Warning: Islamophobia is spiralling in America after the Orlando shooting

16/06/2016
On June 12, 2016, a mass shooting occurred inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. The shooting resulted in 50 deaths, including the gunman who was killed by police after a three-hour standoff, with another 53 injured. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks.
The assailant was identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, an American born to parents of Afghan background. Witnesses said that Mateen was a regular patron of the nightclub, and some said that he used gay dating websites in the past. During the attack, he swore allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Yes, because he is from the Middle East and now a terrorist that killed so many people, this tragedy would escalate anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. towards a catastrophe for the Muslim America: Islamophobia.
Islamophobia (or anti-Muslim sentiment) is the prejudice against, hatred, or bigotry towards the religion of Islam or Muslims. The causes and characteristics of Islamophobia are still debated. Some scholars have defined it as a type of racism. Some commentators have posited an increase in Islamophobia resulting from the September 11 attacks, while others have associated it with the increased presence of Muslims in the United States, the European Union and other secular nations.
Researchers and policy groups define Islamophobia in differing detail, but the term's essence is essentially the same, no matter the source: An exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and civic life. Islamophobia is like racism not because Islam is a race, but because, for the Islamophobe, “Islam” plays the same role “race” did for racists. It’s all about broad, sweeping, malicious judgments.
Islamophobia in the United States relates to the climate of anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States from the late 20th century onwards, and its associated ramifications. Had the U.S. been able to see the Muslim world as diverse and complicated, with nuances and differences, if they saw Muslims as human beings—and not as they do today, as “apes or worse”—do you think they would’ve invaded Baghdad? Hundreds of billions of dollars later, hundreds of thousands dead, a haven for one of the most brutal movements in modern history, there’s no end in sight, but Muslims here and abroad get blamed for the outcomes. And that what have happened in the U.S. which always self-proclaim itself as a symbol of freedom and democracy, human rights and even a haven for all kinds of peoples. So hypocritical!
In America, prejudice toward Muslim Americans exists among both men and women, young and old, uneducated and learned. Still, there are some differences in prejudice levels within different demographic groups. Men are more likely than women, for example, to say they have some or a great deal of prejudice toward Muslims. Those who report a great deal of prejudice toward Muslims are more likely than those who report none or smaller levels of prejudice to have completed only a high school-level education. And those who report a great deal of prejudice toward Muslims are more likely than those with lesser or no such prejudice to be married. Higher levels of prejudice toward Muslims do not correlate with age and urbanicity, though.
The 2016 presidential campaign has also seen blatant Islamophobia, and the rhetoric of many candidates has likely fueled an environment where such acts can take place. Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of allowing Muslims into the United States. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) commended Trump’s plan, and has called for banning Muslim Syrian refugees. Jeb Bush similarly proposed a religious test for Syrian refugees, where those “who can prove [they] are a Christian” would be allowed to come to the United States. Ben Carson said that Islam is not consistent with the U.S. Constitution, and suggested Muslims should be disqualified to be president of the United States. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) denounced President Obama’s recent visit to a mosque in Baltimore and dismissed Islamophobia in the United States, saying “there’s going to be discrimination in America of every kind.”
Donald Trump wasted little time after the news broke of the Orlando shootings. He took to Twitter to pat himself on the back “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” and to take President Obama and Secretary Clinton to task for avoiding the language of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
The uncomfortable truth is that Trump’s hostility toward Islam resonates in the U.S. Plenty of ordinary Americans equate Islam with terrorism and violence, which explains not only Trump’s success as a presidential candidate but the host of programs since 9/11 that have singled out Muslims for “special treatment,” including the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, FBI and police surveillance, anti-sharia legislation, detentions, deportations, and torture.
The story of America's resurgent Islamophobia is in many ways a media story. Over the past year, much of the media has treated the rise of ISIS in the Middle East as an indictment of Islam itself, a sign that Muslims are somehow less human and more violent.
Cable TV news has been promoting overt bigotry against Muslims, stating over and over that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is to blame for ISIS. Fox News has taken this media treatment of Islam to the next logical step, telling its millions of viewers over and over that Muslims are a threat who must be feared and dealt with forcefully, even violently.
This shows up in popular culture, as well. Warner Bros. released American Sniper, an Iraq War film that portrays Iraqis as an undifferentiated mass of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers who can only be confronted with violence. In one scene, the film's protagonist and namesake shoots an Iraqi woman and child to death — an act the film tacitly approves by later showing them as having been carrying a grenade. The morality of killing Iraqi civilians is raised only so the hero protagonist can shout down whoever has had the gall to question his decisions by explaining that those civilians were no innocents. The film went on to become one of the most successful war films in American history, to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and to inspire a wave of death threats against Muslims and Arabs
       Across social media, in public forums on college campuses, and even in mainstream political rhetoric from presidential candidates, anger over the deadly terror attack in Orlando has spawned discontent and suspicion directed at Muslim groups. The aftermath of an attack is always a difficult time for Muslims in the United States. Believe it or not, Islamophobia, an obvious expression of non-democracy and agaisnt human rights values, has truly existed in America, and moreover, this dangerous sentiment has been spiralling more and more./.
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All comments [ 11 ]


yobro yobro 18/6/16 11:31

America's climate of anti-Muslim hatred and fear, a form of bigotry known as Islamophobia, is rampaging out of control.

LawrenceSamuels 19/6/16 20:30

When we continue to conflate Islam with terrorism, we miss the opportunity to make good choices for the better of our community.

Pack Cassiopian 19/6/16 20:32

Islamophobia existed in premise before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but it increased in frequency and notoriety during the past decade.

John Smith 19/6/16 20:35

So ashamed for a country of freedom and democracy.

yobro yobro 19/6/16 20:36

Most Americans know very little about Islam. Most, as President Obama recently pointed out, don’t know a Muslim, or don’t know they know a Muslim.

Gentle Moon 19/6/16 20:39

It is from this overall collection of violence that "an efficient system of government prosecution and media coverage brings Muslim-American terrorism suspects to national attention, creating the impression - perhaps unintentionally - that Muslim-American terrorism is more prevalent than it really is.

MaskOf Zero 19/6/16 20:41

It’s time people started talking about how real Islamophobia is — that it’s not just a word tossed around for political purposes but that it has literally knocked on our doorstep

Jane smartnic 19/6/16 20:44

It’s clear that there has been a troubling rise in xenophobic political rhetoric, hate speech, and brazen incidents of violence against American Muslim, South Asian, and Arab communities in the United States.

Love Peace 19/6/16 20:48

Yes,it is agreed that discrimination and bigotry are worse for American Muslims today than they were in the months following 9/11.

Only Solidar 19/6/16 20:53

The presence of terrorists in a faith community doesnt make that community terrorist. It's just elementary logic!

Deck Hero14 19/6/16 21:08

When Donald Trump suggested the possibility of a database of Muslims in the United States. It's like the U.S. would like to destroy ISIS by undermining the Constitution and our religious freedoms.

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