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The Rise of Islamophobia

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The Rise of Islamophobia

How to tackle the challenge

Asfand Yar Bhutto

Introduction

The Muslim world, today, is caught in a vicious cycle of internal and external challenges. As far as internal problems are concerned, it is more than evident that social, political, sectarian cleavages abound with the plight of crumbling economy further adding insult to injury. Externally, the most daunting challenge, the Muslim world confronts is the pervasive Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry is rising at lightning speed and has emboldened the rightwing populists and white supremacists (extremists) across the globe. This rising xenophobia has its roots deeply embedded in the 9/11 attacks that the United States and the West termed an act of ‘Islamic terrorism’. In the aftermath of those attacks, the Alt-right bluntly classified the religion of Islam as a potent threat to the Western world and that fear caused the right-wing extremists hate Muslims across the globe.

The term ‘Islamophobia’ was developed to fear Islam and the Muslims as a social group. Thereafter, Muslims were generally taunted, ridiculed and perceived as terrorists in America and other regions of the Western world. Since then, anti-Islamic sentiments have been intensifying with each passing day. Over the past few years, hostility toward the Muslim immigrants has increased dramatically, resulting in the persecution and even killings of Muslims in their worship places. The Western media has also left no stone unturned to disseminate the anti-Muslim rhetoric, hatred against Muslims and to hold them responsible for any terrorist attack happening anywhere in the world.

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