The issue of Islamophobia has become one of the infamous yet defining characteristics of the 21st century.1 The subject matter is typically defined as the irrational and uncontrollable fear of Muslim and Arab people, which triggers numerous prejudices against the Arabs.2 Even though awareness regarding the problem has been raised Islamophobia still has a tangible effect on Arab people, creating a range of impediments in the communication process between them and the rest of the global community.
Tracking down the events that have possibly led to the emergence of Islamophobia in the 21st century will inevitably lead to the terrorist attacks set by Islamic terrorist groups, particularly, Al-Qaeda.3 One must bear in mind that in no way do the facts listed above to justify the existence of Islamophobia. However, to understand the nature of the phenomenon and locate the ways of eradicating it, one has to consider the identified events.
Needless to say, Islamophobia manifests itself primarily on the social level. For instance, Arab people are often subjected to social ostracism and are viewed as a source of an imminent threat.4 The identified phenomenon can be seen very clearly when considering how the Arab population is treated in Western communities.
Arab Women and Islamophobia
However, exploring the phenomenon deeper, one will have to admit that Islamophobia has affected the Arab population on a personal level to a considerable extent. Studies indicate that Islamophobia has had an especially negative impact on how Muslim women are treated in a global society. Particularly, according to the data provided by Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), there were 548 Islamophobic attacks on Muslim and Arab women in 20120-2013..5 Therefore, there are direct indications that Islamophobia goes beyond social ostracism and has recently evolved to physical violence against the members of the Arab community that cannot fend for themselves.
The instances of physical violence incited by Islamophobic moods in the society are not restricted to attacks on women, though. For example, male American Arabs have reported on the threats to their safety that they have had experienced over the past few years. Furthermore, the concerns about the future, the problems associated with the integration into the community, and stigmatization have been mentioned as the primary source of concern. The traumatizing experience leads to an array of psychological issues, from social anxiety to the development of severe depression.6
Work and Education
Moreover, the reinforcement of Islamophobic moods in society affects the chances of economic and financial success among the Arab members of the demographic. To be more specific, workplace discrimination with the following reduction in the number of job prospects, as well as the opportunities for education and promotion, should be considered as one of the problems that need to be addressed.7
Therefore, Islamophobia has affected Arab people, and especially the ones that have immigrated to other countries, on a variety of levels, including the societal one, the economic one, the financial one, etc. To address the problem, one will have to consider debunking some of the common prejudices against Arab people, in general, and Muslim people, in particular. The global community must recognize the right of the Arab population to have a unique culture and be proud of their legacy. By reinforcing the significance of multiculturalism and helping people learn more about Arab culture, the Muslim religion, etc., one will be able to eradicate the problem successfully.
Awan, Imran and Irene Zempi. “We Fear for our Lives: Offline and Online Experiences of Anti-Muslim Hostility.” TellMAMA. 2015, Web.
Berlet, Chip, Debra Cash, and Maria Planansky. “Constructing Campus Conflict: Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses.” Political research Associates, 2014, Web.
Byman, Daniel. Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know? Oxford: OUP, 2015.
Cherkaoui, Mohammed. Report. Part 2 : The Mediatized Islamophobia in America: What is Beyond Othering Muslims? Doha: Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, 2016. Web.
Clay, Rebecca A. “Muslims in America, Post 9/11.” American Psychological Association, Web.
Hassan, Farooq. “American Muslim Minorities: Victims OF ISlamophobia OF A pluralistic society in the 21st Century.” International Journal of Academic Research, vol. 7, no. 3 (2015): p. 11.
Lichtblau, Eric. “Hate Crimes Against American Muslims Most Since Post-9/11 Era,” New York Times, Web.
- Eric Lichtblau, “Hate Crimes Against American Muslims Most Since Post-9/11 Era,” New York Times, Web.
- Farooq Hassan, “American Muslim Minorities: Victims OF ISlamophobia OF A pluralistic society in the 21st Century.” International Journal of Academic Research, vol. 7, no. 3 (2015): p. 11.
- Daniel Byman, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Global Jihadist Movement: What Everyone Needs to Know? (Oxford: OUP, 2015), pp. 98-113.
- Chip Berlet, Debra Cash, and Maria Planansky, “Constructing Campus Conflict: Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses,” Political Research Associates, 2014, Web.
- Imran Awan and Irene Zempi, “We Fear for our Lives: Offline and Online Experiences of Anti-Muslim Hostility,” TellMAMA, 2015, Web.
- Rebecca A. Clay. “Muslims in America, Post 9/11,” American Psychological Association, Web.
- Mohammed Cherkaoui, Report. Part 2: The Mediatized Islamophobia in America: What is Beyond Othering Muslims? (Doha: Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, 2016). Web.
Has Islamophobia Affected the Arab Nation?