Racisms is a book by the author Steve Gardner. The book focusses on the new form of racism by people around the world towards the Islamic religion. Islamophobia gets defined as the negative outlook and view of people that practice Islam in a way that seems to criticize, astatize and condemn based on unrelated factors. Such factors may include the actions of individuals that harmed other from a different religion. The term has come to be considered as racial discrimination type since the 20th century where conflicts arose between Muslim dominated nation in the east and western nations such as Britain, Germany, and the United States.
To understand how Islamophobia can get distinguished from other forms of racial discrimination it is vital to discuss the practices of Islam and understand their culture. Edward Said tell us that how scholars from the west portrayed middle east people have helped to contribute heavily to the belief(Garner,2017:241). Most of the experts described Muslims as complete opposites of the Western individuals. They were portrayed in a way that others would consider them weak yet very dangerous and highly manipulative. The concept of Orientalism, however, is not enough to explain the existence of Islamophobia. It fails to consider Muslims from other parts of the world and what they also go through.
Apart from orientalism, Samuel Huntington devised the “clash of civilizations” to explain why Islam was viewed negatively. Since the 18th century, the war between Christians and Muslims had always been there. Each group wanted to extend its territory and spread their religion to various parts of the globe. The author argues that the world is bound to be divided among cultural lines as seen in the past. Civilizations, in this case, refers to large blocks of the human species that identify with certain ideologies and analogies. His concept is however very week in explaining islamophobia. The wars in the middles east are being fought among nations that follow Islam making it null in understanding the Islamophobia. Moreover, he fails to consider the different political and economic differences that exist within different cultures that aid in creating conflict.
Fundamentalism would be the best term to explain the rise in Islamophobia. Fundamentalism gets defined as the rejection of created ideas and continued reliance on religious scriptures as a guide to how one gets to live their life. The overreliance on sacred scriptures has resulted in the forcing of religion on others of a different practice through violent means. The concept can be compared to the many terrorist groups that exist in the Middle East. The groups interpret the Koran in a way that fits into their political ideologies. Anti-Islamic groups have used the term to run their agendas against the religion of Islam. The actions of a few have been used by many to judge the good majority
The continued linking of all the above theories to Muslims has been the primary cause of racial discrimination. The world is quick to judge whenever a terrorist attack occurs and put all blame on the Muslims. What is clear is that Islamophobia is not about race but exists due to political and cultural differences. In conclusion, Islamophobia is a social issue that has been fueled by differing opinions and the actions of a small group of Muslims that have twisted the teachings of the religion for self-serving purposes.
The hostility that exists between Christians and Muslims is nothing new according to the writer, the animosity between the two religious factions can get traced to the days of the Roman empire as well as the Ottoman empire. The rivalry has been further cemented by the fact that both groups are unwilling to compromise and believe that their religion is better than the rest. We can even trace back the division to the bible where we are told that the descendants of Cain are the modern day Muslims. In the past various terrorist attacks such as the Saudi, Arabia war has pitted Muslims against Christians further widening the rift. The perception that Islam is an evil religion by Christians has been passed on from generation to generation, and yet only a small group of Muslims are involved in the evil deeds. Christians fear Muslims and associate them with violence, destruction, and death.
Historically Islam was more accepted by people as compared to imperial Christianity, the religion offered more personal freedom to individuals, and thus there was little conflict in areas that the Arabs had colonized such as the Persian empires and Syria. Imperial Islam was rich in culture and afforded people the right to knowledge which improved the various civilizations tremendously. Significant advancements in medicine, philosophy and other fields were experienced during the era before Europeans decided to take back their territories and revive their culture.
The hostility is mainly attributed to colonization. European colonization and rule in the middle east meant that Muslims could no longer enjoy the free Muslim control they revered since the time of the prophet Mohammed. Western interference in their political structures created gaps in society hence the problems that they experience today. The continued insistence by the Europeans that it was their duty to rule as directed by God only made it worse for Muslims. For example, the creation of Israel was right in the heart of Muslim dominated nations was seen as a direct threat to the religion. The West saw a chance in spreading their ideologies in the region through the country. However, the nation has always conflicted with its neighbors due to its western influence. Even today the war is continuing in Palestine, that can be said to be western imperialism versus, Islamic nationalists.
Education has been a critical player in the continued struggle. Governments in the middle east are now composed of highly learned individuals who are dedicated to their religion. They are fighting a silent war with the West through policies that prevent interference in a country’s affairs. Islamic law is also being used as a guide in policy development. The east and the west are now on a collision course politically, economically and culturally. Each is aware of the influence of the other and thus trying to be better.
Islam has been gaining significant ground in Europe and America. The religion is being widely accepted by natives of the nation something that is seen as a threat or ploy to take over the West. The main reason for the growing hostility has been the media. Most western stations portray Muslims in a bad light, and yet the religion is one of peace and tolerance. In conclusion, an excellent understanding and respect for both faiths need to develop for peaceful co-existence.
