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Islamaphobia1

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  • 1. ISLAMAPHOBIA The Myth of the Islamic Threat Nermien Al-Ali (BA:Islamic Jurisprudence & Political Science, LLB/LLM) Myths Basic Tenets of Islam Islamaphobia Myth 1 - Homogenous bloc Myth 3: Islamic “ Fundamentalism” Myth 2 : “Jihad” Myth 4: Islam & women
  • 2. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Definition
    • A phenomenon reported & studied in EU(UK), US, AUST., & Russia
    • A form of Xenophobia: phobic fear & hatred of what is ‘foreign’ or the ‘other’ because seen as a danger that threatens way of life
    • Islamaphobia: phobic fear for person, family, community, society, way of life, country, civilization of some Islamic threat
    • Mildest form - indulgence in seeing Islam as deplorable & not worthy of attention
  • 3. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Features
    • Negative stereotypes about Islam as the next threat to western civilization after communism: “the enemy within” - “Islamic terrorists”, “A Holy War Heads Our Way”
    • Stereotypes of Muslims as barbaric, irrational, fanatic, supportive of terrorism, oppressive of women - simply: Anti-American
    • Works on deeply embedded cultural biases that rationalize & spread prejudices & stereotypes - “only natural”
  • 4. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Consequences Prejudice Stereotyping Defamation Slander Attack by Media Discrimnation Alienation Profiling Breach of Civil liberties Hate Crimes: Verbal & Physical Abuse Vandalism & Arson of Mosques & shops Murder
  • 5. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Consequences Source: www.CAIR-net.org 1,717 222 Total 74 - School discrimination 166 - Workplace discrimination 191 - Airport profiling 224 4 False arrest/ Intimidation by authorities 687 149 Hate messages/Harassment 72 56 Threat 303 13 Violence September 11, 2001 April 19, 1995 Category
  • 6. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Consequences Source: www.CAIR-net.org 525 2001/2002 366 2000/2001 322 1999/2000 285 1998/1999 284 1997/1998 240 1996/1997 80 1995/1996 Number of Discrimination Complaints Year
  • 7. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Origins
    • Based on deeply embedded cultural biases
    • Crusades & Inquisition - 11-16th: 5 Centuries of Holy War against infidels & heretics (Catholic Encyclopedia www.newadvent.org.cathen)
    • Renaissance 17-18th: Voltaire: excluded Muslims from the right to tolerance in his essay (Springboard)
    • Colonial times - up to 1960s- Orientalists portrayed Arabs & Muslims as barbarian & primitive to justify colonial conquests (Said)
  • 8. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Feeds on Myths
    • Myth 1 : Islam is a monolithic bloc - will spur in an act of ‘Holy War’ by a ‘fatwa’ of some bearded leader
    • Myth 2 : Islam preaches violence against non-Muslims as infidels in the name of ‘Jihad’
    • Myth 3 : Terrorism is Islamic - a religious duty of the fundamentalists. You never know when your Muslim friend will turn more fundamental!
    • Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women
  • 9. BASIC TENETS: General
    • Islam means: Peace & Self-surrender to the Will of God
    • A universal message - confirms preceding Divine revelations. Prophet Mohamed is God’s messenger sent to complete & compliment previous revelations:
    • Abrahamic religion: “… it is the belief of your father Abraham. It is He (God) Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation)” 22:78
    • 6 pillars of faith and 5 pillars of religion
  • 10. BASIC TENETS: Pillars of Faith
    • 6 Pillars of faith: To believe in
    • God
    • His angels
    • His Messengers (prophets)
    • His Books (Scriptures)
    • Day of Judgement
    • Fate & Destiny - good & bad
  • 11. BASIC TENETS: Pillars of Islam
    • 5 Pillars of Practice
    • Testify (declare) that no gods but God and that Mohamed is His Messenger
    • Pray 5 times a day (Ritual - ablution)
    • Fast the month of Ramadan (lunar calendar)
    • Pay alms (2.5% of annual savings)
    • Pilgrimage to Mecca (Rituals traced to Abraham & Hajar)
  • 12. BASIC TENETS: Pillars of Islam
    • PRAYER: Ruk’a
  • 13. BASIC TENETS: Pillars of Islam
  • 14. BASIC TENETS: Pillars of Islam
  • 15. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Feeds on Myths
    • Myth 1 : Islam is a monolithic bloc - will spur in an act of ‘Holy War’ by a ‘fatwa’ of some bearded leader
  • 16. Myth 1 - Islam is a monolithic bloc
    • Around 1.4 Billion Muslims in the world - Only 18% are Arabs
    • Largest Muslim population in Indonesia 201M. 55M Russia, 100M India, 24 in EU, 7-10 US (2nd largest religion)
    • Muslims comprise 4000 ethnic groups in 128 countries
    • So-called Islamic nations are members of Islamic league
    • Muslims follow no single religious authority – no priesthood
  • 17. Myth 1 - Islam is a monolithic bloc http://islamicweb.com/begin/population.htm
  • 18. Myth 1 - Islam is a monolithic bloc: America
  • 19. Myth 1 - .. Can be mobilized by a ‘fatwa’
    • Fatwa is a non-binding juristic opinion usually passed by Muslim scholars to respond to a new situation. A fatwa that is contrary to Islamic ‘law’ is void prima facie
    • Sources of Islamic law/jurisprudence:
    • 1. Quran: Actual words of God revealed to Prophet Mohamed through Gabriel remained & will remain unchanged
    • 2. Hadith: Prophet teachings - authenticity 7000 of 600,000
