Out of all the prejudices prevailing in the world “Islamophobia” certainly has been dominating the headlines for decades now.
The first recorded use of the term in English according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was in 1923 in an article in “The journal of theological studies”. Islamophobia ignited during the Iranian revolution of 1979, and then it became rampant in the aftermath of the gruesome 9/11 attacks in the US. Islamophobia entered a new phase in the 21st century aftermath of 9/11 attacks.
Data on hate crimes by the US FBI recorded a spike in stats during this time. From 1996 to 2013 document average numbers of anti-Islamic offenses at 31 per year before 2001, then a leap to 546 in 2001 (the year of 9/11 attacks). Since then, the predicament of Muslims in the grip of racism and xenophobia has only been deteriorating. According to a report by The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) Islamophobic crimes increased in France, England and Wales. In Sweden crimes with an Islamophobic motive increased by 69% from 2009 to 2013.
Research by the University of Alabama shows attacks by Muslims receive an average of 105 headlines, others just 15 with the reality given that white and right-wing terrorists carried out nearly twice as many terrorists attacks as Muslim extremists between 2008 and 2016. The findings were based on all terrorist attacks in the US between 2006 and 2015 according to the Global Terrorism Data. Furthermore, the manipulating use of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Reddit also contributes to one of the major factors.
Researchers say Facebook is the primary platform where fabricated news vilifying Muslims are often being circulated by workers of political parties. Importantly, though, the proliferation of Islamophobic content is not only happening on platforms like Facebook or in the West. Anti-Muslim disinformation has also been spreading in India and on platforms popular among Chinese users such as Weibo and We chat.
Despite the fire of Islamophobia ravaging high, disunity among Islamic countries can't be overlooked. The OIC (organization of Islamic Cooperation) an international organization founded in 1969 consisting of 57 states that aimes to safeguard and protect the rights of Muslims around the world is also facing a rift between its members over the past couple of years— adding to yet another failed leadership to preserve harmony in the Muslim world around the Globe.
Ali Ashhar is a poet, author and content writer from Jaunpur, India. Mirror of Emotions is his debut poetry collection that was released internationally. He writes for literary journals and newspapers. His poems and articles are published in The Muslim Vibe, Good Morning Kashmir, My Voice Canada, Indian Periodical, Indian Review, Bosphorus Review of Books and Eve Poetry Magazine.