Islamophobia Awareness Month – Nov 2020

Islamophobia, while not necessarily a new thing, is not something that will occur forever.  The Mirriam Webster definition of the word is “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against Islam or people who practice Islam.” 

Muslims, prior to the terrorist narrative were labelled as exotic. The East was seen (and in some places is still seen) to be exotic, as something to be desired. People from the East, were people the West saw as, cultured entities i.e. ‘we can learn something from them’. Multiculturalism (which David Cameron in his first speech as Prime Minister claimed had failed), saw migrants and ‘othered’ people as a means to an end. There was this idea that as a country, the UK could gain a lot – mainly music, clothes and food. And then 9/11 happened and the narrative surrounding Muslims switched from exotic to terrorist. Since then, there was a rise in attacks against Muslims or those assumed to be Muslim. It isn’t so much that the Muslims were never a target, just that the fear/discrimination associated with Muslims prior to 9/11 was more racially charged. It could be argued that Islamophobia is a form of racism, even though Islam is a religion not a race. In the same way that Jews are racialised, so now are Muslims.

Want to read more –
here (islamophobia-awareness website),
here (mend website) and
here (stand up to racism website)