World Bulletin / News Desk
Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University John L. Esposito has said that those who illogically feared a pro-democracy, Islamist government in Egypt failed to look at the level of violence by the military regime and to assess whether it was legitimate to overthrow a democratically elected government.
Speaking at the International Conference on Islamophobia: Law and Media in Istanbul on Thursday at the session titled "Islamophobia and Media's Role," Esposito noted that through the 1990s, Europe and the US witnessed the beginnings of the upsurge of modern manifestations of Islamophobia.
Esposito explained that 7 foundations in the US have provided $ 42.5 million in support to Islamophobes and their websites over the last decade.
"I would argue that the strength of Islamophobia today comes through social media which impacts and influences popular culture far more than some of the traditional media."
"What we have seen about Islamophobia today and before is the tip of the iceberg."
Esposito said, 31 states in the US, based on an irrational fear with no evidence, passed anti-Sharia legislations such as the forbidding of mosques.
"The problem is, who is asking for anti-Sharia legislations? People in the states who did not even know what Sharia was, prepared to vote for anti-Sharia legislations," Esposito said and added, "What you see is the irrational fear. Today everyday conversations in mainstream society express fear about Islam. Their conclusions become so taken for granted, and become truisms that require no evidence, no substance, they are not challenged in the public square."
Post-Morsi Egypt: Illogical fear from Islamophobia
Esposito said the same applied to the rhetoric of post-Morsi Egypt within and outside the country, noting "the same is true in terms of simply repeating allegations, not looking at the level of violence by the military regime. Thousands of people have been killed or runted."
Condemning the double standards applied to the military's actions, Esposito explained that even if a tenth of the recent acts of mass violence had occured under an Islamist government, or a Morsi-oriented government, there would have been widespread outcries calling it a "wave of terror."
He criticized those who "do not come out and wonder about whether it was a coup or not, or they think it is legitimate to overthrow a democratically elected government rather than to vote that government out."
Reminding of the very well fueled and supported Islamophobic network in the US, Esposito announced that they would start a multi-year project soon to look at Islamophobia in social media and its impact on popular culture.
Finkelstein: "Labels are not useful"
Another panelist Norman Gary Finkelstein, an American political scientist specializing in anti-Semitism and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, said anti-Semitism and Islamophobia had similarities.
He said a common definition for anti-Semitism and Islamophobia would be: 'Generalization, targeting a group's core beliefs, that is hurtful and irrational, which would include: Muslims are terrorists and Jews are cheap, or the Holocaust never happened and Islam is all about religion.'
Finkelstein emphasized that definitions and labels were not useful, but rather tended to detract people from the main concern- to find the reality.
The Conference is organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information (BYEGM) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) between September 12-13, 2013 at Grand Tarabya Hotel, Istanbul with the participation of Turkish Deputy Minister Bulent Arinc and the OIC Secretary General Ekmelettin Ihsanoglu and several international scholars.
It is no known secret of the tremendous contribution of Muslim scientists to the world of astronomy. Amongst them is the astronomical table including data that was first set up by Arab astronomer Ibn al-Shatir that is almost 700 years old. Ibrahim Muteferrika, a Hungarian priest who converted to Islam was the first to bring the printing press to the Ottoman Empire as well Ibrahim Tiflisi providing detailed descriptions of a solar eclipse.
Local Muslim community in Belgium calls for recruiting chaplains who can educate youth about religion.
Australian Muslim TV studio, Islam TV, aims to counter media 'bias'. Aims to offer opposition to what it sees as negative representations of Islam in country's mainstream media.
Growing up in a large lower middle-class family on his father’s teaching salary, Makbul Patel said he learned early the value of a dollar. In his private practice, he saw that people were in need and wanted to help them, saying that this project is something that is close to his heart
In a historic first for the United States, an American Muslim college has now joined the nation’s community of accredited institutions of higher education.
After a spate of negative press on Canadian Muslims, the Choudry family have devised a unique way to tackle Islamophobia.
Various religious and civil rights organizations have filed friend-of-the-court briefs backing Samantha Elauf, who was denied a sales job because she wears a head scarf
Bosnian-American Indira Kaljo has successfully petitioned FIBA to allow the wearing of the hijab in domestic games, but not in international competition, yet.
Certification company boss says online videos claimed he supported terrorism
Sr Dunia Shuaib is a marriage therapist based in Dallas, Texas and marriage educator/coach, radio show host (Deen with Dunia) and lecturer. On her Facebook page, she recounts a recent experience with a non-Muslim woman while shopping at her local organic store and explains that courage despite prejudice and stereotype can overcome hatred and foster new friendships in the unlikeliest of places.
A Muslim dentist in Stockton, California, has been working to save his local library from being sold to a private buyer.
Footage of a drone that has recorded the amazing sights and sounds of the ezan, the Muslims call to prayer at the Prophets Mosque in Medina, note how it also captures the sounds of the birds.
New campaign, "Share a Quran" launched to help dispel Islamophobia as well as a guide provided to dispel misconceptions about Muslims.
The attack on Charlie Hebdo has reawakened the controversial issue of depicting Prophet Muhammad which has often angered Muslims across the world.
First phase of annual Biswa Ijtema event closes in Bangladesh.
A number of Muslim scholars have responded to the Paris attacks and have slammed the incident as un-Islamic and have said that their actions will hurt Islam and Muslims.