The term Islamophobia or Muslimophobia stemmed from the hate, contempt, fear and disrespect of Muslims usually associated with terrorism. It is therefore expected that Islamophobia will only exist in countries where they’ve experienced some form of terrorism from some ‘Muslim’ bodies. In whatever way you look at it, Islamophobia is wrong and goes beyond terrorism being causative agent of it. Why would anyone attack a label when that label is made up of individuals with their own individuality?
In a country as mine, Ghana, where we’ve experienced close to zero instances of terrorism by Islamic bodies, still remains Islamophobic. This is not surprising because according to research, even in places where there are no Muslims, there is still the issue of Islamophobia.
I am christian and it is heartbreaking for me, that it took so long for me to realize how Islamophobic our society is; this makes me fall part of the statistic that I always talk about. The idea that a lot of people do not think about other people being discriminated against because they are not directly affected by it.
It is sad that in a society such as mine, Islamophobia has been normalized where people have bred some ideas about Muslims and have passed it onto generations. For many people, without even knowing a Muslim personally, he or she has a preconceived idea that a Muslim is a thief, aggressive, unclean, aggressive in their faith and generally strange. Some also have these stereotypical ideas about Muslims that they are all very strong and other strange myths.
It is therefore easier for the police or the community to suspect an individual to be a thief or an armed robber by virtue of having a Muslim name than a christian name. It is reported that government officials are terrified of visiting Islamic areas with the fear of being attacked by them because of their preconceived idea of their aggression.
In my research of seven innocent young men that were killed in an Islamic community in Kumasi, I believe had some relationship with Islamophobia. Watching a video and seeing tears stream down the cheeks of the Imam about how hurt and displeased he was about the death and Islamophobia of people broke my heart. These young men were killed by the Police under the assumption that they were armed robbers. The Police even went further to cook up stories about them being armed engaging in a shootout with them when all of this is false. An investigation was undertaken by five member fact finding committee and found the deceased innocent. Now what do we do now to seek justice?! Will it bring back these young Muslim men?
I have friends; christian, Muslim and atheists. Some are very friendly, rude, kind, loving and sometimes aggressive but neither of these things is associated with their faith whether atheist, christian or Muslim. These are just characteristics of people in general. Muslims are people and I personally have awesome Muslim friends; very beautiful at heart and in person. Not all Muslim men are aggressive and rowdy; there are definitely Muslim men who will jump on their seats when they sight a cockroach or would rather sit quietly with a book. There are very beautiful,neat, quiet and attractive Muslim girls too.
If there are any Muslims that falls within the stereotype, it has nothing to do with them being Muslim; it is just who they are or how they were brought up. The truth is, as society, we have the power to create the people we want to see. If you judge people based on whom they are not and just on a ‘label’, they will end up being just that to cope with your judgement.
We may have different beliefs, faith, hopes and dreams but in the end we are all HUMAN and deserve to be treated with love and respect. Muslim rights are HUMAN rights.
Share this if you agree that Islamophobia must stop everywhere in the world!