The Fear of Islam. An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West
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This book is written by author Todd H. American and European societies have struggled with the recurrent problem of Islamophobia, which continues to surface in waves of controversial legislative proposals, public anger over the construction of religious edifices, and outbreaks of violence. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine contributes fuel to the aggressive debate in Western societies and creates the need for measured discussion about religion, fear, prejudice, otherness, and residual colonialist attitudes.
The Fear of Islam speaks into this context, offering an introduction to the historical roots and contemporary forms of religious anxiety regarding Islam within the Western world.
This book surveys the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of Islamophobia in the West. Advanced Sudoku Introducing Helix. Islamophobia has consequences.
In the United States, religious discrimination against Muslims has become a significant issues of concern. In , The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that out of the groups studied, Muslims are the most likely faith community to experience religious discrimination, the data having been that way since Data on types of hate crimes have been collected by the U. Hate crime offenses include crimes against persons such as assaults and against property such as arson , and are classified by various race-based, religion-based, and other motivations.
The data show that recorded anti-Islamic hate crimes in the United States jumped dramatically in Anti-Islamic hate crimes then subsided, but continued at a significantly higher pace than in pre years. The step up is in contrast to decreases in total hate crimes and to the decline in overall crime in the U.
Specifically, the FBI's annual hate crimes statistics reports from to document average numbers of anti-Islamic offenses at 31 per year before , then a leap to in the year of attacks , and averaging per since.
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Among those offenses are anti-Islamic arson incidents which have a similar pattern: arson incidents averaged. In contrast, the overall numbers of arson and total offenses declined from pre to post There have also been reports of hate crimes targeting Muslims across Europe. These incidents have increased after terrorist attacks by extremist groups such as ISIL. Islamophobia in Poland has emerged following the migrant crisis. Despite localized differences within each member nation, the recurrence of attacks on recognizable and visible traits of Islam and Muslims was the report's most significant finding.
Incidents consisted of verbal abuse, blaming all Muslims for terrorism , forcibly removing women's hijabs , spitting on Muslims, calling children " Osama ", and random assaults.
A number of Muslims were hospitalized and in one instance paralyzed. Inherent negativity, stereotypical images, fantastical representations, and exaggerated caricatures were all identified. The report concluded that "a greater receptivity towards anti-Muslim and other xenophobic ideas and sentiments has, and may well continue, to become more tolerated. Professor in History of Religion, Anne Sophie Roald, states that Islamophobia was recognized as a form of intolerance alongside xenophobia and antisemitism at the "Stockholm International Forum on Combating Intolerance",  held in January The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation , in its 5th report to Islamophobia Observatory of , found an "institutionalization and legitimization of the phenomenon of Islamophobia" in the West over the previous five years.
In Integrationsverket the Swedish National Integration Board defined Islamophobia as "racism and discrimination expressed towards Muslims. While not every criticism of Muslims or Islam is necessarily Islamophobic, anti-Muslim sentiments expressed through the dominant group scapegoating and excluding Muslims for the sake of power is. Various studies have been conducted to investigate Islamophobia and its correlates among majority populations and among Muslim minorities themselves. To start with, an experimental study showed that anti-Muslim attitudes may be stronger than more general xenophobic attitudes.
Studies focusing on the experience of Islamophobia among Muslims have shown that the experience of religious discrimination is associated with lower national identification and higher religious identification. Some studies further indicate that societal Islamophobia negatively influences Muslim minorities' health.
An increase of Islamophobia in Russia follows the growing influence of the strongly conservative sect of Wahhabism , according to Nikolai Sintsov of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee. Various translations of the Qur'an have been banned by the Russian government for promoting extremism and Muslim supremacy. Jocelyne Cesari, in her study of discrimination against Muslims in Europe,  finds that anti-Islamic sentiment may be difficult to separate from other drivers of discrimination. Because Muslims are mainly from immigrant backgrounds and the largest group of immigrants in many Western European countries, xenophobia overlaps with Islamophobia, and a person may have one, the other, or both.
So, for example, some people who have a negative perception of and attitude toward Muslims may also show this toward non-Muslim immigrants, either as a whole or certain groups such as, for example, Eastern Europeans, sub-Saharan Africans, or Roma , whereas others would not. Nigel Farage , for example, is anti-EU and in favor of crackdowns on immigration from Eastern Europe, but is favourable to immigration from Islamic Commonwealth countries such as Nigeria and Pakistan.
Classism is another overlapping factor in some nations. Muslims have lower income and poorer education in France, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands while Muslims in the US have higher income and education than the general population. In the UK, Islam is seen as a threat to secularism in response to the calls by some Muslims for blasphemy laws. In the Netherlands, Islam is seen as a socially conservative force that threatens gender equality and the acceptance of homosexuality.
A report from Australia has found that the levels of Islamophobia among Buddhists and Hindus are significantly higher than among followers of other religions. Although by the first decade of the 21st century the term "Islamophobia" had become widely recognized and used,  its use, its construction and the concept itself have been criticized. Roland Imhoff and Julia Recker, in an article that puts forward the term "Islamoprejudice" as a better alternative, write that " Jocelyne Cesari reported widespread challenges in the use and meaning of the term in However, since Islamophobia has broadly entered the social and political lexicon, arguments about the appropriateness of the term now seem outdated"  At the same time, according to a edition of A Dictionary of Sociology by Oxford University Press, "the exact meaning of Islamophobia continues to be debated amongst academics and policymakers alike.