    • 3. Reasoning by Analogy (drugs)
    • 4. Consensus
  • 20. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Feeds on Myths
    • Myth 2 : Islam preaches violence against non-Muslims as infidels in the name of ‘Jihad’
  • 21. Myth 2: Islam condones violence against non-Muslims
    • Aggression is a vice in Islam
      • The Prophet defined the Muslim as one causing no verbal or physical harm to others
      • Islam’s greeting to everyone is “peace be upon you”
      • Murder of one person or causing devastation of any form is equated with killing all humanity
    • “ Jihad”: Striving to do good for the sake of God - A broad concept
    • Coming from a battle the Prophet said to the Muslims: “You came from the minor ‘Jihad’ back to the major ‘Jihad’” Asked to explain, he replied: “Inner self ‘Jihad’”
  • 22. Myth 2: Islam condones violence against non-Muslims
    • Even in cases of war
      • General: “Don’t fight those who don’t declare war on you for your faith or don’t attempt to take over your homeland” 60:8-9
      • “ Fight for the sake of God (ie not for economic or political gain) those that fight you and do not attack first” ”
      • If the other side want peace then make peace 4:90, 8:61
      • If a member of the other side seeks asylum award it & ensure safety 9:6
      • Forbidden to kill the elderly, women, children, animals or to cut a tree
  • 23. Myth 2: Islam condones violence against non-Muslims
    • Religious Tolerance most fundamental to Islam
      • “ No compulsion in religion, Truth stands out clear from Wrong” 2:255-256 - Applies to Muslims & Non-Muslims
      • Christians & Jews called “People of the Scriptures” - under an Islamic state are regarded as “protected subjects” with complete autonomy
      • The Prophet’s Charter to the Monks of Sinai
      • Christians & Jews never persecuted for their beliefs in Islamic empire. Then & now Christians keep customs, start schools, visited by missionaries
  • 24. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Feeds on Myths
    • Myth 3 : Terrorism is Islamic - a religious duty of the fundamentalists. You never know when your Muslim friend will turn more fundamental!
  • 25. Myth 3 : Terrorism is Islamic - a fundamentalist duty
    • “ Fundamentalist” is meaningless - Used to denote Muslims that believe in Islam fundamentals support terrorism
    • Originally used to describe Protestants & other Christian groups adopting literal interpretation of the Bible
    • Terrorism : Defined as “devastation on land” “killing people & destroying crops”. Recognized as most heinous crime
    • Punishment for terrorism: execution, crucifixion or exile 5:33. Trial first.
  • 26. Myth 3 : Terrorism is Islamic - a fundamentalist duty
    • “ Islamic terrorism” is an oxymoron
    • Terrorism as a phenomena - Hitler is of the Christian faith as Saddam is of Muslim faith
    • Terrorists justify their acts by citing authoritative sources: religion, the Constitution
    • Church of the World Creator (rejoiced 9/11)
    • Christian Identity Movement (many terrorist acts in 1996 - but FBI cant identify them as such) www.religiousintolerance.org/cr_ident.htm
  • 27. ISLAMAPHOBIA: Feeds on Myths
    • Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women
    ‘ HAREM’ ‘ Chadour’ ‘ Role captivity’ NO SELF-DETERMINATION
  • 28. Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women LEADERS Professional Working Women
  • 29. Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women
    • General
      • Equality - “We created you from one self”
      • Taking care of home & children not obligatory. Housework is work - wages - 1991 law
      • Can divorce her husband if not like him
      • “If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal fairly (with them), then only one”4:3 “you cant be fair ..”
  • 30. Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women
    • Economic rights
      • Seek education/knowledge is duty of every Muslim
      • Right to own & inherit property
      • Right to contract
      • Financial independence - “To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn” 4:32Political rights
      • Political Rights
      • Prophet confirmed as leader by men & women separately - mentioned in Quran 60:2
  • 31. Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women
    • Islamic dress
        • A voluntary good deed - difference of opinion - part of the good deeds that women may take in their religious/spiritual devotion
        • Mentioned once in 24:31– basic principle is that of purity – emphasis first on lowering one’s gaze
        • Emphasis not on appearance but mainly on piety & conduct – 7:26.
        • No coercion or compulsion as to Islamic dress
  • 32. Myth 4 : Islam is oppressive of women Tansu Ciller - Turkey 93-5 Megawati Sukamaputri Indonesia Panazir Bhutto Pakistan 88-90 & 93-5 Hasina Wajed Bangladesh 96+ Khaleda Zia Bangladesh 91-6
  • 33. References
    • Quran online : www.islamicity.com/mosque/quran
    • Index : www.islamicity.com/mosque/TOPICI.htm
    • Council on American Islamic Relations: www.Cair-net.org
    • www.themodernreligion.com/terror/terrorism_compare.html
    • Tolerance:http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~azahoor/toleran1.html
    • Women in Islam - www.mwlusa.org
    • Books
    • Patricia Springborg (of Sydney University), Western Republicanism and the Oriental Prince, Polity Press, 1992
    • Edward Said , Orientalism: Westerners Conceptions of the Orient; 1978, Routledge & Kegan
  • 34. THANK YOU