View Full Version : Islamophobia


Mayana
06-02-2010, 11:28 PM
I wrote a persuasive research paper a while ago:

Islamophobia

Hypocritical occidental governments use propaganda to perpetrate
Islamophobia in order to get their peoples’ support for wars and
acceptance of discrimination against innocents. However, distinctions have
to be made between criminals involved in terrorist actions and those
individuals including women, children and other civilians who are uninvolved
in any terrorist actions, yet fall victim to discrimination and intolerance.
The war on terrorism goes too far claiming too many innocent victims.
Occidental cultures including the American should not support the war on
terrorism since it is built on stereotypes of the Islamic religion and
misconceptions about the politics of terrorism.

Ever since 9/11, terrorism is
of universal concern. National defense against terrorism and homeland
security is an issue in almost every country that has enemies and
opponents. Terrorism is the unacceptable attempt to accomplish political
goals by killing or abuse of innocent civilians. A person who kills innocent
civilians to enforce his or her own view of the world is a terrorist – even if
he is ruling a country. Edward Peck reports that in 1985, when he was the
Deputy Director of the Reagan White House Task Force on Terrorism, his
department produced six definitions of terrorism, each of which was
rejected because they could have indicated the U.S. had been involved in
terrorist activities. He further says looking at the U.S. definition of
terrorism: “. . . one of the terms, ‘international terrorism’ means ‘activities
that . . . appear to be intended to affect the conduct of a government by
mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.’ . . .A number of countries. .
. have been involved in such activities. [The U.S.] is one of them. Israel is
another” (Peck). In other words, considering certain groups of terrorists, a
comparison must be made to point out that politicians also kill innocent
individuals in order to accomplish their political goals. Both groups are
terrorists. Dan Gillerman, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, has said on
March 7, 2006: "While it may be true -- and probably is -- that not all
Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true that nearly all terrorists
are Muslim." (Alam). This statement shows the narrow-mindedness with
which some non-Muslim politicians generalize this complex matter and
hence make it seem like Muslim are the root of all evil. This is a common
perception that is part of Islamophobia and simply a false stereotype. 36
out of the 48 organizations that the European Union officially considers
terrorists have nothing to do with Islam (EUR-Lex). Those organizations
that kill innumerable innocent individuals in Asia, Africa or Latin America are
not known to the occidental commonality, simply because they do not kill
people from the occidental culture group.Clearly, terrorism has to be
distinguished from resistance. As has been shown before, terrorism is a
crime, whereas resistance is a timeless international right of all people. The
basic right of self-determination is not granted if there is a foreign
authority besieging a country and ruling over its society. The people of
such countries like Iraq or Afghanistan are not to obey the suppression
they might be experiencing by such an authority; they rather have the
right to resist this injustice they are undergoing. It would be morally wrong
for an Iraqi or an Afghan to accept the injustices that claiming innumerable
innocent victims in their countries. Hence, resistance is legitimate, as long
as it does not claim civilian victims. The German politician Todenhöfer has
visited Iraq several times, talking to the different groups of resistance. In
his book Warum tötest du, Zaid? he talks about his most recent visit, in
which he found out that resistance differs from terrorism since the Iraqi
resistance never targets civilians (Todenhöfer 122). The civilian victims
result from attacks by terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda. Moreover,
resistance has little to do with religion; for both Christians and Muslims
participate in resistance in Iraq. (Christians)In the occident this action of
resistance is rejected because the national media does not distinguish
between resistance groups and terrorist group. The general public assumes
that it is resistant Muslims that kill innocent people in order to enforce their
pursuit of independence. Additionally some of the western governments
and media portray to the world that the residents of occupied territories do
not accept the ‘selfless help’ they are supposedly offered by the occupying
forces. The western population is made to believe that the countries they
attack are in need of liberation from all the injustices done to them.
However, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan,
says that some Iraqis say that life is worse now than it was under a
dictator. “I think they are right in the sense of an average Iraqi’s life. If I
were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison, that
they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could
go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a
[parent] wondering, ‘Am I going to see my child again?’”(BBC News). This
statement demonstrates the conditions Iraqis live in under the occupying
authority and how these conditions lead to resistance. Outsiders have to
try to comprehend the complexity of the situation in countries like Iraq and
Afghanistan in view of the fact that it decreases the standard of living for
many people.

Invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan have an immediate influence on the
Muslim population’s support for organizations like Al-Qaida. The population
is angry at the sieges and terrorist organizations promise change and utilize
the people’s hopelessness and despondency by legitimating their evil
intentions with religion (Todenhöfer). Western media does not mention that
terrorist members are mislead by their own leaders, and as a result an
outsider concludes that the threat of this unlimited support by the Muslim
commonality has to be fought by wars in order to maintain national
security. The fear of being attacked and Islamophobia go far enough for
people to accept discrimination against others in order to maintain their
own security.The U.S. government tries to control journalists’ reports by
censoring information they do not want to leak out and dismissing
journalists who are too critical. The veteran journalist Peter Arnett was
dismissed by NBC after granting an interview to state-controlled Iraqi
television and criticizing American foreign affairs. (Shafer). Independent
journalists are not welcome in today’s media for they might question what
the public obliged to believe. U.S military forces even have attacked
several of them in Iraq, killing some. (Naureckas). It has been shown that
media is clearly controlled by the government to prevent the commonality
from discovering the truth about issues surrounding the war on terrorism.In
western media, propaganda clearly impacts on different levels. This
perverting of facts becomes obvious when a certain story told by FOX
News is compared to the report published by an independent news agency
like Al Jazeera. FOX News states: “A rocket fired by Palestinian militants
fell short of its target in Israel on Friday, striking a house in northern Gaza
and killing two schoolgirls.”(Palestinian rockets), whereas Al Jazeera
reports: “Gaza rocket kills Palestinian girls. . . No Palestinian group has
claimed responsibility for the fatal incident.”(Gaza) Fox News assumes that
Palestinian militants have fired the rocket and hence the reader concludes
that the unrest in Middle East stems from the Palestinians, who supposedly
aim rockets at Israel and kill innocent civilians.All major U.S. American news
organizations report on issues regarding Muslim countries from a
perspective that reflects the US foreign policies. Since the US does not
intervene in the war on Gaza, FOX News underplays it as “Middle East
Crisis”. Habib Bhatta, a freelance journalist and media analyst, says that
the seriousness of the war on Gaza is being downplayed by US media that
“prioritizes Israel’s version of events while downplaying the views of
Palestinian groups” (Bhatta). Also, he states observing the coverage of the
war, that scripts read by American correspondents exclude the overall
Palestinian death count. This manner of avoiding the facts adds to the
common Islamophobia, which results in the acceptance of discrimination
and genocide against innocent uninvolved civilians.The occident with its
tradition of violence and ignorance against the Muslim world bears the
responsibility for the disdain it is experiencing there. Be it the Christian
crusades, the era of colonialism, or the Gulf War, occidental foreign affairs
regarding Islamic countries have always been dominated by disrespect and
violence. Nevertheless, Islam is presented as the religion of violence and
expressions like ‘Holy War’ are associated with it. The expression ‘Jihad’,
which is often translated as “Holy War”, in fact means “effort on God’s
way” which might cause defensive warfare but never wars of aggression.
(Todenhöfer 178) As history has shown, it has been the occident that has
been using force on millions of uninvolved civilians in order to enforce its
views. In the Christian crusades, which Pope Urban II started in 1095
saying “Deus lo vult – God wants it”, four million Muslims and Jews were
killed (Todenhöfer 178). In the era of colonialism, fifty million people in Asia
and Africa were massacred (Todenhöfer 178). The relations between
occident and orient have been hostile and obstructive because of the
disrespect and disregard on part of the occident. No Muslim government
has started a war of aggression for the past 2 centuries, yet Muslims are
being blamed for the unrest in occident and orient. Many people prejudge
Islam claiming it supports and requires murder and terrorism. As a matter of
fact this allegation is false. In the holy book of Muslims, the Quran, there
are several verses demanding peace and outlawing murderer. For instance
in the chapter Surat-al-Madinah it says: “Because of that We ordained for
the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of
murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed
all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of
all mankind. . .” (5,32). Also, in the chapter Surat-an-Nisa’ it says: “ . .
And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most
Merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and
injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allah.”
(4,29-30). As has been shown, suicide bombing by no means is for the
purpose of Islam nor can it be justified by Islam. A suicide bomber cannot
be a martyr since he sins in two ways: Killing himself and killing
others.Another aspect of Islamophobia is the perception that Islam is an
intolerant religion, which countenances discrimination and violence against
other religions. The following examples will prove these statements as
unsubstantiated and unfounded. “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily,
the right path has been distinct from the wrong path . . .”
(Qur’an 10, 99). In fact, it says in the chapter Surat-ul-Ankabut: “And
argue not with people of the scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in
(a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them
to Islam monotheism with His Verses) except with such of them as do
wrong and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to
us and you; our God and your God is one and to him we have submitted.
(Qur’an ,29, 46). Even in Teheran, the capital of a country that is lead by
Mullahs and known for its fundamentalist politicians, there are 34 churches,
7 synagogues (http://dict.leo.org/ende?lp=ende&p=thMx..&search=synagogues), 4000 Jewish children go to Jewish schools, just like Christian
children go to Christian schools. By law, several seats in the parliament are
reserved for minority religions. In 1979, shortly after the Islamic Revolution,
the head of the revolution Ayatollah Khomeini declared: “We esteem the
religious minorities that are part of our nation. Islam does not allow us to
suppress them.” In short, it has been proven that Islam undeniably is
tolerant and absolutely denounces violence and discrimination.What most
people do not know is that the Ten Commandments, except for the
Shabbat Commandment, are just as mandatory for Muslims as they are for
Christians. The central divine command in the Old Testament is: “. . . You
shall love your neighbor as yourself . . .” (Leviticus 19,18). The Ten
Commandments stand for justice and charity. Christianity is known as the
religion of love. In fact, in the chapter Surat-ul-Nisa’ it says: “ . . . and do
good to . . . the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a
stranger . . .” (4, 36). The main problem in the Western debate of Qur’an is
the following: Many talk about it, rarely anyone has read it. Clearly, as has
been shown, there are many similarities in between Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam, especially when it comes to charity, fairness and peacefulness,
which are all mandatory for Muslims.All terrorist organizations have an
ideology and some falsely base them on religions. Terrorism never is
religious; it rather is a secular problem. Organizations like Al Qaida abuse
Islam to base their ideology on it, even though they are not interested in
acting Muslim at all. All Muslim governments including Hezbollah of Lebanon
and Hamas of Palestine denounce their actions. An ideology cannot be
fought or legislated. Its fundamentals have to be withdrawn. Hence, it has
to be conceived that Islam does not allow terrorism. People of the
occidental culture group do not care about what is going on in the world
and why because they do not need to; they have anything they need,
from money over food to education. What goes on in the world is irrelevant
to them because they assume that it does not have an impact on their
lives. However, this ignorance leads to many of the main problems nations
like the United States are experiencing. Media stands for the freedom of
opinion since it is supposed to be unbiased and inform the people about
current events so that they can form their opinion themselves. If an
authority makes access to unbiased information unavailable and controls
media, freedom of opinion is not granted; opinions are rather controlled by
that authority. In order to maintain freedom of opinion, the population has
to find ways to question government actions realizing they are not obliged
to believe anything the media presents. The population is obliged to
approve of government actions until the media makes them subject to
disapproval. If the people base their opinions on a biased source of
information discrimination, wars and genocide will be impossible to prevent.

