ANALYSIS – Combating Islamophobia and the narrative of hate

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SHAFAQNA – The deadly attacks against Jews in Paris and Copenhagen, as well as the numerous attacks against Muslims in France, Sweden and Germany have added to the fear experienced by many Jews and Muslims across Europe.

While anti-Semitism and Islamophobia each have their specificities and different historical sources, they can sometimes be quite similar.

And this is where government officials need to act responsibly.

And while so far the burden of guilt has been thrown on the shoulders of the Muslim community as if the actions of a psychotic few – ISIS – should be collectively carried, attitudes towards Islam and Muslims are slowly changing for the better.

As underscored by countless clerics and scholars, Islam does not recognize terror.

But why have western powers linked Islam to radical movements in the Middle East?

Could it be that Muslims whether in Europe, Africa, Asia or the Middle East have failed to show a united front before the rise of fundamentalism? Could it be that the Muslim community has failed to pay heed to its leaders’ warnings?

For example Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani urged all Muslims to unite and overcome their prejudices to better stem the radical tide which has befallen the Middle East.

While Muslims should never be asked to carry the burden of terror, as a community we should endeavor to oppose radicalism by promoting true Islamic values, beginning with social solidarity.

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