03 October 2011

Is the World Isolating Muslims?

9/11 was the day that changed the way the world looked at Isam, a day that spread Islamophobia like a virus, and a day that Muslims chose the path of self-designed social isolation. However, this day of historic horror should also be seen as a milestone on the long road the world was already travelling.


Is Social segregation unavoidable to protect the Muslim identity? The conservative Muslim communities ask the believers to be segregated from the secular society to be truth to their faith. "We need to be protected," they argue and the only way out is to live apart from cultures other than that of Islam. However, isolation as a strategy has proved defective and failed to make the Islamic-way of life any better time and over again. Many surveys have highlighted the increasing divide and feeling of isolation among the Muslims, which is many believe is by and large brought about by the same community with its self-designed social isolation and self-estrangement. According to a survey on coexistence by pollsters Gallup, the European Muslims fear far more isolated than those living in the United States. A report on British Muslims finds that nevarly 80 per cent Muslims in the country suffered Islamophobia. Another study says schools in Britain are becoming increasingly disconnected from society, and some are even going the extremist line.

On the other hand, the groundless fear or hostility towards Islam can neither be absolutely justified nor rejected. The aforementioned survey also says, "Since 9/11 and the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, mistrust toward European Muslims has become palpable." While this fact cannot be ignored, the alarming growth of right extremism is equally worrisome. In a visible example of the rise of right extremism, a Norwegian right-wing extremist, Anders Behring Breivik killed up to 98 people in a brutal shooting spree and bomb attack. An AP report said hate crimes (from Islamophobia) by the extreme right wings are rapidly increasing. Another study by a European organization revealed that Muslims are isolated by anti-extremist measures.


The European paranoia about a possible Muslim conquest of the continent is wide open and is expressed both in peaceful and violent methods like that of Anders Breivik. The Muslim community that constitute less than 3 per cent of the European community and only 0.8 per cent of the American population is looked forth with fear and hatred and increasingly exclude the community from political, civic and social life.

There is nothing called an 'Islamic World' or 'Muslim Mind' (as used to reflect extremism) or rather we should think beyond it to comprehend the truth. An unfounded hostility is not the solution neither a self-inflicted isolation as both can only deepen the divide. While the al-Qaeda style of globalization of terrorism should be condemned, the globalization of right-extremist views that of Anders Breivik should be rejected.