“Media and Islamophobia”

By Ms. Laraib Farhat

WE are living in an era where nothing is more viable source of an information than media itself. Media whereas, has uncomplicated many operations and is doing the job efficiently, it also, at times have proven to be a misleading and biased source of data or facts. That process has let us into many complexities and the result was that, we witnessed many things accomplishing in to defaming either us against others or others against us.
Thoughtfully, Muslims have been always portrayed as an existential threat to human race because of their terrorist history. This in return has made Muslims look radical or conservative to west, causing them to fear us, and the religion we preach. This whole process of hatred and propaganda developed against the Muslim community in general and Islam in specific has altogether given birth to Islamophobia. There are no lies or doubts to the ultimate reality and that is, the fact that the concept of Islamophobia was introduced through nonetheless but Media. Displaying Muslims as the one causing massacres and attacks does not conceal the fact that terrorism has no religion. And if it did, then it’s the people who are bad not the religion. Therefore, generalizing the whole Religion as a threat at the behest of its people is like calling out schooling system a bad idea because yours didn’t went well.
Islam is that one religion that teaches us to say “No to violence” but the global media depicts it to be otherwise. It’s not the fault of people who believe this but the kind of stigmas attached to it which makes these rumors look alike facts. Suppose, if you air on your media and campaign about how Muslims have carried out 9/11, then every now or then, people will start believing it especially if they are a passive audience because then media is just like a teacher to them, stating that 2+2=5 and they are forced to believe it. Why? Because they have been trained to absorb whatever they hear without critically questioning it. Keeping in mind the strong hold of media over society, there is unequivocally no other source to counter it but media itself. As it is famously said, “Diamond cuts diamond.” Similarly using media against media to fight Islamophobia is an incorruptible solution.
But the question is how do we alleviate the bad image of Islam from everyone’s mind or in simple, how do we counter it? Here, we can begin by sending our representatives to International News channels, where they answer the questions and clear all the confused minds. Just do not be silent by any argument or hateful speech coming your way because silent sometimes pictures you as someone who is responsible for the carnage in the joy.
However, many of people who are supporting Islamophobia are those who have loose grips on the subject of Islam itself. They are promoting it because a friend of friend is doing so. Now, to counter that, we start by educating them on the subject and the best way to do it is to state clear and precise facts and figures. We can also make it work by uplifting the bravery stories and voices of Muslim people by campaigning on social media using hashtags and uploading different statistical videos that tells people about the empires Muslims have conquered over the years and that in the name of Islam. How they ruled the world and how they gave the lessons of peace through their religion, Islam. Make movies on Islamic Innovations by the legendary Muslims and about the science that the Quran described beforehand, Teach and preach it interestingly.
Being a Muslim, it’s our first and foremost duty to aware people about the irony and show them that it’s not the people of west around the globe getting killed but it’s the Muslims who are susceptible to attacks allover. Show them that it’s the Muslim Victims not the Muslim bombers. Its 21st century, we have robots with human brains and cars that drive themselves. It’s the age where people believe what they see. so, taking advantage of the situation, it’s better to show them the positive side, initiate different groups, help your fellow friends understand Islam as peaceful and not violent religion, but be cautious, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Which means, before transferring to others what you behold know that what you behold about Islam is valid and up to the mark.
Fundamentally, spreading learning about Islam rather than against it would end Islamophobia because the more we know about something the less we’re offended by it. Knowingly how differences lead to fear and fear lead to hatred. There are thus undoubted differences between the west and east -considerably culture, language or religion. Meaning, Human beings are, by nature, cowards who fear everything. This is why we live in communities as a way of protecting ourselves from outsiders whom we fear.
– The author is CGSS Ambassador (Peshawar) & Student of University of Peshawar