A clash broke out in Australia between anti-Islam and anti-racism groups and several people were arrested. What's your take on this? Do you think Islamophobia is on the rise in Australia?

To answer this question in an accurate manner, we need to critically analyze geopolitical events, and ask ourselves why we are witnessing such incidents occurring around the world.

Today, humanity is a victim of the politics of the arrogant, capitalistic powers. Nothing occurs coincidentally, as the actions of nations are carefully planned, and any political stand taken by a nation is based on the theory of political philosophy that it subscribes to. It is of the utmost importance to correctly understand these political theories in order to have a clear vision for the reasons behind racism and terrorism.

In 1992, Francis Fukuyama[1] published his groundbreaking book titled ‘The End of History and the Last Man’. In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy may signal the endpoint of humanity's sociocultural evolution, and the final form of human government. In a direct response to ‘The End of History’, Samuel P. Huntington[2] wrote an essay in 1993 entitled ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, which he then expanded into a book in 1996 called ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order’. In the essay and book, Huntington argued that the temporary conflict between ideologies is being replaced by the ancient conflict between civilizations. The dominant civilization dictates the form of human government, and these will not remain constant. He specifically singled out Islam, which he described as having "bloody borders".

The Clash of Civilizations (COC) is a hypothesis that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. The phrase itself was used by Albert Camus in 1946[3], as well as appearing even earlier in 1926 in a book authored by Basil Matthews that revolved around the Middle East[4]. This expression derives from the "Clash of Cultures”, which was used during the colonial period and the Belle Époque[5]. The global arrogant powers found that the only way to consolidate their power was to adhere to this theory. Due to this, they began to disseminate hatred and enmity through their tools of propaganda, with their goal being the creation of barriers and tension between different cultures and religion.

What we witnessed in Australia, or around the world from ‘Anti-Islam’ rallies is a reaction to the fear of ‘Islamic’ extremism that is gripping the hearts and minds of people. There is now an atmosphere of constant paranoia in the West, whereby one is uncertain if their nation will be the next victim of ‘Islamic’ terrorism. With all the hysteria and commotion surrounding ‘Islamic’ terrorism, we should ask ourselves; where did violent ‘Islamic’ extremism emerge from? Strangely enough it appears that nobody is asking this question, while it is the most important question of all!

 The ‘Islamic’ extremism that we see splashed all over our television screens emerged from the Western foreign policies of yesteryear. As we mentioned earlier, the theory of ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ became famous in 1993, which is rather ironic, as in the same year we find that Western newspapers refer to Osama Bin Laden as a “warrior”[6]. It was also not so long ago that Hillary Clinton clearly stated that it was the Americans who supported Al-Qaeda against the Russians[7].

On the other hand, we began to witness blatant racism from those who classify themselves as ‘white’ and called for ‘White privilege’. ‘White Privilege’ can be defines as a demand for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. According to Peggy McIntosh, whites in Western societies enjoy advantages that non-whites do not experience, as "an invisible package of unearned assets"[8]. In the 1960’s, the term "white privilege" was often used in America to describe white areas under conditions of residential segregation. In the 1990s, the term came back into public discourse, such as in Robert Jensen's ‘White privilege shapes the US’[9].

After the terrorist attacks that we witnessed in the West, and the vile racism espoused by Trump and his ilk, some white westerners became very extreme in their view of White supremacy, and I can predict that in the future we will be forced to face the terrorism of radical ‘Muslims’, as well as the chaos wreaked by White supremacists. The crux of the issue of racism and terrorism stems from the widespread promulgation of the theory of “The Clash of Civilizations” by the US politicians and media outlets.

Based on what we mentioned we can begin to understand why Islamophobia is on the rise not only in Australia, but around the world.

Less educated, unemployed, older and Liberal-leaning Australians are more likely to hold anti-Islam sentiments. That is the findings from the preliminary report “Islamophobia, social distance and fear of terrorism in Australia,” by the University of South Australia's International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding in 2015[10]

A survey by the Western Sydney University found that Muslims in Australia experience racism three times the national average. How do you think the government should address this issue?

Despite the authenticity of this survey, I believe it is some of our politicians and sections of the media who created the impression that Muslims were different from mainstream Australians, and this caused relations between Muslims and non-Muslims to be strained. We do not hear the religion of a criminal except if he is a Muslim; we have never heard on the news, or from one our politicians the description “Australian Christian criminal” or “Criminal of White appearance”, yet we constantly hear the phrases “Australian Muslim criminal” and “Criminal of Middle Eastern appearance”. They created this fear mongering in the minds and hearts of its citizens, whilst simultaneously alienating some Muslims, leaving them more vulnerable to radicalization due to the discrimination they felt.

Any government should review the approach of its politicians as well as that of its mainstream media outlets, and this cannot be achieved if we continue down the path established by the arrogant powers that are spreading the theory of ‘The Clash of civilizations’ around the world.

What should the Muslim world do in order to help Muslims living in Western countries to fight Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry?

We always advise our followers in the West not to take the law into their own hands, and not to seek the help of any country other than their own! It is the obligation of the government to make all its citizens - irrespective their religion or back ground - live in peace and harmony with each other.

 

References: 

1. An American political scientist

2. An American political scientist

3. le problème russo-américain, et là nous revenons à l’Algérie, va être dépassé lui-même avant très peu, cela ne sera pas un choc d’empires nous assistons au choc de civilisations et nous voyons dans le monde entier les civilisations colonisées surgir peu à peu et se dresser contre les civilisations colonisatrices. http://www.ina.fr/audio/PHD85011203

4. Young Islam on Trek: A Study in the Clash of Civilizations (p. 196)

5. Louis Massignon, La psychologie musulmane (1931), in Idem, Ecrits mémorables, t. I, Paris, Robert Laffont, 2009, p. 629: "Après la venue de Bonaparte au Caire, le clash of cultures entre l'ancienne Chrétienté et l'Islam prit un nouvel aspect, par invasion (sans échange) de l'échelle de valeurs occidentales dans la mentalité collective musulmane."

6. December 6, 1993, article by Robert Fisk of The Independent titled, “Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace”

7. In a Video Clinton stated: “Let’s remember here… the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago

Let’s go recruit these mujahideen.

“And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union.”

8. McIntosh, Peggy. "White privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack". Independent School, Winter90, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p31, 5p

9. Jensen, Robert, "White privilege shapes the U.S." Baltimore Sun, July 19, 1998, p.C-1

10. http://www.unisa.edu.au/Global/EASS/MnM/Publications/Islamophobia_report.pdf