Muslims In West Essay

1010 words - 4 pages

Muslims communities have a long presence in the West and it is difficult to understand obstacles to them today without a better understanding of how they were treated in the past. The work of Quentin Skinner (2005) has explained what obstacles Muslims facing in West and how Islam has made a place for itself in western countries, especially Britain. He has noted that history can help in understanding how new religious forms such as Islam can be accommodated into British society. He is of the view that a study of history can show people in West how little they ever had to fear from the simultaneous flourishing in their society of different and influential forms of religious life. "It is worth remembering, not denying, how readily these can be accommodated." (historyandpolicy.org)

The biggest external obstacle to Muslim communities in West is anti-Muslim prejudice. There are clear evidences of anti-Muslim prejudice in some European countries and the United States. Anti-Muslim prejudice has persisted in West and in fact has been on escalation in the years after 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks. The work of Zan Strabac and Ola Listhaug (2008) has highlighted anti-Muslim prejudice in both Western and Eastern Europe. They said prejudice against Muslim communities was more widespread than prejudice against other communities. They found that Muslims in Europe were mainly prone to becoming targets of prejudice, even before the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Thus, the subject of anti-Muslim prejudice in West has to be put in its historical background by considering the extent to which the mediaeval period is a forerunner to contemporary forms of prejudice, as well as questions about whether the term British can accommodate religious minorities such as Muslims. The work of Matar (2009) which shed lights on representations of Muslims and Islam in literature, diplomacy, theatre, painting and material culture covers precisely this ground. The work helps in understanding the early roots of prejudice against Muslims as well as pointing to further lines of enquiry about whether, and how, Muslims can ever really be British. According to Matar, the literary world cannot be excluded from anti-Muslim prejudice.

West's history of secularism as a normative ideal has been weighed down by absolute hostility to Muslims. A historical viewpoint is necessary to understand the attempt to eradicate Balkan Muslims during the 1990s, including the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. Slobodan Drakulic (2009) traces the socio-historical roots of Christian Slav prejudices against their Muslim ethno-linguistic kin in the Balkans. He is of the view that the connection of Balkan Muslims with Ottoman theocracy meant that they were perceived as a fifth column. In general, there is no surprise in this fact that spread of fundamental views by some Islamic groups in western countries has sent alarm bells ringing and become a cause of public suspicions and antagonism in West. According...

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