Though anti-Muslim sentiments actually existed lengthy earlier than 2001, the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults and the response to them intensified anti-Muslim tropes, specifically the presumption that Islam is inherently violent or that Muslims have a tendency for terrorism. Since 9/11, particular people have turned Islamophobia into an trade, scapegoating Muslims to additional their very own agendas.
Like different types of intolerance, nonetheless, Islamophobia will be objectively assessed. Empirical research are an efficient technique of exposing this prejudice, one which plagues either side of the political spectrum.
The rhetoric of Canadian conservative creator Mark Steyn is typical of right-wing Islamophobia. As an illustration, Steyn claims that “most Muslims both want or are detached to the loss of life of the societies through which they dwell.”
Likewise, Dutch politician and right-wing populist Geert Wilders refers back to the Qur’an as “a supply of inspiration for, and justification of, hatred, violence and terrorism on this planet, Europe and America.” British conservative political commentator Douglas Murray means that to scale back terrorism, the UK requires “a bit much less Islam.”
Outstanding left-wing commentators additionally contribute to the identical scaremongering stereotypes as their conservative counterparts. For instance, American neuroscientist and new atheist Sam Harris asserts that “there’s a direct hyperlink between the doctrine of Islam and Muslim terrorism.”
Equally, American comic and tv producer Invoice Maher believes that there’s a “connecting tissue” of intolerance and brutality that binds 1.6 billion Muslims to terrorist teams like ISIS. And Somali-born Dutch American activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali states that “violence is inherent within the doctrine of Islam.”
None of those characterizations, nonetheless, are ample from a scholarly viewpoint. Self-evident positions and gross exaggerations are inclined to detract from the primary problem: whether or not the depiction of Muslims as violent extremists is deceptive.
Most Muslims reject violent extremism
Globally talking, Muslims overwhelmingly reject suicide bombings and different types of violence in opposition to civilians in defence of Islam. Research discovered that Muslims view such extremism as hardly ever or by no means justified, together with 96 per cent in Azerbaijan, 95 per cent in Kazakhstan, 92 per cent in Indonesia and 91 per cent in Iraq.
The 2016 report What Muslims Need, essentially the most intensive analysis of British Muslims ever carried out, discovered that 9 of 10 British Muslims reject terrorism outright. When requested “To what extent do you sympathize with or condemn individuals who commit terrorist actions as a type of political protest,” 90 per cent condemned these actions, 5 per cent didn’t know and three per cent neither condemned nor condoned political acts of terror.
That’s hardly “most Muslims,” as Steyn contends.
When a large-scale international survey requested if “assaults on civilians are morally justified,” related outcomes had been discovered when evaluating Muslim attitudes to most people in France, Germany and the UK. The truth is, the responses had been virtually indistinguishable: French public (one per cent) versus Muslims in Paris (two per cent); German public (one per cent) versus Muslims in Berlin (0.5 per cent); and British public (three per cent) versus Muslims in London (two per cent).
In North America, analysis outcomes had been strikingly related. In a 2016 Environics Institute survey, just one per cent of Canadian Muslims endorsed the next assertion: “many” or “most” Muslims in Canada help violent extremism. When requested if killing civilians for political, social or non secular causes can ever be justified, a 2017 Pew Analysis Middle survey discovered that 84 per cent of American Muslims confirmed that it’s “by no means/hardly ever” justifiable.
As a result of 12 per cent of American Muslims replied that violence in opposition to civilians will be “generally/usually” justified, anti-Muslim activists argue that a whole lot of hundreds of Muslims stay radicalized. The qualitative responses of Muslims are fairly revealing on this regard: violence is permitted if attacked, each as people and as a nation. In different phrases, in self-defense. When the U.S. common public was surveyed, their solutions had been virtually equivalent: 83 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Opposite to Maher’s perception that the world’s Muslims help terrorist organizations like ISIS, most individuals in nations with vital Muslim populations have an overwhelmingly destructive view of ISIS, together with just about 100 per cent of respondents in Lebanon, 94 per cent in Jordan and 84 per cent within the Palestinian territories (10 per cent of Palestinians had no opinion of ISIS).
Islamophobia is an apt time period for classifying inaccurate assumptions regarding Muslims and Islam. These forwarding an anti-Muslim agenda consider that their viewpoints are coherent, however as Eli Massey and Nathan J. Robinson level out, the operate of a prejudice “leads us to consider that our generalizations are based mostly on motive and proof, even when motive and proof really level in a wholly completely different course.”
The principle assertion that Muslims largely help extremist violence is groundless. As a result of Islamophobia distorts the western picture of Muslims, scientific research function an essential corrective in two essential methods. First, they expose Islamophobic attitudes which have gripped the West since 9/11 and second, they assist to lower the unfold of anti-Muslim vitriol by offering a rational discussion board for dialogue.
Stuart Chambers doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or group that will profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their tutorial appointment.