Today I read an article in the Guardian saying that Islamophobia is racism, pure and simple.
Whenever you generalise about a community as large as Islam/Muslims/Arabs you can be sure that there is some racism going on there. Because a) phrases like “all xyz” are usually finished with derogatory statements, and b) to generalise about people in such a way is derogatory in itself. Pure and simple.
I can think of some other examples of this:
All Americans… (I live in Europe people, this one is pretty common sadly)
So many things in our culture right now (and leading up to right now) are pitting us against each other, and especially against “all Muslims” or the very wide ranging term “Islam” or even “Arabs” (who are not necessarily all Muslim anyway, but that’s another kettle of fish).
I watched the classic 80s film ‘Back to the Future’ with boychild last year: in one part Syrian terrorists attack them with machine guns. I don’t even remember that part from when I was a kid, but it must be there in my mind, in the department that society has created (is creating) under “all Muslims are… terrorists/evil/bloodthirsty/scary…”
Iron man has “bad Muslims” too….and there are SO many more examples. KIDS’ movies.
We talked about how Islamic/Muslim/generic Arabic people are portrayed in films, how it’s not like that in real life. Yes, there are a very small minority who become terrorists. There are crazy and desperate people in all cultures. I talk to him about cultural stereotypes, but they are still there, what can we do.
We are being groomed to hate these people. What annoys me most of all about this is its NOTHING to do with the actual people (families, workers, your average Joe in the street, like me, like you, just getting on with it) it’s about our governments and what they want.
How much easier to control people, to start wars if we are already primed to hate another “type” of person?
I actually SHUDDER to think and remember other points in history where nations were systematically brainwashed to hate one another. One word: genocide. We think it can’t happen. We cannot let it happen.
I hope Muslim parents, teachers and anyone with an open mind in Afghanistan, Irak, Syria or the UK, France and Germany (and the US) are teaching their children that “all westerners” or “all Europeans” are not bad and against them.
I wonder if their films and media industry are tirelessly portraying us as…as what…What would they show? Tanks and drones and bombs and troops? Would that be a fair representation of me, or you?
Since when has Islamophobia become a legitimate word? A word we recognise and use? Are we saying we are actually phobic of a religion?! Christiophobia, Judaiophobia, Buddophobia…seriously?
Why don’t we just call a spade a spade: racism, pure and simple.
*I use the terms Islamic, Muslim and Arabic interchangeably. I am concious NOT ALL Arabs are Muslims, and that Islam itself has varying minorities and communities, etc etc. Just sayin!
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