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June 7, 2020
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Islamophobia: A ticking time bomb

A phobia is defined as an exaggerated and usually an illogical fear of a particular situation, object or class of objects. It is hard to explain as the victims mostly fail to sufficiently communicate or determine the source and scope of his/her fear.

In the present times, a particular phobia has gripped western word, which is called “Islamophobia.”  It is prejudice and hatred for the Muslims and Islam as the religion and its followers are perceived as a source of terrorism.

The latest example of rising Islamophobia and racism has left the world shocked, and horror-struck.  On Friday, March 15, 2019, at least forty-nine people were martyred in a terror attack on two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand.

The attack has left the Muslims in the western world terrorized and traumatized. It was a sad and dark day as Islamophobia manifested it’s most brutal and barbaric dimension in its worse form. On the other hand, the western media is still unable to describe this unprecedented act of violence as terrorism: a term which is blatantly used for Muslims and Islam globally. Today the Muslims in the world are experiencing intense dislike, prejudice, and hostility, which is leading towards discrimination, exclusion and now massacre.

The reasonable minds with wisdom, and emotions were identifying the repercussions of this irrational, uncontrollable, and provoked hatred towards Muslims, which finally led to such barbaric and tragic indiscriminate killing of poor Muslims. Moreover, even after repetitive alarms of rapid increase in Islamophobia in Australia, and New Zealand, and other parts of the world, limited or no measures have so far been taken to counter or avoid such tragedy.  On the contrary, the western media is still reluctant to accept it as an act of terrorism against Muslims and the responsible is addressed as a shooter rather than a terrorist.

The hatred against Muslims has acquired deep roots, based on false perceptions, and misconceptions about Islam, which are either politically-motivated or media provoked.  The concept of accepting diversity and inclusion is fast losing its significance in the world, which will leave the world burring in chaos.

With the influx of technology and information, there is a rapid drain of emotional intelligence from our lives. The 28 years old terrorist of Australian-origin uploaded a 75-paged anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim manifesto of the attack on social media before the gruesome event. The devastating happening was telecasted on social media as it took place like a video game. The weapon was marked with the names of his heroes, who in different times, done similar act of violence against Muslims. The shooter kept firing on the dead bodies to ensure that they are dead and mutilated. He entered the mosques multiple times for shooting. The police arrested the shooter, and three others, who are now in custody after the tragic incidence.

The underlined brutality and inhumanity in this incident is beyond all logical comprehension. Therefore, now Islamophobia is has acquired the shape of a massacre, which is beyond personal hatred.  The sites such as the world witnessed after the 2015 Paris attacks, when the world leaders stood strong, showing solidarity against terror, are entirely missing this time. On the contrary, similar events were witnessed in the UK and USA. A statement on the Australian parliamentarian letterhead addressed Islam as a religious equivalent of fascism. It further stated that the actual reason behind this incident is the immigration program which allows the fanatic Muslims to migrate. You can imagine how rooted, deadly, and dangerous is Islamophobia now, where the dead are being blamed for their massacre only because they were Muslims and it is something they should be prepared for in the future as well. Furthermore, Islamophobia is nothing less than a ticking time bomb and ignoring it cannot resolve the issue.

Through the Muslims worldwide are horrified, and devastated by the tragic event, but it is not, at any level, tagged as a Christen terrorism, which is essential to end this chaining process of action and reaction. It’s now time that the west and western media should take proactive effort to control this unleash demon of Islamophobia. Terror has no religion, color, race, or gender and the pain of losing a loved one is devastating irrespective of religion, color, race, gender and geographical belonging. Hope the world can understand that.