In order to fight Islamophobia, it is important to understand where it comes from. Normally when people fear a certain minority group, it is mostly the lack of knowledge or physical differences.
1. Remember: It’s a culture thing
Islamophobia is predominantly among white Western culture. To understand why Islamophobia is on the rise, we need to look at where people get their information from, and how to correct the misguidance they have been brought to.
Western cultures are slightly more isolated than most Muslim, Middle Eastern, African and Asian cultures. Being a bit withdrawn and getting most of the world events through their television, other cultures and civilizations might seem a bit overwhelming to some. With the growing globalization the scare of getting their otherwise peaceful and simple lives disturbed by people from the outside seems relevant.
When Muslims watch the negative attention about their belief in the media, we simply just think; this is not me. However – when a person, who has no experience with Muslims sees this, and then meet someone who looks similar, they do make the comparison.
2. Stay calm: You cannot fight fire with fire!
Islamophobia is often resulting in angry outbursts, which is based in the fears someone losing their culture and identity. Identify where the anger comes from and work with the Islamophobes while keeping a calm mind. If you cannot keep calm, they will see it as a confirmation on the negative behavior they have seen on television, and you will just be fueling their Islamophobia.
3. Explain the differences between culture and religion
We cannot escape the fact that there are problematic behaviors within the Muslim culture. You should not deny the facts, as it would seem to an Islamophobe that you are supporting this behavior. The best way to deal with the accusations is to acknowledge the problems and explain the differences between cultures and religion.
4. Talk rationally and give logical, relatable explanations
When talking about Islam, non-believers cannot relate, if you give the explanations of Haram and Halal as the ultimate answers in the Holy Quran. One of the key point-of-views I was given, was to see the Holy Quran as guidance for the society. So, whenever someone asks me if I hate gays, don’t like to have fun when drinking or simply why I don’t want to be sexy, I give them a social explanation of the Holy Quran and try to logically explain why some things are prohibited and others are not.
The best way to eliminate Islamophobia is via dialogue. Understand where it comes from and what fuels it and simply talk with people who suffer from Islamophobia. Invite them to your home and let them experience the difference between the news and real life.
What are your ideas on fighting islamophobia? Share them!
This article was written by Simone Dønvang.