The paper “ Islamophobia in Western Countries” is a controversial variant of an essay on religion and theology. Islamophobia is a term that has been coined from two words, Islam and phobia. Islam refers to the monotheistic religion of Muslims (Allen, 2005). Phobia refers to a conditioned state of anxiety characterized by irrational and extreme feelings of fear of situations or things. This paper has focused on Islamophobia as a type of phobia that has recently developed in western societies (Al-Shaikh-Ali, 2009). The paper tries to explain the ethical and social settings that have seen this phobia creep into western societal settings.
In this attempt, the paper has expounded on the major factors that have contributed to this phobia and the consequential effects that Islamophobia has had on societies (Valenta 2011). IntroductionVarious definitions of Islamophobia have been put forward to explain the identity of this phobia that has presently increased among Western societies. There are differences emanating from the proposed definitions of Islamophobia but in a more generalized description, Islamophobia is an exaggerated fear and feeling of hate and hostility towards Muslims and Islam as a religion.
Islamophobia is evidenced by negated stereotypes that have been propagated in western countries. Such stereotypes have obvious biased and discriminative features in them. This has resulted in marginalization, social, and political exclusion of most Muslims living in these Western countries (Valenta, 2011). The intensification of Islamophobia took course after the September 2011 terrorist attack which was believed to be principally propagated by Muslim terrorists. According to a report that was produced by Runnymede Trust in the U. K, it identified 8 elements of Islamophobia (Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, 1997).
In 2004, a similar report was produced which showed a diversified level of exclusion and discrimination against Muslims living in Britain. The United Nations Alliance of Civilization in collaboration with the League of Arab States named Islamophobia as a global phenomenon of great concern (Fekete, 2009). According to these two organizations, it was deemed necessary to analyze the issues underlying Islamophobia and this was to be based on determining public opinions from the majority and minority concerned groups from different countries that are affected. The findings of this research would then be applied in policymaking in an attempt to resolve this increasingly rising global issue (Fekete, 2009). In the United States, the research identified about 160 Muslims suspected to have been involved in the September 11 terrorist attack.
This only showed a small percentage of all Muslims who are believed to propagate terrorist attacks and related crime in the soil of the U. S. however; the Muslim-American community remains an important source of information to the U. S security department relating to plotted terrorist attacks by terrorist groups such as the Al Qaeda (Ansari, 2004). Respect and Fair TreatmentThere are many reported cases of unfair treatment of Muslims in many Western countries.
Claims have been put forward questioning the respect accorded to Muslims in these countries. Sources have shown that in the U. S, 52 percent of Americans agree that Muslims respect is compromised. In the same context, 48 percent of Canadians also believe that Muslim societies are not respected in these Western countries (Ansari, 2004).
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