Public And Private Acts Of Islamophobia

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In current day and age with the rise of secular society and liberalist ideology the devotion to religion has become redundant. Such a situation puts devoted Muslims in the spot light. As Islam is a complete way of living it is portrayed in every aspect of a momins life. People on the outside looking in may see this as oppression or a threat. This project merely scrapes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the issues Muslims face on a day to day basis from a social and cultural point of view. I will focus on the problems and issues Muslims around the world face due the increasing Islamophobia globally.

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By definition

Phobia is a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or situation. It is a type of anxiety disorder.

Knowing this we can decipher that islamophobia means fear of Islam or Muslims. This by definition is

An exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and civic life.

Though the concept if islamophobia has existed since the middle ages the exact term was popularized in 1997 by the Runnymede Trust, a British think tank that deals with racism. Since then The term and concept of islamophobia has become more common to come across after the twin tower incident of 9 September 2001. Islamophobia doesn’t only consist of critiquing the religion rather a big portion of it focuses on discriminating against those who even practice the religion. Islamophobia shows itself openly and private spaces where Muslims are seen as suspect and unwelcome; in work environment Muslims face restrictions in performing simple practices such as wearing a scarf and performing their daily prayer. Muslims are depicted as rough, violent and barbaric in political situations and social media platforms. It is clear that this claimed Islamic viciousness is utilized to legitimize intrusive surveillance of Muslims locally and globally, and in some cases it’s even used to as an explanation for attacks or war against Muslim countries. In society this causes hardships for all Muslims but people who have a visible mark of Islam such as women with scarves have become an open target.

Normally we can see islamophobia in two aspects. In public and in private. Public refers to the more official level as in laws, rules and government level decisions against the religion and its followers. On the other hand the private level of islampohobia consists of individuals expressing their hatred through hate crimes, degradation of Muslims and their spaces and acts of violence.

Public Level Islamophobia

Islamphobia is seen openly promoted in the political field. A certain emphasis is placed on the theory that Islam is oppressive and redundant making it unsuitable for modern day living standards. The claim that Islam’s inability to conform and adapt to western values holds back on the development of a society. In the west the clash between Muslim and western ideology is treated as a threat.


It is no news that countries are against Islam and every physical component of it. But forcefully destroying mosques was not something one would imagine. Xinjiang, China, is one of such areas where mosques are being destroyed as part of a political campaign. A journalist visited the area of Qumul, China in 2017 and learned from neighborhood authorities that more than 200 of the district’s 800 mosques had just been bulldozed, with more than 500 lined up for destruction in 2018. Locals said that their neighborhood mosques had been leveled all of a sudden.

Close Down of Mosques

Austria, a nation of 8.8 million individuals, has around 600,000 Muslim occupants, the greater part of which are Turkish. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has guaranteed a crackdown on radical Islam. On Friday, he declared that his administration would close down seven mosques and will deport any externally financed imams from the nation. One of the mosques that the administration will close is said to be connected to Turkish patriots, and the six others are controlled by a group called “the Arab Religious Community”.

Lack of Privicy

Whole communities are being redesigned to optimize ease of surveillance of the population. The people have been restricted from performing daily religious acts. They are under continuous observation and face multiple checkpoints, face and mobile phone scanners and even officials barging into their homes for searches. It is not uncommon to come across a Muslim having to go through more detailed searches in airports and other such facilities.

Concentration Camps

Concentration camps or what china calls re education centers have been run by the Xinjiang Uyghur Independent Local government to assistant Uyghur Muslims since 2014.They have essentially escalated since a hardline party secretary, Chen Quanguo, became responsible for the district in August 2016. According to specialists they are allegedly holding a huge number of Uyghurs and Muslims from other ethnic minorities in these camps, for what they claim to be terrorism and security control. These camps force Muslims to recite patriotic songs of china, eat pork and conform to non religious ways of living. Inability to follow any order is punished by food deprivation, beating, pulling out teeth and nails etc. not only this but the camps are overcrowded unhygienic and unsafe. Muslim women are force fed contraceptives, forced to get abortions and raped.

Laws Against Hijab

On a public level the laws passed by the government play a huge role. One such law is regarding Muslim women’s head scarves, and burqas. Currently the burqa has been banned in 15 nations. These include China, Morocco, Sri Lanka, France, Tunisia, Belgium, Tajikistan, Latvia, Bulgaria, and so on.

In March 2004 France passed a law sometimes referred to as “the veil law” which banned wearing of the veil in public schools. France is also the first country to ban face covering (niquab) in public places and make it punishable with a fine of €150. Both these laws were passed with the excuse of France being a secular state. This law not only takes away a women’s freedom and their choice to dress to a standard of modesty but also clashes with religious beliefs as Muslim women are required to hold up a standard of modesty.


A major component of privately induces islamophobia consists of the day to day racism that Muslims face. It does take on more aggressive nature in the form of destruction of Muslims property such as mosques and their houses to bullying and offensive jokes and pranks. A common term used for Muslims especially after the 911 incident is “terrorists” not only is it incorrect but hurtful and degrading as well. Over the past few years there has not only been an increase in islamophobia rather a significant increase in private islamophobia. Individuals have gotten more violent and outspoken about their hatred towards the religion.

Chtist Church Mosque Shooting

One such instance was the Christchurch mosque shooting on 15 March 2019, which consisted of two consecutive terrorist shootings starting from Al Noor Mosque and continues to the Linwood Islamic Center. The 28 year old shooter, Brenton Tarrant heartlessly live streamed the first attack on Facebook, a social media platform. The attack killed 51 people and injured another 49. The victims ranged from 3 year olds to 77 year olds consisting of both men and women.

Work Place Discrimination

Muslims are being denied promotions and increments purely on the basis that they cover their heads or are Muslims. Not only this but Muslims are even denied jobs or are fired for their choice of religion

Anti Muslim Attacks

The increase in islamophobia becomes even more obvious when we look at the statistics. 1,201 verified reports of islamophobic attacks submitted in 2017, a rise of 26% on the year before and the highest number since they began recording incidents. Many of these incidents include male teenagers attacking female Muslims who cover their heads. It is also noticed that such attacks are increasing not only physically but online as well especially on social media platforms.

Hate Crimes

There are multiple incidences of violence against Muslims.

A imam and his associate are shot dead on a busy street in New York, Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, killed six Muslim and injured many others in an assault at a Quebec City mosque during night prayers in Canada

Two men were stabbed to death after they attempted to intercede when a man started shouting racial slurs at two Muslim ladies on a train in the north-western US province of Oregon.

A 48-year-old man in London drove a van into a group of Muslims who had left a mosque following a late-night prayer. The attack killed a 51-year-old man and injured nine others.

The amount of hate crimes targeted towards Muslims in Spain rises after fatal assaults in Barcelona and Cambrils. Mosques in the urban communities of Granada, Fuenlabrada, Logrono and Seville are defaced and firebombed.

31 August 2020

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