Google defines phobia as “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” But what can we say about IslamoPHOBIA? Google defines it as a “dislike of or prejudices against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.”
But what do they hate Islam for? It does nothing except guiding people to live better while mending the world to become a better place. However, not everyone is capable of understanding good things. Or some people can be easily brainwashed to believe something which is not valid. Islam is peaceful, but it is pretty easy to fabricate things and promote Islamophobia. This is precisely what is happening nowadays around the world.
Not Only Europeans but Also Asians Are Islamophobic
Most Europeans are Islamophobic even though they have no idea what Islam is all about. Nowadays, the phobia has traveled to Asian countries, too. To be specific, India is playing its best to wipe off Indian Muslims from the country. But if we just take a look at Indian history, we can clearly see how many Muslim leaders and professionals have worked hard to make India better.
Not only India but also Sri Lanka deals with Islamophobia behind closed doors. Even though Sri Lankan Islamophobic acts have not caught the eyes of the public, it happens. Sri Lankan Muslims suffer even though it’s little less than Indians. But how can we rate sufferings? Is it a competition or something? Here’s a recent Islamophobic act that happened in Sri Lanka, which will leave you breathless.
This is just a glimpse of what Sri Lankan Muslims face, but there are myriad of untold stories. Living with the fear of harassment and bullying isn’t easy, but Muslims get the courage to overcome all these because of their faith. When we believe in Allah, everything else becomes easy.
Why Muslims Receive so Much Hatred
New Zealand’s Christchurch attack was dreadful. People were struggling to overcome the trauma for days, weeks, and months. The attack was pulled on Muslims just because they followed Islam. But the attack didn’t limit to Christchurch; rather, it kept happening over and over in different countries. Some news hit the public eye, whereas some news vanished into thin air.
Even though the Christchurch attack was recent, hatred towards Muslims aggravated since the 9/11 incident. Muslims were scapegoated for the incident that happened years back, and they are still struggling.
Most Muslim immigrants fear every single day of their lives. Even though they have migrated to lead a better life, their religious beliefs have become threats. Yet, Muslims don’t give up on their religion just because they face racism. They understand every struggle accompanies a blessing, so they wait patiently.
For example, protests concerning the Delhi riot in India weren’t disturbing because the protests were peaceful. But the Police took stern actions against the protestors and the Muslims in Delhi. It looks like India is getting ready for another significant genocide.
However, hatred towards Muslims come from high-profiles, so easing it requires a lot of courage and strength. But not a leaf falls without Allah’s knowledge, so if Muslims are struggling, it means that good times are ahead. Allah knows what we know not. Donald Trump can ban Muslims from entering the country, and Boris Johnson can insult Muslim women, but nothing can cause a threat to the religion of peace because we believe in Allah.
When we are finding the reason for the hatred Muslims receive, we are left with no solid reason. Some hate Muslims because they think immigrant Muslims will invade their country. Some others assume that Islam will be forcefully imposed on them. Meanwhile, some don’t know about Islam or have Muslim connections, yet they hate Muslims. Likewise, there are so many absurd reasons to hate Muslims.
But Muslims should remember one thing: whatever you are facing, and wherever you are now, Allah has planned it all.
How Can Muslims Combat Islamophobia
Combating Islamophobia can be depressing. Plus, combating it with kindness might annoy you, but certain things need to be dealt in a certain way.
“Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel evil with what is better, and your enemy will become as close as an intimate friend.” (Quran, 41:34)
As the Quran mentions, we, Muslims, shouldn’t deal hatred with hatred. Islam doesn’t promote anger or violence. Instead, it teaches us to be patient and kind. For example, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sympathetic to the lady who threw garbage on him even though he could have reacted worse. Prophet opted to be kind than angry, so as the followers of Islam, we need to follow his footsteps.
Of course, there have been wars in Islam for reasonable reasons. But this is not medieval times to wage wars. So we, Muslims who can think reasonably, can come up with better ways to combat Islamophobia.
If someone is outpouring hatred, you can choose to react with love. For example, if someone on social media is targeting you because you are a Muslim, you can quote Islamic ways of handling hatred.
One of the best examples of how Muslims shouldn’t react to Islamophobia is how netizens reacted to Mila Orriols. The 16-year-old schoolgirl from France got into an argument with a man online, and when the argument got severe, she commented, “the Quran is a religion of hatred.” Her comment itself weighs her knowledge about Islam. However, the comment went viral, and she started receiving hate messages that ultimately required police intervention.
We are trying to say that if some Muslims had reacted differently, as we mentioned, maybe there would have been some difference. Or Mila herself would have taken some time to learn what Islam is all about.
You are the best tool to show what Islam is. You have to act and behave as Islam suggests so that people around you get inspired and understand Islam. Most Islamophobic people wouldn’t have Muslim neighbors or friends, yet they would hate Islam. They might follow the herd so that they belong somewhere. Let us make it clear; you don’t have to follow the herd if they are walking in the wrong direction. The wrong doesn’t become right just because a group of people does it.
“O Aisha, Allah is gentle, and He loves gentleness, and He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness, and He does not reward anything else like it.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 2593)