used to be a local problem among nationalist reactionaries in countries with
substantial Muslim immigrant populations. Today, the fear is emerging into an
organizing principle for an international “axis of evil,” whereby nationalist
populist forces in many countries who would otherwise have little interest in
supporting one another, find common ground and organize alliances around a
shared hostility toward Muslims – along with associated issues like migration,
demographic trends, liberal international institutions and norms, and so on.
for example, Viktor Orbán, the leader of a small nation in the middle of Europe
with virtually no Muslim population meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of
an isolated country on the other side of Eurasia that has engaged in genocide
against its largest Muslim minority? To discuss the existential issues of
“growing Muslim populations” and what they deem as the “Western-liberal fake
news media,” of course. Of like minds are Narendra Modi of India, Matteo
Salvini of Italy and Donald Trump of the United States. And those are just the
vocal proponents in power. Similar notable figures are depending on this path
to power in an increasing number of countries, including Austria, France,
Germany, the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, and increasingly in Southeast
Asia and China.
with their own local flavor and spin to their rhetoric, weaving hostility
towards Muslims into a broader opposition to migration and liberal values.
Except for the shared Islamophobia, these diverse politicians might do not have
much of a shared world-view – even when they do have practical common
peculiar convergence on this issue among such different movements in such
disparate countries is, of course, a complex phenomenon with multiple and
diverse causal links and feedback loops. I can highlight two, one a push factor
and another a pull factor.
factor is that we live in increasingly politically unstable states. With the
advent of the internet and social media, we have unregulated, and
unregulatable, flows of information directly among most of our citizens. This
creates an unstable information environment where factual reality is difficult
to access for most people, and where alternative realities and “alternative
facts” are promoted and sold. And the business models for media in this
environment need have no relationship to actual reality, but can instead tap
into the attention economy. Some media outlets typically do so with outlandish
claims and by feeding the outrage machine.
coupled with an ideological commitment to a notion of democracy, which empowers
the individual with whatever reality he or she chooses, entitling them to
expect “customer satisfaction” from their politicians. Delivering “customer
satisfaction” that politicians promise during campaigns would be impossible
even if the entire electorate could agree on reality and what they hope to
achieve by the collective exercise of public politics in that reality. But
voters don’t agree on what they want to achieve, and they scarcely agree on
basic facts such as the threat of climate change or the efficacy of vaccines.
is the activity of organizing the collective endeavors of society, then such
destabilization of reality cripples the very possibility of politics. In this
environment, political leaders are pushed to come up with any narrative that
can organize their societies towards some shared vision or goal.
this narrative revolves around Islamophobia. At a basic level, the most
effective narratives for political coordination have tended to be
us-versus-them stories. As social psychology suggests, in-group/out-group
distinctions are ingrained in the human psyche by forces no less powerful than
evolution itself. This tendency is, from the evolutionary point of view, a much
faster, less time-consuming way to encourage humans to cooperate than, say,
requiring or waiting for all individuals to develop detailed appreciation and enlightenment
over how cooperation and general pro-social behavior are conducive to one’s
And to make
the us-versus-them story especially effective, leaders pit good versus evil.
Religious differences are an easy way to bring a moral dimension to the
conflict and motivate large numbers.
political leaders have appointed Islam as the “evil” side in this story. This
choice has less to do with calculated reasoning and more to do with historical
accident. Two aspects of history are particularly relevant. First, Islam is the
most recent of the major religions to emerge dramatically from the geographical
center of the Eurasian landmass, as the state religion of a highly expansionist
and successful empire. From its beginning, Islam has been a political tool both
for its Arab proponents in the Umayyad and Abbasid empires and for its
opponents in Christian Europe and Hindu/Buddhist Asia.
undisputed cultural and political hegemon in the post–Cold War era, the United
States, despite having little history with Islam, took a keen and negative
interest in the religion after the 9/11 attacks on New York City and
Washington, DC. The rhetoric and actions of the United States in the wake of
those attacks, perpetrated by 19 men acting on behalf of the terrorist group Al
Qaeda, elevated Islam to the position of Public Enemy Number 1 for the global
cultural community over which the sole superpower presides. Much of the Old
World in Europe and Asia was only too happy to reprise old prejudices and hostility
towards Islam to curry favor with the hegemon.
final analysis, Islam is a target of convenience in a world destabilized by
technological and communication revolutions, increasingly edging towards
populists were already primed towards tribalism and on the lookout for
scapegoats. But the peculiar feature of this moment in history is that most
states are feeling increasingly fragile due to a confluence of technological,
environmental and political reasons. Citizens of the unregulated United States,
the fractious Indian republic, waning Old Europe and the unstable, artificial
former colonial states are feeling increasingly insecure and have thus become
susceptible to tribal instincts and “easy” solutions offered by the populists.
In that context, Islam, a religion without a central figurehead with the power
to define what it stands for in relation to the rest of the world, has long
been an easy target of suspicion for most outside the Muslim world. For many,
it is the most obvious target.
Many of the
challenges confronting our world today are global: climate change, resource
depletion, nuclear proliferation, increasing geopolitical destabilization and
so on. These are complex problems with complex solutions. Furthermore, there
are deep disagreements at the global level about the analysis of those problems
and the approaches for resolution.
Islam as a
global challenge is a simple notion: “Muslims are evil and dangerous.”
Political leaders scraping for a simple narrative to organize a society, just
as that body politic is anxious, unravelling, holding little patience or
interest in engaging with complex challenges and solutions that require
sacrifice, are tempted to turn to Islamophobia as a political crutch.
does not solve crises. And focusing on invented threats wastes political energy
required to address existential challenges from climate change to resource
depletion. Muslims are not out to invade the West. What is threatening the West
are unprecedented heatwaves, rising seas, droughts, polar vortexes, more
frequent hurricanes and massive forest fires. No amount of border fencing can
stop these invaders. And wealthy nations can expect to suffer as people from
poorer countries do. Instead on focusing on the actual problems, populists
invent easier enemies to confront – perhaps to mask the impotence or lack of
real solutions to real problems.
Azeem Ibrahim, PhD, is the director of the
Displacement and Migration Program at the Center for Global Policy in
Washington, DC, and a 2009 Yale World Fellow
Headline: Islamophobia Embraced As Anti-Globalization Tool
Source: Eurasia Review
Farwah b. Nawfal quoted his father as saying that the Prophet (ﷺ) said to Nawfal (his father):
1 - حسن. رواه أحمد (5 / 428 و 429) وزاد:" يقول الله -عز وجل- لهم يوم القيامة -إذا جزى الناس بأعمالهم-: اذهبوا إلى الذين كنتم تراءون في الدنيا فانظروا هل تجدون عندهم جزاء".
'Auf b. Malik Ashja'i reported We practised incantation in the pre-Islamic days and we said:
Abu Musa reported that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said:
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، وَأَبُو سَعِيدٍ الأَشَجُّ قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ السُّلَمِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم . بِمِثْلِهِ إِلاَّ قَوْلَهُ " وَيُجْعَلُ لَهُ الْوَلَدُ " . فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَذْكُرْهُ .