top of page

Stereotyping Islam with Terrorism & islamophobia

When you hear the word “terrorist,” or "hijackers" who do you picturise?

High chances are you will imagine a man with the kohl-eye, a round white cap, with a Gun in hand; a generously bearded betrayer who aids the efforts of the Pakistani security establishment to attack India.

And majority would agree with the notion that-“terrorists are always Islamic.” OR "Muslims"

Stereotyped Image of Islam Globally

In recent years, the world encountered the evolution of terrorism in many cities across the world. People were bombarded by the media with news concerning these attacks. With a sentiment of hatred spread among the world, the media exhibited that many of these terrifying attacks were executed by jihadist groups and that the world was under threat. The part of media took on more and more important in the way people responded to these occurrences, through the way the news was dispersed and the resonance given to certain elements of the attacks, such as the nationality or the religion of people. As everyone could predict, this contributed to the increase of Islamophobia and the generalization that all Muslims and Islamic are terrorists.

It is this stereotyped picture that is stuck in the entire Muslim society, completely ignoring their diversity, as though they are one inflexible system. This stereotypical portrayal has knitted a web around the community, misinterpreting its existence.

Who is fueling the voices of Islamophobia?

According to reports, out of 41 prominent terror attacks that have endured place in the year 2014, 39 were executed in the name of Islam. The Peshawar attack was justified by Pakistani Taliban as perfect payback against the Pakistani state and army which has evolved into a puppet in the hands of the US. Sadly, there are very rare periphery voices that are bringing up their voice against this violence in the name of a certain religion. Even these vocalists are not prepared to accept any opinion against the perspective of religion.

Another lot that is giving strength to these extremist vocalists are liberal secular intellectuals who are particular in condemning attacks on freedom of speech and expression. For them, the paintings by M F Hussain showcasing Hindu God and Goddesses nude are not humiliate any religious beliefs but the writings of Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasrin on the basic belief of Islam do.

Henceforth, it is neither the Gujarat police nor Hindutva ideology but the supporters of political Islam, silent moderate Muslims, and pseudo-secular intellectuals who are stereotyping Islam.

How widely has Islamophobia influenced India?

Where once films exhibited Muslims as rulers, poets, and aesthetes, they are now usually characterized as terrorists, gangsters, and despots. Hindi films with Muslim personalities are marked by their problematic description of the minority society. With series like 'The Kashmir Files' forcing the agenda of hate, things have taken a scary turn. The recent dispute over the series 'The Kashmir Files' has once again drawn awareness to the part Bollywood plays in the negative illustration of Muslims and Islamics

Over the years, the sensitive issue of Kashmir has been manipulated to push a certain political agenda about the Valley and provoke hatred against Muslims and Islamics.

It also doesn’t help that history is being re-written in school textbooks. for instance, the Bharatiya Janata Party is considering removing chapters on Tipu Sultan from school textbooks founded on a recommendation by BJP, which depicted the 18th-century ruler as a spiritual bigot.

Suspicion with every passing year, Islamophobia in India is evolving more normalized and mainstream. India has aspired to suppress Muslim and Islamic populations’ rights, freedoms, and power to think differently.

The Hindutva project of the Indian nation, particularly in its post-2014 revolutionary avatar under the helm of Prime Minister Modi, is remaking India into a culturally Hindu country with an ordered Hindu ness. Since the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in India, anti-Muslim discriminatory standards have been growing. Islamophobia has reached a phenomenal peak, where Muslims are increasingly subject to hate speech, racist attacks, and violence.

Indian Muslims have been subject to broad discrimination and violence. They are often depicted as “unclean”, “overpopulating”, “backward”, “unpatriotic”, “scheming”, “invaders”, and “outsiders.” Evidence of this is not problematic to locate. As Muslims commonly eat meat, the purity of vegetarian Hindus is understood to be contaminated by them. The “beef ban” law was passed early in the Modi tenure. Since then, there have been multiple lawsuits of brutality against Muslims on the skepticism of possessing or eating beef, or transporting cattle- which is a sacred animal in Hinduism, intended for slaughtering them.

Conclusion: Terror has No Religion

Acts of terror belong to no religion. Religions criticize them. An extensive majority of people, whichever religion they belong to, have no connections with such deeds nor with any kind of criminality. But a stereotypical attitude and mindset targeting them because they belong to a certain religion from which few members expedient acts of terror are most unfair and discriminatory. We have no liberty to prejudge people and tag them as ‘terrorists’ when they are not even linked to it.

We instantly ought a change our mindset. There's a need for people to understand each other’s religious values, practices, and beliefs. Some mosques in Bengaluru are already indicating the way. They have opened their gates for non-Muslims to enter and understand Islam through a program called Masjid Darshan. It could be the origin of understanding Muslims and Islam. Hopefully, stereotyping Muslims as ‘terrorists’ would soon be a thing of the past.


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page