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Sunday, 13 December 2015 13:45

US call for countering Islamophobia; words vs. actions

US call for countering Islamophobia; words vs. actions

Concurrent with the new trend of anti-Islamic tendencies in the US, President Barack Obama called for the unity of churches, synagogues and mosques against ISIL terrorists.

 

In his weekly message, Obama suggested the churches and synagogues to extend hands toward mosques so that everybody knows the followers of the three religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are the children of God. He added “as the Muslims of the world should embark on countering the distorted interpretations of Islam, the American people, too, are duty-bound to avoid fanatical measures. He asked the Americans to be vigilant and push back discrimination and prejudice in all shapes.

Barack Obama’s remarks were a reaction to the new wave of Islamophobic behaviors in the country. The release of the news of the shooting incident in San Bernardino, California, gave rise to verbal and physical attacks on Muslims in the US. In view of this, the controversial presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has also called for banning Muslims’ entrance to the country. This, as the world Muslims and Ulema have always condemned terrorist measures everywhere in the world. They have stressed that terrorist elements, who kill innocent people in the name of Islam, have nothing to do with Islam and Muslims. Moreover, Muslims have been the victim of terrorist acts far more than Christians. Now, as the identity of terrorist groups and their behind-the-scene supporters and sympathizers are more and more disclosed to the public, the western statesmen and politicians, including the American president, are warning against Islamophobia in the world. Yet, there are a lot of contrasts between the words and actions of these officials. For over the past decade, while Islamophobia was in the making, most of these politicians overtly or covertly aggravated the trend. Furthermore, the wars that the west has staged against Islam have reinforced the notion, though among some of the terrorist and extremist groups, that Islam is equal to terrorism. At any rate, there are a lot of examples indicating that the western theorists, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, portrayed Islam as a threat to the west and called it “Radical Islam.” Then this was replaced by “Islamic terrorists.” After the dubious 9/11/2001 attacks, then US President George W. Bush, too, spoke of crusades. During these years terrorist and murderous outfits like al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and ISIL have indeed acted as the pawns of the Islamophobic current.

Presently, the violence of the self-styled Islamic extremists and the fanaticism of non-Islamic extremists are the two sides of the same coin. To exit this vicious circle, all forces should be united. The first step is to force the western officials to live up to their words and claims about violence and terrorism. Otherwise, the remarks like those of Barack Obama will lead nowhere.        

RM/EA

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