This month is Islamophobia awareness month and we will be delivering a series of blogs talking about Islamophobia. Tackling Islamophobia is a job that needs to be done 365 days a year, but this is a mission we are here for, are you? .
Across the month we will be putting out a series of blogs about this topic. We will be talking about how Islamophobia affects Muslim women, celebrating the beauty of Islam and we will also be sharing experiences that Muslim women have personally had in regards to Islamophobia.
In itself, Islamophobia is a rising epidemic. It is clear as day that it is a problem which is prevalent in the society that we live in. Islam is regarded as barbaric to some, and seen to be threatening to a Western Society.
A phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Islamophobia is definitively that, an irrational fear or aversion to people who belong to the Islamic Community.
I heard a saying once that reminded me of this topic.
“People often fear what they don’t understand”.
There is a clear lack of understanding and knowledge when it comes to Islam, it’s people and I’ts teachings but also an unwillingness to learn.
So who’s job is to educate & inform?
In 2018 statistics released by Sadiq Khan, the elected Mayor of London, showed that Islamophobic attacks have increased fivefold since the London Bridge attack in 2017.
The figures show a 40% increase in racist incidents compared to the daily average for 2017.
Since then, spikes in Islamophobic attacks have been on the rise and we have seen much more hatred being spewed towards those who are not only Muslim, but people with South Asian Heritage.
Do you remember when Boris Johnson, the elected leader of this country, said that Muslim women wearing a face covering “looked like letterboxes”.
The leader of our country spreading Islamophobic comments, whilst simultaneously claiming to stand against hatred to all is a hurtful ex
ample of Islamophobia in plain sight.
So what does Islamophobia mean to British Muslims?
It means being held accountable for the actions of people they have never met, and being made to feel as though they must be apologetic for something they haven't done, simply because of their faith. Much like racism, homophobia, anti-semetism and many more ism’s, we have no place for Islamophobia within society.
On the 18th July 2017, someone drove a van through Finsbury mosque yelling “I will kill all Muslims”. The actions of this one person led to the murder of an innocent man.
In our hometown of Birmingham we saw four mosques being damaged in 2019. Witnesses saw a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer in an Islamophobic attack following the horrific scene in Christchurch.
And on a global stage, Islamophobia is rife. In New Zealand we saw a shooter with multiple weapons take to Facebook live whilst he opened fire at Christchurch Mosque, taking 50 innocent lives.
These are two examples, amongst thousands, that have happened in the UK as a result of Islamophobic hatred and white supremacy.
It is unjustified and unprovoked.
There is a long road ahead of us to tackle Islamophobia in the UK, but it is iniquitous for us to allow bias against Muslim people to continue.
Authored by A Person On Their Grind!