The exact definition of Islamophobia is to dislike or have prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force. Although the majority of Muslims around the world face difficulties, the real problem is not how society has portrayed Muslims, but rather how certain Muslims portray themselves to society. The wrong doings of certain individuals, who call themselves a “Muslim”, greatly shapes societies image of Muslims and Islam as a whole. Committing crime in the name of Islam and terrorizing others is unacceptable in Islam. This leads to social and political repercussions that are felt among the whole Islamic community. Islam is a religion of peace and love and this beautiful religion has been mistreated.
In the holy Quran chapter 5:32, it states “Whoever kills an innocent life, it is as if he has killed all of humanity”
The authentic teachings of the Quran are therefore against hatred and the killing of people. Rather the Quran is based on showing compassion and affection towards others. It is truly a misfortune seeing a religion that has been around for over one thousand four hundred years, to be currently be portrayed in this way.
Another problem that contributes to Islamophobia is lack of knowledge about the religion and those who practice it. People can be quick to judge and fear something without understanding it fully.
As Albert Einstein said “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
This is significant because having knowledge on any topic will make you more appreciative and respectful towards it. You can control your actions only if you understand why you are doing it. Islamophobia has impacted many Muslim’s living in the west and it will continue to do so until we as a collective, take action. I feel that as Muslims we have to prove ourselves to the world and it is our responsibility to show that we come in peace and love. Though these conflicts affect us today, there is no promise or guarantee it will not continue to affect future generations. Practicing Islam is the best way to teach others about Islam. When this is done effectively, it will leave a positive impact on the world and later generations.
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi
Canadian Muslim Research Think Tank
Think for Actions