Islampobhobia, a domestic and international concern

Historically, the Quran is the most recent scripture among the Abrahamic and polytheistic religious scripts of the world. The Universe did not create itself because that is impossible for it to happen. Thus, there has to be its creator. The Quran bases its concept of God on this belief. Once this concept is perceived, it becomes easier to comprehend what is given in the Quran. And those who have done so, have been deeply impacted.

Islam poses a threat to a majority of non-Muslims because of the inherent simplicity, beauty, and attractiveness that it poses for seekers of truth. Its teachings repeatedly lay stress on utilizing rational thinking and insight to understand the machinery of the universe. The Quran asserts when, why, and where one is on a wrong track in this pursuit. The combination of its attractiveness, guidance and adjudication has always been the backbone of the spread of Islam, and it continues to do so, even when science and technology have left spiritualism far behind. 

However, this drift or movement naturally had to face the repercussions. Muslims all over the world are feeling the heat that it generates. The phobia about Islam is not exactly a reaction to injurious acts by Muslims, but it is a disturbing thought that is playing at the back of minds of many. Currently, atheism and agnosticism are the fastest growing sect all over the world.

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Hence, fear of relegation and the consequence of Islamic domination in terms of numbers and economic strength has created psychological disorders that have contrived to instigate non-Muslims in coining words and phrases like a jihadist, Islamist militant, Islamic radical, Talibanisation, warmongers, and religion of war. These words have been assembled without even searching for the correct meaning of jihad and ‘talib. But their usage has been rampantly adopted by the media and intelligentsia just to malign Islam and tarnish the image of Muslims. What they don’t say is they knowingly use these words and phrases, even after getting to know the correct meaning, to dissuade proselytes falling for the teachings of Islam. Some even go to the extent of promulgating laws to block the exploration.

Howsoever be the objective of the smear campaigns, Muslims on their part, as taught by the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, do not react similar fashion. The fact is they have more regard and respect for Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and other prophets than their presumed followers. But to reset the tag of warmonger and war of religion, the historical records show that more than 500 million people lost their lives ever since WWII. The double of that amount got wounded in the wars and revolutions that raged in Europe during the 20th century alone. In none of these wars and revolutions, Muslims played any role. As such, the given epithets are injudiciously misplaced and need to be set right. 

Lately, in India, there has been a spate of crimes of what is fashionably termed as Muslim-bashing and has regressed to include rape, murder, and dismemberment of dead bodies in its ambit. When such gory incidents are brought to notice, they have been brushed aside as a one-off incident(s) connected to the inevitable machinations of a forthcoming election, and that things would be back to normal once the elections are over. But what is unsaid is that Islamophobia is the real cause of the hate crimes; it is the fear of Islam, as created by the world media, that is generating the angst that instigates people to rape, not for pleasure but to torture; and to kill a wayfarer, not as blood revenge, but to eliminate the progeny of a community so that he/she does not multiply. Added to this is the regrettable attempt of the benumbing silence that follows is to brush under the carpet the stark truth that things have never gone back to normal, for after every mayhem the embers remain.

The return of the Taliban in Afghanistan is unnecessarily drawing too much attention and consternation. The history of the Taliban has been traced so extensively by media that now all know about the circumstances and reasons for its creation. This major group had always been there in Afghanistan ever since the Russians invaded it, though it may not have always been in power. But people are reacting as if the Taliban were born a month back and passing judgments over its takeover. The importance of Afghanistan lies in its strategic location on the global map, and the war that had been raging there for 20 years was for obtaining the controlling power over this piece of land to do enterprise. In the 18th Century, the British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese had also stepped into India for this reason,. The British then stayed back for 200 years.

The governments of most of the leading nations, including India, are making cautious approaches towards the new regime in Afghanistan. But votaries of varying dispositions in India are issuing uncalled-for statements that could jeopardize the interest of the nation and protecting that should be our prime concern if not the sole. At this stage, we can only hope that better sense prevails and the people of Afghanistan get the chance to live in peace and without fetters. 

Having said that, what remains unsaid is that the cause of the pique against Muslims, particularly in India, has been aggravated by the re-emergence of a regime that was tagged as terrorists and warmongers not so long ago. An equipped and combatant regime breathing down the necks is causing uncalled-for concerns to those who are putting too much thought into it. In this scenario, our efforts and actions should be to address the phobia which is haunting many in a way to calm the apprehensions envisaged in a world where the presence of Muslims is predominant. It is understood by all that Indian Muslims are in a minority and, as such, do not matter much in the political arena, but what is apprehensive is the ranking in the global sphere. Muslims in India have to work on devising ways to address this problem. The solution should include the real teachings of Islam that promote love, brotherhood, peace, kindness, and amity.

Syed Rizwan is a Guest Contributor for Siasat.com. He can be reached at syedr987@gmail.com. His blogs at writerrizwan.wordpress.com.

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