18 years after the unforgettable 9/11 attacks, things are still the same. Or in some places, they have only gotten worse. As we delve deeper into the horrific history, the only surge that we have seen developing over the years is the plotted hatred and the undying hostility against Muslims all across the US, Europe and other parts of the world.
After a brutal form of racism and xenophobia that we all have been experiencing into our surroundings, a number of mobs and religious majorities are carrying out brutal attacks killing thousands of people in the name of Islamophobia.
What is Islamophobia all about?
According to its definition, Islamophobia is an extreme dislike or fear towards Islam especially caused through hostility or prejudice concerning Muslims around the world. Over the past decade, various misconception and false views have been developed through western media creating intense dislike of Muslims, which has resulted in practices of discrimination, bans, abhorrence and exclusion.
From where it started to where it is now, this global wave has regrettably turned into a network – promoting hate crimes and irrational fear against Muslims.
Consequences of Islamophobia
While we can’t say that Islamophobia didn’t exist at all in the previous century, 9/11 fuelled more anti-Muslim sentiments and hence led to a chain of violence and terrorist attacks. These included shootings, beatings, suicide bombings, vandalism and mosques being targeted all over the world. The Huffington Post has reported over 73 anti-Muslim attacks in the past 10 years only in the United States.
Other than mosques, many Muslim women living in foreign countries have also faced severe backlash because of their hijab or physical appearances. Some of them were harassed, attacked, shot or humiliated because of the religious obligation they were bound to follow. Most nations, in the name of secular democracy, have also legalized Hijab bans, which include France, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria and Denmark.
New Zealand Attack:
This sense of unsafety is now on its peak after the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand that stunned the entire Muslim fraternity and left people in shock. Be it the college shootings in Chicago or in Birmingham, it is now very clear that tolerance has stooped to the lowest level among people today. Not just strangers, Muslims are now being suspected in their own homes and by their own authorities. You’d surely be familiar with the story of the ‘clock boy’ Ahmed Mohamed, a Somali teen, born and raised in Irving, Texas, who was suspected of carrying a bomb after his own English teacher mistook his homemade school project of a clock for a bomb.
It is time to come forward
Authorities and leaders at the top positions need to recognize that they have a responsibility of maintaining peace, not instigating hate. They need to work together to preserve the kind of culture that promotes tolerance and religious freedom among all the communities. Be it providing them with the liberty to practice their religion or the autonomy to pray wherever they want, peace must be kept no matter what.