By Maskwaith Ahsan:
War-happy former US president George W. Bush was instrumental in creating Islamophobia to justify his attack and genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the west, on the whole, has so far resisted the temptation to institutionalize those radical ideas of Bush. Since Bush, the US administration under Barack Obama has tried its level best to dilute the effects of Islamophobia by encouraging an inclusive society.
Other than CNN and Fox TV most of the US media did not jump to any stereotypical conclusion in the aftermath of the Orlando attack. Instead they relied on honest investigation. US authorities found out that the Orlando attacker had repeatedly been a victim of discrimination at his workplace, was regularly ridiculed and taunted for being a Muslim in the bar he attacked. The US media, too, did not hesitate to mention that a Muslim bouncer at the said bar saved many lives that fateful night. Another investigative report found evidence that it was a young Muslim man who, long before the attack, alerted the FBI of the attacker’s psychological trauma-led leanings towards violence. The FBI then confirmed this fact, allowing the media to portray the crime in an unbiased manner and not solely as an act of a Muslim terrorist.
After the recent Nice truck-attack, French authorities also investigated and held the attacker’s psychological condition responsible for his dreadful actions, whereas CNN, on the very first day of the Nice massacre, declared it an IS attack. It was only after such insistence that three days later the IS claimed responsibility for the attack. Despite being the victim, France, on the other hand, discouraged any sort of stereotyping.
Then there are the Germans who, despite criticism, decided to offer refuge to the affectees of IS violence. They are paying a heavy price for such generosity but have till now resisted attempts by ultra-nationalists to blame Islam or Muslims for such violence. Investigation into the recent axe-attack on train passengers by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee has found that the psychological damage caused by a war-torn life and subsequent unsupervised dislocation led the young attacker over the precipice into violence. Germany was amongst the first countries to initiate ‘Dialogue for Peace’ after 9/11, hence trying to build bridges between civilizations.
It was the enlightened American and European civil society that came out on the streets to protest against the Iraq war. They are also consciously aware of the role immigrants have in building their societies.
On the contrary, Islamic countries are miserably failing to accept and hence failing to understand and fix the problem of violent mindsets within their societies. Newly liberated but hollow Muslims are no better than their western counterparts, they have no concept of conflict resolution and therefore jump to conclusions even faster than CNN. These holier-than-thou Islamophobic neo-elites living in Muslim countries don’t realize that no matter what, a crow can never become a peacock. Civilized societies of the world have learnt from history that colonialism and racial hatred breed disaster. And through equality-based education they have learnt not to lose faith in humanity. They have also learnt that denial leads to disaster, acceptance leads to correction. It’s as simple as that.