diverse country. Most of the people living in America don’t know any Muslim personally, 62% have never talked to one, 26% say they don’t know anything about Islam. This minimal information about Islam and Muslims is the underlying cause of this ongoing problem of Islamophobia. As people don’t have any knowledge of their own regarding Islam; therefore, they stick with any misconception they have and pass on these prejudices to their children as well.
Impacts on Muslims:
Muslims are the prime victims of Islamophobes. After any recorded terrorist incident, anti-Muslim groups attack the local Muslims. These attacks can be in various forms like physical assaults, verbal abusement, harassment, stalking, hateful stares, exclusion and many more. The best way for handling such misfortunate incidents is by installing the best tracking app in your cell phone so, in case if you are a victim of an attack, your family can always trace you.
The persons who suffer the most are the children. With the increasing Islamophobia, the number of incidents where Muslim children are bullied has increased significantly. As a result, many Muslim children don’t feel safe in their schools and are afraid of going out.
As the citizens of the United States of America, we believe in the freedom of speech, religion and the way of life one chooses to have. This is not only given in our constitution, but we Americans as a nation firmly believe in these fundamental human rights. Therefore, the growing anti-Muslims sentiment is not correct and is damaging the National harmony of USA because we all know that the USA was founded on the principles of religious freedom and pluralism. However, recently under Trump’s administration Islamophobia has spread rapidly and prejudice and bigotry is common among the hateful. As a Christian and a citizen of the US, we have to protect our fellow countrymen from any injustice because of their different faith.
Here are some ways by which we can counter Islamophobia:
The best and most effective way to stop Islamophobia is by giving knowledge about Islam to common people. This will help the people to understand that Islam is not a religion of violence and Muslims are not terrorists.
Engage with Muslims:
If you have any coworker or neighbor who is Muslim, try to talk with him. This way, you can learn more about Islam and Muslims.
Giving Interfaith education:
If you educate people about interfaith engagement and its benefits, then Islamophobia will reduce. Sound knowledge and education are the best antidotes to biases, and face-to-face interaction is a powerful tool in overcoming prejudice.