Its detractors fear that it can be applied to any critique of Islamic practices and beliefs, suggesting terms such as "anti-Muslim" instead. The classification of "closed" and "open" views set out in the Runnymede report has been criticized as an oversimplification of a complex issue by scholars like Chris Allen , Fred Halliday , and Kenan Malik.
He argues that both jihadi Islamists and far right activists use the term "to deflect attention away from more nuanced discussions on the make-up of Muslim communities", feeding "a language of polarised polemics". On one hand, it can be used "to close down discussion on genuine areas of criticism" regarding jihadi ideologies, which in turn has resulted in all accusations of Islamophobia to be dismissed as "spurious" by far right activists.
Consequently, the term is "losing much [of its] analytical value". Professor Mohammad H. However, he notes that the report's list of "open" views of Islam itself presents "an inadvertent definitional framework for Islamophilia": that is, it "falls in the trap of regarding Islam monolithically, in turn as being characterized by one or another trait, and does not adequately express the complex heterogeneity of a historical phenomenon whose contradictory interpretations, traditions, and sociopolitical trends have been shaped and has in turn been shaped, as in the case of any world tradition, by other world-historical forces.
Philosopher Michael Walzer says that fear of religious militancy, such as "of Hindutva zealots in India, of messianic Zionists in Israel, and of rampaging Buddhist monks in Myanmar", is not necessarily an irrational phobia, and compares fear of Islamic extremism with the fear Muslims and Jews could feel towards Christians during the crusades. Islamophobia is a form of religious intolerance, even religious hatred, and it would be wrong for any leftists to support bigots in Europe and the United States who deliberately misunderstand and misrepresent contemporary Muslims.
They make no distinction between the historic religion and the zealots of this moment; they regard every Muslim immigrant in a Western country as a potential terrorist; and they fail to acknowledge the towering achievements of Muslim philosophers, poets, and artists over many centuries.
In the wake of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy , a group of 12 writers, including novelist Salman Rushdie , signed a manifesto entitled Together facing the new totalitarianism in the French weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo , warning against the use of the term Islamophobia to prevent criticism of "Islamic totalitarianism".
Alan Posener and Alan Johnson have written that, while the idea of Islamophobia is sometimes misused, those who claim that hatred of Muslims is justified as opposition to Islamism actually undermine the struggle against Islamism. There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term 'Islamophobia,' because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of 'Islamophobia' is used to silence people".
Writing in Ed Husain , a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and co-founder of Quilliam ,  said that under pressure from Islamist extremists, "'Islamophobia' has become accepted as a phenomenon on a par with racism", claiming that "Outside a few flashpoints where the BNP is at work, most Muslims would be hard-pressed to identify Islamophobia in their lives". Salman Rushdie criticized the coinage of the word 'Islamophobia' saying that it "was an addition to the vocabulary of Humpty Dumpty Newspeak.https://liapodcugasre.cf
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It took the language of analysis, reason and dispute, and stood it on its head". Christopher Hitchens stated that the "stupid term — Islamophobia — has been put into circulation to try and suggest that a foul prejudice lurks behind any misgivings about Islam's infallible 'message. In his paper 'A Measure of Islamophobia' Salman Sayyid argues that these criticisms are a form of etymological fundamentalism and echo earlier comments on racism and anti-Semitism.
Racism and anti-Semitism were also accused of blocking free speech, of being conceptually weak and too nebulous for practical purposes.
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In December , media sources reported that the terms "homophobia" and "Islamophobia" would no longer be included in the AP Stylebook , and Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn expressed concern about the usage of the terms, describing them as "just off the mark" and saying that they seem "inaccurate". Minthorn stated that AP decided that the terms should not be used in articles with political or social contexts because they imply an understanding of the mental state of another individual. The terms no longer appears on the online stylebook, and Minthorn believes journalists should employ more precise phrases to avoid "ascribing a mental disability to someone".
On 26 September , the European Parliament in Brussels launched the "Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit" CIK , with the goal of combatting the growing Islamophobia across the EU and to be distributed to national governments and other policy makers, civil society and the media. Based on the most comprehensive research in Europe, it examines patterns of Islamophobia and effective strategies against it in eight member states.
It lists ten dominant narratives and ten effective counter-narratives. One of the authors of the CIK, Amina Easat-Daas, says that Muslim women are disproportionately affected by Islamophobia, based on both the "threat to the west" and "victims of Islamic sexism" narratives. The approach taken in the CIK is a four-step one: defining the misinformed narratives based on flawed logic; documenting them; deconstructing these ideas to expose the flaws; and finally, reconstruction of mainstream ideas about Islam and Muslims, one closer to reality. The dominant ideas circulating in popular culture should reflect the diverse everyday experiences of Muslims and their faith.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Rethinking Our Response to Islamophobia
This article is about fear, hatred of, or prejudice towards Muslims or Islam. For religious persecution of Muslims, see Persecution of Muslims. For the scholarly criticism of Islam, see Criticism of Islam. For the scholarly criticism of Muhammad, see Criticism of Muhammad.