Racism: The Role Of Islamophobia In The Modern World

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What is Islamophobia? It seems to be an easy question and yet it troubled most politicians around the Western world. After the September 11 terrorist attack and the subsequent War on Terror launched by the United States, tensions against Muslim in the Western world rose. Scholars have summarized this climate of anti-Muslim situation as Islamophobia. Unfortunately, Islamophobia is becoming more prevalent and socially acceptable in the modern world. Bipolar extremes of both sides typically emerges in most debates on Islamophobia, with claim and counter claim from both side of the debate. Usually it is between those who actively denounce any criticism on Muslims and those actively spreading hatred against Muslims. The issue of Islamophobia is …show more content…
The issue of Islamophobia is usually oversimplified, hence it is hard for people to accept and accommodate basic understandings. The means of defining the concept are both questionable and subjective. Racism is one important issue usually related with Islamophobia. Despite its recurrent nature, little consideration has been taken to identify how well racism and Islamophobia are connected. Unlike Islamophobia, extensive evidence and research has been conducted to define racism. Theories of how Islamophobia is related to racism remain under-explored, and in some situation it simply became a cover for general racism. However, what appears to be problematic is the nature of Islam itself. For Muslims Islam is not only a religion, it is a way of life. Conceptualising Islamophobia as cultural racism would inadvertently "mix" both different concept together. Therefore, solely interpreting Islamophobia in terms of cultural racism could be seen as imposing the media defined Muslim against all Muslim around the world. Suggesting Islam as a culture would be inappropriate. It is impossible that a Muslim from Indonesia would be the same as a Muslim from Algeria. It is oversimplifying the diversity of the Muslim faith (Allen, …show more content…
Media plays a huge role in spreading information around the world. In the media, Islam and Muslims are generally presented as a problem through discourses of violence and terrorism. A study conducted in France showed that the media generally prefers to adopt populist and mainstream attitude rather than trying to be honest and balanced while reporting. For example the debate on hijab. The media effectively excluded any views that does not oppose the hijab, showing only those who oppose the hijab. The media effectively caused the debate being played out between Muslim men and women who chose not to wear the hijab. Another incident is the publication of the comic of Prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper. The comic of "dog Muhammad" angered Muslims around the world. Some Muslim even place a "death sentence" on the comic artist. Media focused extensively on the subsequent Muslim riots and violence on Danish embassies around the world. The image of Muslim men burning Danish flag became the icon of the issue. It became a clash of Muslim values and secular West as the newspaper maintained the right of free speech. However and interesting development emerged that in 2003 a different editor of the newspaper rejected a comic on Jesus, fearing public backlash and anger on the cartoon (Allen, 2010). It seems like when it come to Muslim and Islam in general, the

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