- Due to recent terror attacks, questioning Islam as the religion of peace has become a trend
- Islamophobia has emerged where people supposedly “fear Islam” at large
- Terror attacks in Europe are becoming increasingly common especially in the past couple of years
June 05, 2017: A recent security threat that has developed over the years, having affected and killed many, is terrorism. This post becomes necessary as part of the growing acts of violence that we read and hear about so often.
Terrorism is an act executed in pursuit of causing terror/ fear in the minds of the civilian population. It usually aims at bringing a change in the status quo. It is, however, unlawful.
What has led to Islamophobia?
Needless to say that these series of attacks, the majority of the attackers were believers of Islam and therefore this led to Islamophobia in people belonging to other communities.
The term ‘Islamophobia’ was coined first in the UK. It was quickly popularized all over Europe and the West in general. The term means fear of Islam and was aimed at popularizing the fights against Islamic nations. The western society now strongly questions if Islam actually promoted peace.
Nationalists and Conservatives at large claim that Islam is a religion of hate, violence and absolute barbaric nature. It sponsors war in the name of God and seeks to force its religion upon others. They rightly state that European and Western culture is very different, and signing up to be a part of their country or seeking asylum there demands you surrendering part of your identity in the name of acculturation.
Leftists and liberals promote tolerance. They make a valid point that generalizations are to be avoided at all costs. But what we see is a pattern that must be accepted in order to counter terrorism. The terror attacks are taking place in a broader sense by followers of Islam.
In the name of religion, adherents of Islam are radicalized. They are given a wrong notion of God, religion, and heavens. It is brainwashing in the most remarkable of senses. But it is a duty on the part of the adherent to interpret the scriptures and teachings in a right and ethical problem and to question any ideas that are worth contesting.
ISIS has been a major player in the growing Islamophobia. It has radicalized hundred of youth and has tried to spread its strict religious ideologies. It spreads the wrong ideology based entirely upon violence and brutality.
Timeline of Terror
- September 11, 2001- Attacks on the Twin Towers: The attacks on the twin towers in New York marked the beginning of the ongoing war we see today. The US was quick to respond by declaring a “war on terror”. Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the worst attack that the country has seen.
In the past recent years, we have seen numerous terror acts in Europe. France, Germany and the UK have particularly felt the impacts of terrorism. This combined with the growing power of ISIS in the middle east is seen as a threat to global security.
- January 07, 2015- Charlie Hebdo Attack: This was a horrific act by the Islamic extremists who sought to suppress the very idea of freedom of speech. Two gunmen carried out shootings against the French weekly newspaper ‘Charlie Hebdo’. The two gunmen were the Kouachi brothers (Said and Cherif Kouachi) killed 12 people. The next day on January 08 a policewoman was killed. On 09 January 4 people were taken as hostages and killed.
- November 18, 2015- Paris Attacks: A series of attacks took place in Paris and were considered the deadliest assault on French soil since world war II. The Stade de France stadium was targetted by a suicide bomber. More shootings and explosions followed in restaurants and other places.
- March 22, 2016- Brussels Bombings: The capital of Belgium, the city of Brussels, felt the brunt of two suicide bombings. 32 people were killed and 300 others injured. The Brussels airport and Metro station were the targetted areas.
- July 14, 2016- Nice Terror Attacks: France was celebrating the Bastille day on July 14, 2016. Nice became the target to spoil the day. Civilians had just watched the grand fireworks display when a terrorist lorry over speed and mowed them down. The attack claimed 84 lives. The terrorist was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born French citizen. The 41-year-old attacker was shot dead by the police.
- July 2016- Germany Attacks: Germany witnessed a series of terror attacks in the week of July. On July 18, a terrorist with an ax hacked passengers on a train. On July 26, a doctor was killed in the Berlin Hospital. On July 22, an Iranian gunman went on a deadly rampage. On July 24, a pregnant woman was killed by a machete attacker and another man blew himself up in Ansbach.
- July 26, 2016- Normandy Church Attack: Two men carried out an attack on a Church in Normandy, France. The Priest was murdered and people were taken, hostage. ISIS claimed responsibility. The terrorists were shot dead.
- December 19, 2016- Berlin Christmas Market Attack: In December 2016, Europe was gearing up for Christmas celebrations. A Jihadi by the name Anis Amri capitalized on this situation and ran down a lorry in Berlin Christmas market killing 12 people and injuring another 60.
- February 03, 2017- Louvre Knife Attack: A Knifeman tried to attack a group of soldiers who were on duty guarding the Louvre in Paris. The attacker shouted “Allah Akbar” and took out his machete but was shot before any damage could be inflicted. It was an attack of “clearly terrorist nature” according to the then Prime Minister Cazeneuve.
- March 22, 2017- Westminster Terror Attack: 2 women and 2 men were killed and many people were injured by London Attacker Khalid Masood as he mowed down the pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. He also stabbed a police officer when he crashed his car outside the Parliament and ran into New Palace Yard. Later, he was shot dead by armed police.
- April 7, 2017- Stockholm Terror Attack: 4 people died and at least 15 people were injured when a man drove a truck in the busy shopping street of a Stockholm market in Sweden. Rakhmat Akilov who was responsible for the attack was a failed asylum seeker from Uzbekistan. The 39-year-old admitted being a member of ISIS terrorist group. On being arrested, he said told police investigators that he had “achieved what he set out to do”.
- April 20, 2017– Champs Elysees Terror Attack, Paris: ISIS claims the responsibility of this attack that killed a policeman and injured 2 others just days before the French Presidential election. The gunman was identified to be 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi who served 15 years in prison for 3 attempted murders.
- May 22, 2017- Manchester Terror Attack: The city of Manchester was attacked by a lone suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on Monday, May 22. The explosive went off when people were leaving the concert. 22 People were killed and 59 people were injured in this terror attack. The attack took place around 10:33 pm.
- June 2, 2017- London Bridge Attack: Just one week after Manchester terrorist attack, two attacks took place in London and where terrorists went on stabbing innocent civilians. The London terror attack injured 58 people and killed 7 people on the London Bridge and in a nearby Borough Market. 3 Knifemen were on a killing Spree at restaurants and pubs at 10 pm and also mowed pedestrians at the bridge, but were shot dead by the Police. There have been numerous other attacks on the European soil by Islamic fundamentalists. On most occasions, ISIS has claimed responsibility.
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Negative impact of Islamophobia
Due to rise in terrorism and with the belief that majority of attackers are from the Islamic community; the majority of the population in the world has become skeptic to the religion and as a result, the other half of the Islamic community has become the victim of hate crime.
Conversion (both religious and culture) has resulted in the emergence of insecurity on the part of both the distinct groups. While native European population is going down, the Muslim population in Europe is at an all-time high.
Another reason for this is the refugee problem. People choose European land to take refuge or seek asylum due to the instability in their lands. Some migrants have known to be associated directly or indirectly with ISIS. Migration must, therefore, be done on strict background checks.
Immigration is seen as one of the most important aspects of political campaigns (Thank you POTUS). The debate of wearing hijab or anything remotely of religious value has emerged in European parliaments.
Questioning Islam and its teachings is a process where the justification of which lies in subjective thought. But from a broader perspective, it must be questioned in the right manner and solved through dialogue. If Islam really is peaceful, then the majority of the adherents need to come out more openly and say that, so that brainwashing of young minds by terrorist groups become tough.
– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394