8. Islamophobia

Article summary: 

Usāmah Haykal reports on the phenomenon of Islamophobia and the image of Islām in the West.

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The term "Islamophobia" has spread all over Western countries. It is a term that is used to describe the recent increased hostility toward Islām adopted in some Western countries. These feelings are often considered the motive behind hostile actions that violate the rights of Muslims in the West.

The phenomenon of Islamophobia has translated into a number of hostile actions including:
- Abusing the Holy Qur’ān in Guantanamo is used as a tool to torture the detainees. The same thing happens in both Palestine and Iraq.
- Intimidating Muslims in Europe and the U.S, and prejudicial actions taken against them.

- The Western media’s manipulation of the Islamophobia phenomenon in order to stress the connection between Islām and terrorism.
- The Danish cartoons that depicted the Prophet Muhammad and the newspaper’s decision to not officially apologize.

The Italian minister of interior affairs, Juliano Amato, attacked the Islamic Sharī‘ah and described it as chauvinistic claiming that, "man, in Islamic societies, is the one who decides how to bring up his children and that the final decision is always kept for a man to make."

In addition, the constitutional court in Germany issued a decision that supports the idea of preventing teachers in Bavaria from wearing the Ḥijāb during the work day. According to what was published in Germany [Reviewer: no specific publication mentioned], a Muslim teacher is no longer allowed to wear her Ḥijāb while working, and that she will either have to remove it or resign.

Using the term Islamophobia in the Western media has been strongly related to other factors, like terrorist activity that targets Western communities. It is also related to the Islamic reactions towards the Western insults of Islām and Muslims. However, it has been noticed that using the term has been in continuous increase during the last five years. Usāmah Haykal presents a table that shows how often this term is used in a number of the major newspapers in the West. For example, in 2001 and 2002, the term was used 12 times in the British magazine, Times [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/global/]; 13 times in 2003, 34 times in 2004, 44 times in 2005 and 92 times in 2006. On the other hand, in 2004, the term "Islamophobia" was mentioned 50 times in the Guardian while it was used only 38 times in 2006 in the same newspaper. In the New York Times, "Islamophobia" was mentioned twice in 2001 and 2002 but in 2006, it was mentioned 10 times.

Usāmah added that the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR, see: http://www.cair-net.org/] called on the American administration to put an end to the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia. This call came after the research center at Cornell University showed that almost 44% of Americans believe that the U.S. administration should control and limit the civil rights of Muslims living in the country.

The survey also showed that almost 27% of the Americans agreed with the idea that American Muslims should register their names with the American government, while 26% agreed that mosques should be put under supervision. 44% of the Americans thought that controlling the rights and freedoms of Muslims has become necessary.

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