news.gallup.comIslamophobia: Understanding Anti-Muslim Sentiment in the West
Globally, many Muslims report not feeling respected by those in the West. Significant percentages of several Western countries share this sentiment, saying that the West does not respect Muslim societies. Specifically, 52% of Americans and 48% of Canadians say the West does not respect Muslim societies. Smaller percentages of Italian, French, German, and British respondents agree.
I think we can undo the attitudes of islamophobic people by first addressing social media. We are living in a time where social media has a great influence on the beliefs of people. If there was a change in the way that social media portrays people with Muslim beliefs there would definitely be fewer people who are Islamophobic. I also think it's a matter of better educating people about Islamic culture, especially the younger generations. This way attitudes towards Muslims will be more positive as generations continue.
I really appreciated reading this article. I agree with Stephany where there is a huge miss in properly educating children and young adults of the positive aspects of the Islamic religion. And how growing up it was natural for those to negatively associate Muslims with war and terror because of the activity between the U.S and the Middle East. There definitely needs to be a more dedicated way to give younger generations proper education about many different cultures and religions.
Islamophobia, Homophobia, Xenophobia, Transphobia and many more are just ways in which ignorant people perpetuate their hatred of others who are "normal" behind the shadow of fear. if it were to truly be a fear than fears can easily be conquered through many forms of therapy and education. This has nothing to do with the fear people have of Muslims, Trans and Gay people, but it has everything to do with hatred and a need to perpetuate their hatred because without doing so they are nothing. Hatred is taught it isn't who were are and that exactly what all these phobias against other people are, hatred in disguise.
Islamophobia is rooted in sheer ignorance, most of it willful past a certain age, and fear. Fear can be attributed to mass media's distribution and promotion of negative, harmful Muslim and/ or Arab stereotypes, many of which are made up or forced upon Muslim's by the Western perspective. Many muslims are not given adequate platforms to counter these negative depictions and so the images, from a small side character with a racist accent to shows like Homeland and any other show that involves the US government, anti-Islam propaganda is pushed and fed to Westerners for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Political figures do little to counteract this notion that Islam is a threat, despite it being incredibly similar to Orthodox Judaism in many ways. People are taught to treat others the way they'd like to be treated, in kindergarten, but that message is soon chipped away through fear and fear tactics. It's not fair to alienate people based on their religion or to alienate a religion based on one small faction claiming to act in its name.
We can undo the existing attitudes of Islamophobic people through education. Chelsie Denton said in the first comment of this forum that, "Other than the 9/11 attacks, children learn nothing good about Muslims." This comment is very true because in school they teach you about the 9/11 attack but you won't see them educating children about positive aspects of the Islamic religion. Throughout the media there is always an inaccurate and harmful representation of Muslims. Because of American's Western views they deem Islam and many Islamic countries as "backwards", meanwhile they're not actually educated on any real aspects of the religion and culture. The lack of education and harmful stereotypes in the media just add onto the prejudice that many have against Muslims.
Something I really appreciated about this article was the way in which it defined Islamophobia and the data to support the concept of Islamophobia in the West. It's frustrating reading things like this because you would think that after coming this far, people in society wouldn't have prejudice against the second biggest religion in the entire world. Something that this article reminded me of was the Orlando nightclub shooting. The shooter identified himself as a Muslim American, but everyone called him a terrorist for that act. Last month, a white man went and shot multiple people across Georgia spas and the captain reporting on it said that "He had a bad day". So we have two people essentially committing the same act of murder, but one is being called a terrorist while the other just had a bad day. If that isn't blatant Islamophobia, then I don't know what is. It's time we stop equating Muslims with acts of terror, and it's time we stop treating them differently because of the way they choose to worship.
In order to stop the existing attitudes and future mindsets of Islamophobia, people who have no prejudices against Muslims need to step up. We should help spread the open mindedness. We should also teach more Muslim history in schools. Other than the 9/11 attacks, children learn nothing good about Muslims. If we only teach children the few bad people, then of course they will grow up believing that all Muslim people are bad. Our media outlets need to display more good surrounding Muslims, instead of the faults. This effects the adults who are consuming the media, who will consequently teach their kids the same.