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Islam, Ethnicity, Prejudice, And Tolerance? Discuss With Reference To Islam Ophobia

1070 words - 4 pages

ISLAM-OPHOBIAIf Islam is walking around with the metaphorical chip on its shoulder, it may be because, some might say, after the way it's been treated since Muhammad p&b-A-b-u-h first heard the words of Allah, it has good reason.The word Islamophobia is a relatively new name that has recently been coined, to reflect the new wave of anti-Muslim prejudice that has grown over the last couple of years since 911. Since September 11th, a backlash has been aimed at all Muslims, moderate and fundamentalist alike. This failure by those who are ignorant of the subject to distinguish between the many diverse followers of Islam, and the tendency to tar all Muslims with the extremist brush has meant that many innocent people have come under attack for no reason other than the religion that they follow.This negative image of Muslims and Islam is not a new phenomenon however. In fact the oppression of the Muslims, and of Islam itself by the west, goes as far back as the Crusades, when early Christian soldiers marched to Palestine in order to "free" Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Islamic influence and authority. As they marched toward the wars the marching crusaders sung Songs that portrayed Islam and Muslims not only negatively, but also as infidels and idolaters.The ushering in of the twentieth century brought about a very different, quicker, and much simpler way to attack Islam and demonize the Muslim, using the power of the media. What this did was bring about a very new type of crusader, one who brought a more energetic and concerted effort to demonize Arabs and Muslims. (A) This allowed the European and American Jews to herd themselves in and invade Palestine after World War l and ll, and occupy a country not theirs with the blessing and support of the British and American governments.Even so since the rise over the last couple of years of Islamophobia the British government has been at pains to publicly stress that Islam is a peaceful religion, and that the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan that followed the September 11 attacks on the New York twin towers, was directed at "terrorists", not against Muslims. However the constant barrage of "Islamic" terrorism in our daily lives by the media, (and Government) who repeatedly use the words Muslim and terrorist in the same sentence, story, headline, or sound bite, is bound to have an effect on the way society in the west view Muslims and Islam. A United Nations special investigator on religion, argues that, "The Muslim community can certainly flourish freely in the religious sphere, but it has to be recognized that there is an Islamophobia reflecting both racial and religious intolerance." He went on to say, "This is not the fault of the authorities, but of a very harmful activity being carried out by the media in general, and the popular press in particular, which consists of putting out a distorted and indeed hate-filled message treating Muslims as extremists and terrorists." (B) George meads symbolic...

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