Islamophobia is a term derived from two words, namely Islam and phobia. Generally, the phobia refers to illogical and inexplicable anxiety of a specific circumstance or object, while Islam denotes a religion practiced by mainly Arabian countries. In this regard, islamophobia describes the irrational fear, hatred, or hostility towards the Islamic religion, culture, and Muslims (Love 3). The negative stereotypes perpetuate this anxiety, which is most common among western nations. According to Love, islamophobia existed before the 21st century, but the attack on September 11, 2001, increased its notoriety and frequency both in the American and European continents (31). Although the term islamophobia has helped isolate criminals using religion to disguise their ill activities, world leaders and humanitarian organizations need to abolish its use due to the escalated discrimination experienced by Muslims.
There are various shortcomings of using the term islamophobia, primarily related to the discrimination against Muslims. For instance, there have been verbal or physical attacks on the people, mosques, and properties, especially those associated with Muslims. Women are also afraid of wearing hijabs during their vacations in western countries because they fear intimidation or physical assaults due to their religious identity (Rodriguez par. 7). The stereotypes associating Muslims with terrorists have led to increased social media threats, abuse, and unfair criticism. Additionally, legislation or policies, such as the ban of wearing visible cultural and religious symbols that disproportionately or indirectly target Muslims, violate their human rights and freedom of worship. Finally, some religion-oriented counterterrorism provisions have also caused religious and ethnic profiling, resulting in discrimination against Muslims at work and other social amenities.
Although the term islamophobia has adverse effects on Muslims, leading to unfair criticism and discrimination, it may also be attributed to a strengthened war on terrorism. Since historical times, criminals often disguised their actions by associating with organizations, which attract public appeal (Love 71). The recent connection of the Al-Qaeda group with the Islamic religion has led to positive outcomes in the formulation of policies that distinguish criminal activities from religious beliefs. As a result, there have been extensive background checks, which help in the arrests of criminals using religion to conceal their ill motives. The Islamic faith may have been adversely affected due to its association with various terrorist groups, but such efforts are necessary to create awareness among the people. In this way, individuals are ready to identify terrorists or criminals who tarnish the image of their religion for selfish interests, thus strengthening global security and safety.
Arguably, people should stop using the term islamophobia because it has more negatives than positives. Its increased use, mainly after the September 11 attacks, has led to unprecedented bias and unfair criticisms of the Islam culture and religion. The word itself is discriminative because it reflects only one religion, although many others exist globally. Rodriguez questions why the Islam community is the only one under suspicion, yet criminals exist everywhere (par. 2). Indeed, there are regular media reports of murders involving Christians, Jews, or individuals from other religions. It is illogical to subject one religion to global hate and hostility due to few selfish individuals using it to disguise their criminal activities.
Islamophobia is a term that has existed since historical times but has gained popularity in the 21st century due to constant terrorist attacks associated with Islam. Stereotypes linking terrorism with Muslims have inspired bias, discrimination, and unfair criticism towards people practicing the Islamic faith. For example, females wearing hijabs have become victims of intimidation and physical assaults. It is morally wrong to violate human rights and freedom of worship based on irrational stereotypes. Therefore, world leaders and international organizations should abolish the term islamophobia due to its discriminative characteristic, thus restoring the dignity of innocent people embracing Islam culture and religion.
Love, Erik. Islamophobia and Racism in America. NYU Press, 2017.
Rodriguez, Katarina. “A New Way for Muslim Women to Fight Islamophobia in America”. Opensocietyfoundations.Org, 2017, Web.