How anti-Muslim sentiment has gone mainstream

How anti-Muslim sentiment has gone mainstream

Life & Aging

How anti-Muslim sentiment has gone mainstream
 Three days after 9/11, Christians and Muslims got here collectively in Jerusalem to indicate solidarity towards terror. Christophe Simon/Keystone

Two many years of the War on Terror” has had a drastic impact on the lives of Muslims in western nations.This content material was revealed on September 21, 2021 –

Since the September 11, 2001 assaults, Muslims within the West have been seen with suspicion.

In Switzerland about half of individuals assume Islam is a hazard to nationwide safety.

study publishedExternal link by the Center of Security Studies in Zurich states that though 56% of the Swiss inhabitants believes Islam is a peaceable faith, 46% see it as a menace.

When somebody in Switzerland complains of discrimination on grounds of faith, they are typically disproportionately of the Islamic religion. The Federal Statistical Office exhibits in a 2016 surveyExternal link that 12 % of respondents had been discriminated towards due to their faith. One-third of these have been Muslims.

This has direct penalties for Muslims in Switzerland. They are recurrently victims of raciscm similar to verbal abuse or difficultly integrating into the office.Play Video

Structural discrimination

But Muslims didn’t have to attend till 9/11 to be discriminated in Europe. Unfavourable attitudes to Islam return a number of centuries and have formed a part of European historical past.

“In the Middle Ages there was war, and hostile propaganda on both sides,” says Andreas Tunger-Zanetti, a researcher in non secular research on the University of Lucerne.

An instance could be the standing given to Algerians below French colonial rule. They may solely purchase French citizenship after giving up their Islamic religion.

Anti-Muslim sentiment

This sentiment of western islamophobia has solely been aggravated by the 9/11 assaults, perceived as a turning level within the historical past of relations between the West and the Islamic world.

“Since then, Islam has been seen as the main threat to the Western model,” says Darius Farman, a researcher at Center for Security Studies on the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich.

Then United States President George W. Bush didn’t hesitate to make use of the phrase “crusade” to justify his struggle towards terrorists.

These unfavorable attitudes to Muslims in Europe and the US have been additional strengthened by the terrorist assaults in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005, the place some 200 and 50 folks have been killed respectively in a set of coordinated assaults.

“That was the time when Europe realised that terrorism happened not just on the other side of the Atlantic,” says Tunger-Zanetti.

The enemy inside

Jihad propaganda which proliferated on-line and in sure mosques after 9/11 made it straightforward for folks to demonise Islam as an entire.

When jihadist terror arrived in Europe, Islam additionally grew to become a possible menace to Switzerland. Tunger-Zanetti places it this manner: “If I only hear about Islam in connection with wars or terror attacks, then I inevitably get the feeling that there is a strong connection between this religion and terrorism.”

On the political degree, Islam and Muslim migrants grew to become a safety difficulty, says Hansjörg Schmid, Director of the Swiss Centre for Islam and Society of the University of Fribourg.

Viscious circle

On the bottom, this blanket suspicion of all Muslims gave them the impression of not being welcome in Western nations. That in flip confuses them. “In their own personal experience, perhaps, they have had very positive experiences, and thus are unable to understand the discrepancy with what they hear in the public debate,” says Schmid.

Jihad propagandist fed off this worry and confusion, additional dividing Western societies and accentuating discrimination. Studies present that discrimination can be a significant motivating factorExternal link for jihadist radicalisation.

“For this is precisely the goal of the terrorists: to accentuate differences and exploit them,” warns Schmid.

Translated from German by Terence Macnamee; edited by Virginie Mangin


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