A Guide on how to deal with Islamophobic stereotypes
Do you know that you can deal with Islamophobic stereotypes using some of the existing methods? A handful of similarities can be picked upon comparing Islamophobia and the much-loathed racism. The great thing about that is that somewhat, there exists a framework on how to counter racism.
Primarily in racism, prejudice and discrimination are unleashed to people who have a different national origin, ethnicity, or skin color. Going by the ancient racialization theories, all Muslims are seen as one race. Amazingly, this has been despite their differences in ethnicity, cultures, traditions, and even originality.
Having this in mind, don’t you think that Islamophobia is indeed racism? If not, they must be of the same strain!
Islamophobia has continually spread in Asia, America, Europe, and Africa like bushfire. The spreading of negative stereotypes regarding Muslims has been one of the notable factors encouraging Islamophobia. Watch out for a guide on how to deal with Islamophobia in this article.
More often than not, Muslims are stereotyped to be a feeble race. One that is culturally rigid and with little regard to the rights of women. They have also been seen to be viciously hostile and portrayed to praise violence. Well, just like in any other religion, a few may have fallen prey to misleading teachings and maybe strayed. However, this is not a good base when criminalizing a whole religion. It can happen in any denomination.
If you want to make a change and deal with Islamophobia and its stereotypes for good, the right time is now! Here are five ideal ways on how to deal with anti-Muslim stereotypes.
Change the Islamophobic stereotype !
As you well know, this is the surest way to slay this fierce monster of Islamophobia. You must have heard the whispers; a Muslim is this or that, right? Knowing the narrative is a step towards changing it.
Sounds easy, right?
The only challenge could be changing people’s perceptions, opinions, or even beliefs.
That will take time. Unfortunately, it is not one of the luxuries we have. The more the time we mince, the more Islamophobia blends in and normalizes.
Do we want to get to a point where Muslim hating is accepted to be healthy? I bet not.
Then lets us start with the little steps that will see us overcome and overshadow Islamophobia.
Use a Positive Role model to buffer negativity of the anti-Muslim narratives.
This is the other way in which we can flash the Islamophobic stereotypes out of the world.
It is just a matter of identifying Positive Muslim Role Models and using them to portray the Muslim religion in a different yet positive way.
The younger Muslim generation will have heroes and heroines to emulate. In addition to that, the positive Muslim role models will shift the media’s responsiveness from the roaming negativity about Muslims.
You must be wondering how this will work. Do you remember the perception of blacks in America before Obama became president? The Obama effect is one such study that shows the impact of positive role models on a stereotype.
Before Obama’s presidency, African Americans faced much discrimination, which is close to that faced by Muslims today. After he ran for office and won, he has been one of the most successful role models of African American origin.
Studies show that after Obama drew the attention of the media positively, the Black Americans stereotype threat reduced significantly.
It is possible to experience a similar effect too! It is just a matter of positively celebrated Muslims taking up the task to role model. In the same view, we can also encourage peers to give an individualistic look while judging people’s character to avoid group-mentality biases.
Reorient the negative Islamophobic typecast
You would be amazed to learn that some of the stereotypes came as a result of rumors or even studies whose inferences cannot be generalized.
For instance, Isn’t it ridiculous to conclude that a given community is made up of thieves if two or three of its members are part of a significant heist?
See, similar mistakes must have been made when stereotyping Muslims.
The first step towards Retraining a stereotype is challenging the stereotype! After that, dig in and study the stereotype. Here, focus on testing the hypothesis provided by the stereotype.
The steady process of dealing with Islamophobic stereotypes requires the communities to be open and be ready to accept new results from the study. Again, when the scholars complete the survey, they should disseminate information to the members of the community, respectively.
Sanctify and celebrate inclusivity of Muslims
Just like it happens with other minority groups, in countries with a low Muslim population, it is only fair to categorize Muslims as part of the minority groups.
In such a case, the government can set up an oversight committee to ensure these groups do not face discrimination. To add on that, they can ensure they champion the rights of those small groups in society. Moreover, it would be prudent for them to advise policymakers and implementers on how to ensure inclusivity. The same should happen even at the organization level.
Maneuver the current culture of stereotyping Muslims
In the world today, this may seem not very easy to pull. The good news is that Islamophobia is not genetic. It is indeed a socially and politically populated propaganda. So this is doable!
The same way we socialize children to learn their culture or language at a tender age, we can also inculcate new values. Among these could be geared towards dealing with Islamophobia. For example, they can learn how to treat people with respect regardless of their race or religion.
That’s not all!
This Ramadan, purpose to vouch for a desist of Islamophobic stereotypes. You can also support them by ensuring they feel safe. Join in and stand in arms to face out antimuslim hatred. Again, promote honor to every member of the community regardless of their nation of origin, culture, religion, or socialization.
Let’s not just sit and watch as stereotypes consume the love and unity in our societies. It is time to act!