We’re not taking Islamophobia seriously: This cancerous racism is on the rise — and it’s even more dangerous than you think

A girl holds a placard during a protest called "Not in my name" of Italian muslims against terrorism, in downtown Milan

A girl (bottom C) holds a placard during a protest called “Not in my name” of Italian muslims against terrorism, in downtown Milan, Italy, November 21, 2015. The placard read: “I say no to violence”. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo – RTX1V63U

Source: Salon


This glaring fact was on the world stage this week for all to see. Blasts in Ankara and Brussels garnered shockingly different responses—both in terms of sympathy for victims and anger towards extremists. Brussels victims received immense sympathy and attention, while Turkey’s Muslim victims were comparatively ignored. More Muslims have been killed at the hands of Daesh, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda than anyone. What but racism accounts for the outrage over non-Muslim victims, but comparative apathy over the Muslim ones?

It isn’t just media that’s complicit in this double standard. World leaders share some of the blame. After the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo atrocity, more than 40 world leaders convened in Paris to march in solidarity with the 11 victims. However, when200 people were murdered just two weeks later in Nigeria, it barely made a bleep by comparison.

Some are quick to argue, “Muslims aren’t a race, so I can’t be racist.” Rice University sociologist Dr. Craig Considine repudiates this simplistic understanding of racism,writing,

Race is a “floating signifier,” meaning that it is a fluid concept which has specific connotations during certain moments in history. Racism is no longer [only] about race (skin color) but culture.

Nazis believed their race and culture was superior those of all other races. What culminated in the Holocaust began with the demonization of minorities, selective activism and a public who bought into the lie that their race was superior to others.

As Dr. Considine elaborates,

Cultural racism, therefore, happens when certain people perceive their beliefs and customs as being culturally superior to the beliefs and customs of other groups of people. Cultural racism, in-turn, reproduces the idea of “the hierarchy of cultures,” meaning, in the context of current affairs, that “our” Western culture is superior to “their” Islamic culture.

This cancerous cultural racism is the culprit behind Western apathy towards acts of terrorism that happen in Ankara or Nigeria or Syria, but outrage at acts of terrorism that happen in Paris, Brussels or San Bernardino. Likewise, cultural racism empowers racists to dismiss white terrorists who murder dozens of children in Newtown, Conn., as “simply crazy,” but demand collective punishment of all American Muslims withapartheid treatment after Brussels.

Meanwhile, the FBI reports that the gravest threat to American safety is not “Radical Islamic terrorism,” as some on the far right pedantically parrot; but, in fact, right wing “Christian” terror groups born and raised in America. Yet, virtually every presidential debate this election season has focused only on the former.

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3 replies

  1. Western media focuses on events happening in the west? I’m sorry but what are you objecting to? People all over the world are more interested in events close to home so you are being naive to expect that all tragedies will be valued equally.

    When tragedies take place in islamic countries you don’t find western folk celebrating in the street

  2. How many from us show the same grief when someone dies in the other house ? So called Muslim jehadi groups are doing barbaric and heinous crimes for the sake of Islam , as they say and proudly accept the credit of murder of innocents . So how can one expect sympathy from those who themselves are victims ! It should be realized that behind Islamophobia and hatred , these terrorist groups are playing very vital role . If something concrete is not done , hatred against Muslims may cross all limits . Muslim mass will have to come out from the fairy tale that Isa and Mehdi will kill the kafirs and will make the Muslims , master of the world . The best and the only way is the path of the Imam Jamaat. Ahmadiyya. It is the time to make MTA common . The Muslim Times should be supported in its mission of love , brotherhood and fraternity . It is none but love which can change the hearts , tongue and attitude .

  3. You can bend and twist the meaning of words the way that fits your will but at the end of a rainy day … The Earth is still 4.6 billion years old and Gabriel never dictated the quran to a human named Muhammad because … Because Angels DO NOT exist . Women have fought hard to get equality in our secular societies with education and positive actions through freeexpression and support from democratic processes . Islam does not support democartic processes, a progressive view on human rights, women’s rights and gay rights . Islam is an idea, a faith based belief system; It is NOT a good idea and should be criticized like any bad idea . Freedom of expression will never be reduced to Racism or that meanigless word : Islamophobia . The quran is a fantasy . The quran can’t exist if agels do not exist … Muhammad cannot exist if angels do not exist . The claims made by islam are the same as any other faith based belief systems : There is no truth outside our view of the world . This is wrong . In Canada secularism is tatamount, freedom of expression for ALL its citizens and the right to criticize wrong ideas will never be equated to RACISM . Gabriel never existed because angels DO NOT EXIST . This is a lie . Saying this is NOT racism .

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