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Tackling the Rising Islamophobia

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by Arshad Mahmood Awan

Islamophobia is a western concept depicting fear, prejudice, and hatred against the civilization of Islam. It is deeply rooted in civilizational hate and misunderstandings. It is politically motivated western propaganda. According to Islamic civilization, Islam is a complete code of life. There are several divergent and convergent protocols between the Islamic world and the western world. Nevertheless, many attribute this notion to a clash of civilizations.

Western civilization is a modern and liberal civilization. The role of religion in western civilization is minimal owing to the growth of the scientific and industrialized culture. The divergence between the western and Islamic ways of life is not religious but cultural. West think that their culture is superior to all other cultures of the world. However, the Islamic world believes that Islam is a divine religion and a way of life coded by the Almighty. Then, the Islamic way of life resisting the western way of life clapped in the manifestation of globalization.

Because. Islamic way of life is resisting the globalization of the west; therefore, the west is creating a politically motivated campaign against the Islamic way of life. West believes that Islamic culture is a challenge to the western culture which they regard as a superior culture. They believe that western globalization is the future of humanity and any culture challenging it is directly an enemy of the west. Islamophobia is attributed by Oxford University, fear of Islam as a political force that results in practices of exclusion, or discrimination against Muslims.

The concept is political. West can absorb all other religions and civilizations into the canons of the west. For example, the civilizations of India, China, and Eastern Europe have amalgamated into the fabric of western culture and civilization. Hence, there is a globalized version of the political and cultural way of life. It is a global world and economic, cultural, and social interests are leading a modern way of life and culture. As most of the cultures of the world are religiously liberal, therefore, it is easy for all these to assimilate into the global culture. However, Islamic societies and cultures are bent on keeping their religious identity and this is the major clash between the two cultures.

Why has the west been able to spin the term Islamophobia? The western world is articulating the economic, cultural, and social orders of the globalized world. The institutions of the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, and WTO are controlled by western powers. They control these institutions because they fund them and execute them. The international wealth is controlled by the western countries, so they can control the international regulators. The most popular sports in the world are originally western sports. Football, Cricket, Rugby, Baseball, and others are originally developed by Western countries. Similarly, the Holy Wood is paving a cultural orientation of the cultural aspects of art and literature. Last but not the least, the English language is the language of the modern world. It is the language that dominates the cultural and social orders of the world.

Against the cultural, economic, and technological growth of the west, the Islamic world lags far behind. Rather, Islamic World is entirely dependent on the western world in almost all aspects of life. Islamic countries are undemocratic and autocratic. Human capital lacks quality, research, and innovation. Islamic countries exhibit primitive growth of state and society. Their political leadership is not dynamic and visionary like their own societies. The priorities of Islamic countries are far different from those of western countries. Education, innovation, and research are not rampant. Clergy reigns supreme on the social and political orders. Most Islamic countries represent a medieval way of life.

Islamic leadership must develop their societies and states. Education is key to all development processes. Islamic countries should educate all their populations and that too with qualitative research and innovation. The governments of Islamic countries must be representative of their people. They must build their economies on innovation, technology and liberalization. Religious tolerance and other cannons of Islam need incorporation among the institutions of the state and society. The role of women is critical for the development of the state and society. Islamic countries must realize that they cannot develop without the active participation of women in the realms of state and society.

Summarily, it is a propaganda war between the West and Islamic countries. The West dominates the propaganda machinery. They not only control electronic media but also other forms of media. The social media applications such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and so many others belong to western owners. Does it not prove that our opinion-making is handled by the western world? This arises a question. How can Islamic countries counter western propaganda when they do not have neutral or personal propaganda machinery? This goes on to show the soft power of the Western world. Islamic countries cannot break the monopoly of the Western world until they develop technology of their own.

Even, against all these odds, the Islamic leadership has a role to play. Pan-Islamism may not be achievable yet there should be an alliance among the Islamic countries on a few standard points. Islamic countries should collectively defend the cultural aspects of the Islamic civilization. The organization of Islamic Countries should play a better role in organizing the Islamic countries. There is sectarian and cultural variance available among Islamic countries. Absorption of this variance is impossible. However, there are several- convergent protocols where Islamic countries can pave a future strategy. It is an age of multi-culturalism and OIC should take a lesson from the EU and other organizations. There is a dearth of leadership in the Islamic World. However, the leaders like Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Imran Khan can be quoted as examples despite all their political compulsions. The Sunni-Shia rift is the fundamental hurdle in the collaboration of the Islamic world. Both, Iran and Saudi Arabia must understand that Islam is more important than sectarian agenda.

Last but not the least, the Islamic world shall never be able to cope with the western propaganda of Islamophobia until it develops internally and acquire cultural, economic, and technological independence.

The writer is a freelance columnist.                          

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