Works Cited

Alam, Shahid M. "Not all Terrorists are Muslim." Counter Punch. 24 Oct.
2006. 29 Oct. 2008 .Anan, Kofi. "Kofi Annan interview: Text." Interview
with BBC. BBC News. 4 Dec. 2006. BBC. 29 Oct. 2008 . Bhatta, Habib. "In
the US, Gaza is a different war." Al Jazeera English - AJE. 12 Jan. 2009
."Christians may take up arms." News24. 12 Mar. 2004. 12 Jan. 2009 ."Gaza
rocket kills Palestinian girls."
Al Jazeera English - AJE. 26 Dec. 2008.
Leviticus 19.18. 09 Dec. 2002. United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops. 10 Oct. 2008 .
Naureckas, Jack. "The other side of the gun: nonembedded journalists sometimes became targets of U.S. forces." Extra! May-June 2003: 20.
"Official Journal of the European Union." EUR-Lex. 29 June 2007. European Union. 26 Dec. 2008 .
"Palestinian Rockets Kill 2 Schoolgirls in Gaza." FOX News. 26 Dec. 2008. FOX. 26 Dec. 2008 .Peck, Edward.
"Nasrallah7-28 NATIONAL EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah Leader Hassan
Nasrallah Talks With Former US Diplomats on Israel, Prisoners and
Hezbollahs Founding." Interview with Amy Goodman. 10 July 2006.
Democracy now. 14 Oct. 2008 . Shafer, Jack.
"The sacking of Peter Arnett." Slate Magazine. 31 Mar. 2003. 04 Jan. 2009. Todenhöfer, Jürgen.
Warum tötest du, Zaid? Vol. 1. Munich, Germany: C. Bertelsmann,
2008.Wright, Robin.
The Great Revolution. New York, NY: Vintage, 2000.
207.

Admin Khan
06-02-2010, 11:47 PM
Mayana, You actually wrote that?

Mayana
06-02-2010, 11:48 PM
Yeaah.. I know excuse the poor quality, I was in high school when I wrote it and it was my first year in the USA =/

Admin Khan
06-02-2010, 11:49 PM
^No, no. I am actually impressed. Good job Muslimah and Mayana.

pekhawar
06-03-2010, 12:26 AM
Shabash.

pekhawar
06-03-2010, 12:26 AM
can you please fix it though? like spread it out.

Mayana
06-03-2010, 12:27 AM
^ Awww I did it like this on purpose because I thought it'd be easier to read.. I spent like 10 minutes just fixing it lol

Roshina
06-03-2010, 12:30 AM
Very good job! Keep it up, Mayaney!

Iqra
06-03-2010, 12:34 AM
Muslimah deleted her essay.

Mayana
06-03-2010, 12:40 AM
^ ???
Admin Khan separated this post from that thread =/

Iqra
06-03-2010, 01:32 AM
^ ???
Admin Khan separated this post from that thread =/


OH :shy: where is it :(

Iqra
06-03-2010, 01:59 AM
why are there twoooo of the same topics ??? I am so confused :(

Mayana
06-03-2010, 02:19 AM
why are there twoooo of the same topics ??? I am so confused :(


I posted it as a reply to the other thread and Admin Khan asked me if it'd be ok with me if he separated it from that thread because he wanted it to have a thread of its own..


On a side note.. I suggest that this be moved to the politics forum.. because it has more to do with politics than religion, ie. terrorism is a secular problem, Islamophobia is a secular problem etc. =/