The article seeks to quash the notion that Islam and Christianity are on a collision course. The hostility that currently exists can only be understood by analyzing the social, economic and political differences between the two religions. Muslims understanding is that their deeds should and must be governed by their faith. Anything that they do should be in line with the teachings of the Koran. The author describes Islam as a religion based upon legality. Christians follow the principle of giving through what Jesus practiced in the new testament. Jesus advocated that people need to pay taxes to the relevant authorities. In Islam, the practice of paying taxes is solely based on individual decisions. Most banks in the middle east do not charge interest on loans that they provide showing that it is not about business but helping others.
In the early ninth and tenth century Muslims were focused on learning about the different cultures of the world. The east was the hub of trade and was very rich culturally. Muslim scholars interpreted teaching by Greek scholars to understand the concepts and how they could be applied to their religion. Religion and political went hand in hand in the days of the prophet. Each leader had to be religiously oriented for the people to accept his rule. Scholars from other religions often congregated in the Muslim domain due to the freedom the people enjoyed. The conflict among Christians and Muslims was nonexistent during that period.
Ash’arism was the dominant theological teaching in the olden days. Muslims needed to live by the teachings only in the Koran. God was the guide in each one’s life, and thus it was regarded a sin to go against his will, the theology can be blamed for the radical Islamist groups today because it lacks flexibility. It created a specific view of the Muslim religion as fundamental. Philosophy was also a considerable part of the Islamic faith with Muslim scholars interacting with other cultures scholars, for example, Al-Farabi who interpreted Greek teachings on order and stability to resolve conflicts within the religion. During that era, each denomination was tolerant of the other, and they lived harmoniously.
The situation changed after Christians began conducting crusades. Muslims viewed the movements as a direct attack on their religion. Armies were formed, and various dynasties began invading foreign territories farther creating more conflict. During the colonial period, the Europeans felt that it was in the best interest of the middle east nations to modernize their political and social structures to have more control. Religious leaders felt that by changing it would undo all the work of implementation of sharia law. It would also be in direct contradiction with the laws passed on from generations created by Allah.
Since the end of the world war, Muslim nations have strived to integrate sharia law into the society fully. Formation of violent activist groups has mad the push towards political and religious integration difficult. Terrorist attacks throughout middle east nations have shown that the people are internal conflicts among the rival groups. There has been a significant push by sheiks in the region to influence politics to bring peace. Democracy is being achieved slowly through the overthrowing of dictatorial figures in nations such as Jordan and Kuwait. Christianity and Islam are not on a collision course as people would suggest, it is Islam that needs to resolve internal conflicts.
The essay looks at the conflict that has existed since the 1800’s between Palestinians and Zionists. The region that is contested by the two groups is Jerusalem where no group wants the other to rule or control trade. The conflict can be attributed back to the Ottoman empire that chooses to divide that is that it controlled among the various religious groups in the kingdom. Land in the region was owned by people who were wealthy and attempts to distribute it equally among the others was futile due to the tax burden that fell upon the land owner(Marvin,2012:148-150). At the time the poor gave their land ownership rights to merchants. The practice was the beginning of land ownership battles between the Palestinians.
Various religious groups such as Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in the region. Jews had established a settlement in Zionist settlements in the city and encouraged others in different regions to settle there in wait for their messiah. The number of Jews increased significantly during the world war as the group sought refuge to escape from persecution in Europe. The new Zionist had little connection with the other settlers in Palestine. From history, it was clear that Jews lacked a place that they could call home having been displaced Romans and thus Palestine was chosen to be their home. The revolution in Palestine begun with Theodore Herzl by mobilizing the fragment Jewish settlements to speak as one voice.
The movement had the backing of the British who had seen the strategic importance of Palestine and needed to gain control. They declared the region as a Jewish home which was received with hostility by the Arabs due to lack of consultation. The Balfour agreement resulted in constant fights among all the parties involved. To further gain control of the area the Jews begun establishing institutions that sought to bring other Jews to the nation. The Jewish national fund began purchasing land in Palestine, and the Arabs viewed it as a direct threat to their rights. The Arabs strong dislike for the British and Jews grew, and the lack of unity amongst them made it harder to protect their native lands.
Arab revolts began in the 1920’s, and the British had to partition the area equally. Zionist, however, failed to follow the rules of immigration that the British had placed and often smuggled their counterparts into the nation. The Jewish population grew tremendously during the world war two and eventually formed the state of Israel. At that time the Arabs were disregarded due to Jewish killings that were getting carried out in Europe.
