Islamophobia and hate crime in general is on the rise within the UK and around the world. With the election of Donald Trump as the U.S President and various right wing leaders gaining momentum in places such as France, it is scary to think what the world is heading towards. Are we taking steps backwards to segregated societies where racism and division is rife or are we taking steps forward?
The answer is definitely not the latter. Many social rights activists such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and others have fought for a more equal and tolerant society where there is no race supremacy, no racism, sexism, discrimination, or hatred towards various minorities within society.
Slowly but surely, we are taking ourselves back to the past where right wing leaders rule countries and commit mass genocide in the name of race supremacy and scapegoating. The same way Hitler scapegoated the Jews as the problem, the Western world of today scapegoat Muslims, refugees and immigrants as the problems that plague our countries.
However, people need to refuse to listen to the media when they blame minorities for the issues we face, but instead turn their heads towards the government and the system to see how corrupt it all really is. The fact that the UK government can agree to spend £200billion+ on renewing Trident over 10 years but refuse to get rid of the NHS Crisis which could be solved with not even 1% of that figure. The media then choose to blame the amount of immigrants coming to the country as the cause for this crisis but it is not the immigrants, it is the lack of funding that the government provides for our health service.
The media is biased and is there to perpetuate hatred and division in society. It aims to create a “them vs us” ideology that many people hold on to. We need to change this perception and show people that all Muslims aren’t terrorists for example and how the combined forces in total of ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda make up 0.003% of the global Muslim population (48,000 out of 1.6billion) which is a very very small minority.
Whilst extremist Islam is most definitely an issue that we need to address, it is immoral for the media and governments to use the acts of the few to incite hatred towards the majority of what is a peaceful religion. In 2014-2016 hate crime rose by almost 550% which is astonishing and shows how big of a role the media plays in inciting this hatred. We must all fight this stereotyping that the media shows and speak up for those who are silenced because of this.
If you see someone being racially abused whether verbal or physical, you should step in and stand up for the victim because it is only through unity that the world can know peace. We urge all of you to fight any form of oppression that may be in place due to the system and change the world through your actions on a day to day basis.