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20:42, 24 May 2018 Thursday

12:23, 20 February 2013 Wednesday

Fear of Islam, or Hatred?

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Did the sudden presence of Islamophobia on the West’s agenda result from a perception of threat? How credible is a political analysis which claims that “Everything began after the September 11 attacks?” There is also no doubt that approaches such as “it is a manifestation of the hatred of Islam inherent in the West’s genes” are repetitions of a very general rote memorization.

There is also no need to repeat that the psychological atmosphere after the September 11 attacks fueled and spread Islamophobia, and that it served the function of legitimizing, and rendering persuasive, the occupation and plunder by the global hegemonic powers.

In terms of summarizing the “fear of Islam” perception of the man on the street, an incident that occurred to renowned scholar of English descent Hamid Algar in the aftermath of September 11 is striking. When he hailed a cab in Berkeley, the driver was Sikh man with a beard and turban. When Algar got into the cab, the driver said: "Sir, don't worry, I'm not a Muslim." Algar responded: "Don't worry. I am a Muslim."

What is it that saves an Asian taxi driver of a different religion from becoming a target of this fear so long as he is not a Muslim? Yes, it is the Islamophobia that is systematically produced in the West, popularized via the media, and internalized; another psychological perception is in question, which legitimizes all sorts of exclusion, othering, attacks, and ignores the killing of tens of thousands of children through embargoes and occupation. The societal perception disseminated and popularized as “Islamophobia,” which legitimizes the occupations and massacres by the global strategies as it spreads, is indeed not “Islamophobia.”

While the emotion that culturally lies deep within the West is formulated as “Islamophobia,” perhaps a “hatred of Islam” composed more of hatred can be mentioned. More precisely, the fundamental characteristic of the perception which has transformed into a systematic media campaign since September 11 is hatred. The place and manifestation of fear in social psychology do not sufficiently explain the reactions and the results of the policies based on it which were manifested through the hatred of Islam.

Political actors and their media extensions have masterfully perpetrated political and social arguments which served the creation of a perception that transformed the content of Islamophobia into hatred, and which strengthened the preexisting hatred. Today it is better understood that the permanence of this hate speech is due to a long-term strategic vision.

We witnessed the painful experiences of how functionally this perception was employed in American strategies after September 11. Likewise, signs of the exploitability of this in the grand-scale account settling in Africa have begun to appear.

It is not in vain that many factions, which serve as material for the transforming of Islamophobia into hatred of Islam, are treated as decisive actors representing the Muslims worldwide. Just as the justification for the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan, the poorest country in the World, cannot be explained only on grounds of psychological fear, it cannot be claimed that fear is the cause behind the threat perception, to overcome which an operation has been initiated with thousands of French soldiers in Mali.

Likewise the perception which, at the expense of running the risk of acting according to double standards, constantly keeps the process known as the Arab Spring under tight control, keeps hostage the will to turn the people’s demands into political reality, is more a feeling of hatred than fear.

This feeling which legitimizes the dirty games which have claimed the lives of 70 thousand people in Syria, and how many more thousands will be added is unknown, and regarding which it has become understood that the massacres have not reached the magnitude to ensure them of the political design… A strategic language, consciously and systematically organizing a fear and hate perception, is being developed which, by caricaturing all the demands in the name of Islam, takes hostage the future of all Muslims by representing egresses as essentials. A discourse of hatred put into implementation from the capitals of Europe to the deserts of Africa…

Of course, everything is fed from this much “sentimentality.” Only that the organization of a perception which motivates, encourages, and justifies these strategies is actually in question. On top of it, some Muslims’ injudiciously, knowingly or unknowingly, feeding this fire of hatred…

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