The move by the United Nations to partition the region was received with immediate hostility by the Arabs. The Jews got worldwide supports and eventually won the war because they were more organized and had experience on the battlefield. Various fights also broke out later with the Israeli’s emerging victorious. The Palestine region is still in contention even today with Jerusalem being the battlefield between Israel and Palestine groups such as Hamas.
Al-Qaida was one of the most dreaded terrorist organizations in the world before the emergence of the Islamic state. Al-Qaida has been responsible for the world’s worst terrorist attacks and caused the deaths of thousands of people as well as the destruction of property. The group’s leader was the infamous Osama Bin Laden who was born in Afghanistan and was a major campaigner for the purification of the Muslim state.
He can be remembered for masterminding the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers in the United States. Osama traces the conflict between the east and the west to have begun due to the creating of Israel. Like most Arabs, Osama viewed Israel as a puppet of the west used to control the Middle East region to access the rich oil producing nations. The continued interference and favorable policies place upon Israel by western nations were considered the main cause of the terrorist organization’s attacks. The conflict is not expected to end anytime soon as most Arab Palestine’s feel that the international community has failed them and could not address the issues in the region. The 60th anniversary was celebrated amidst protest in Palestine with the people feeling discriminated by the US and angry about its continued favoritism of Israel.
US policymakers are to blame for the rise in tensions among the two factions. The US supported Israel and even provides weapons for it to fight the Palestinian militants which goes against its foreign relations policy. No peace can be achieved if the nation does not stop favoring one party in the negotiations.one of the terrorist involved in the 9/11 bombings blamed the US for its poor foreign policies a being the main reason for participation in the attacks. Palestine conflict is one of the reasons many terrorist organizations have grown because it shows that the west does not respect Islam and its teachings.
Recommendations are provided by leaders on what actions the US can take to end the Palestine-Israel conflict. It should withdraw all its forces in the region to show that it supports no side and is willing to put its political as well as economic interests aside. The nation should also reach out to other Arab nations which would be best suited to negotiate better terms for a peace settlement in the contested region. The billions of dollars that are given to Israel should be stopped as they only help fund the war. The United Nations should also take a joint stand on the issue as its silence over the decades has only worsened the situation. By adhering to the above recommendations, it would be easier to bring peace in the region. Moreover, the two religions can join forces and fight the radical groups that have grown due to the fighting to prevent terrorist attacks in the future. The media should also be controlled as it has been highly influential in increasing the conflict. They have to report from a neutral point of view so that all parties feel included.
The Islamic state is the worlds most feared organization in the world today.it took over after the fall of al-Qaida when Osama Bin Laden was killed by US troops in Afghanistan, the group has taken advantage of the conflict in Syria to expand its territory and operation. The organization is mainly composed of foreign fighters trained in military combat techniques and hence its efficiency in countering international forces. The group beginning can be traced back to the early 2000’s under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who had been radicalized in a Jordanian prison. The groups were funded by Osama bin Laden who saw it as significant allies in the fight against the west. Zarqawi trained close to three thousand fighters in Afghanistan with a majority of them being foreigners.
After the invasion of Iraq by the US in 2003, the group was very active in helping terrorist organizations expel the United States Army. The group was synonymous with suicide bombings in civilians’ areas making it very unpopular. It also uploaded beheading videos on the internet which has become its signature up to today. The tactics that it used made it feared by the people of Iraq and coalition forces. It later joined Osama bin Laden but differed regarding ideologies and later split from his organization. The groups declined because of its conquer and divide tactics. It caused the war between the Sunnis and the Shiites which was seen as disunity among the Muslims. The group was weakened because it received no support from the locals and the foreign forces killed a majority of its fighters.
The group was on its deathbed, and the withdrawal of US troops in 2011 provided it with a lifeline. The group has been able to grow and expand to many middle east nations because they lack the technical expertise to counter the group. The Syrian war was used to expand its territory, and its fighters were trained in the country. The group has been responsible for various attacks since 2011 with the most notable one being the killing of sixteen Egyptian Christians through beheading in Libya. It is clear that the organization thrives in chaos and uses the turmoil to establish itself.
The Syrian civil war began when the Arab nations such as Egypt begun overthrowing their presidents. The Syrian people started protesting and demanded the resignation of the former president Bashar al-Assad. The government arrested and killed close to one hundred demonstrators. The deaths sparked a public out roar and violent protests in the nation thus begun the civil war. The military defectors formed a unit that was supposed to take over once the government was overthrown. Initially, the protests were for better economic and political conditions in the nation, but later it became more culturally oriented.
The government continued to abuse human rights of its citizens through bombings and chemical warfare which attracted international intervention in 2013.Many groups have joined in the fight in Syria each seeking to achieve its self-interests. The city of Aleppo has been the most affected with human rights group says that the rival groups have used chemical warfare that has resulted in civilian deaths. The nation has been turned into a military-like training region with most Syrians have fled to the neighboring nations.