Are Muslims Safe? (Opinion Piece)


Are Muslims Safe? (Opinion Piece)

Not all have been wholly receptive and have had conflicting views about Islamophobia; I have been told by a Conservative MP that “Islamophobia doesn’t exist, and it’s frankly idiotic to suggest so”.


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Not all have been wholly receptive and have had conflicting views about Islamophobia; I have been told by a Conservative MP that “Islamophobia doesn’t exist, and it’s frankly idiotic to suggest so”.

In recent months Muslim communities have felt besieged. Given the increasing prevalence of Islamophobia in society and in general, which I have seen for myself, and the Islamophobic attack last month at a mosque in London; many Muslims are questing if they are safe in Britain.

I am 15-year-old Muslim from Bradford, with South Asian ethnicity. I have been victim to Islamophobia on several occasions, both online and in person – so here are some of my thoughts on the current situation for Muslims around the world today.

Last month’s news: The stabbing at a mosque

Not only did it send alarm waves to many Muslims, but it also proved that our peaceful community is under siege. We began to question, are we even welcomed in our own country?

Many organisations which tackle anti-Muslim prejudice have seen this coming – such as TellMAMA, MEND, and Muslim Women Network – which have been monitoring anti-Muslim sentiment. I would personally like to express my enormous gratitude to them and all their amazing staff, who work incredibly hard in ensuring Muslims are safe and helping Muslims during difficult plights.

Islamophobia and politics

High-profile Islamophobes have unfortunately made their way into the media, and can now be seen in the fields of celebrities and TV presenters. However, Islamophobia is rooted in politics.

For example:

  • Boris Johnson Compared Muslim Women to “letterboxes” and “bank-robbers”. This directly contributed to racism as Islamophobic incidents rose by 375%.
  • Michael Fabricant posted a cartoon showing Sadiq Khan’s head on a inflatable balloon engaged in a sex act with a pig.
  • Baroness Warsi sated: “It [Islamophobia] is very widespread (in the Conservative Party), it exists from the grass-roots all the way to the top.”

According to The Guardian, each year on average Islamophobia rises by 36%. In 2019 Islamophobic incidents rose by 600%, of which 6/10 of the victims were women. Worryingly, this figure is only expected to rise.

Personally, I have been trying to create awareness of Islamophobia since the age of 13. I have written to many organisations, members of the House of Lords and my MP, expressing my deepest perturbations and worries about the rise of Islamophobia. When I asked my own MP, Philip Davies, instead of acknowledging it as an issue he exonerated his party by casting aspersions onto another political party. Islamophobia is being used as a political tool.

As Baroness Warsi said: “Islamophobia is Britain’s latest bigotry blind-spot. It is where the respectable rationalise bigotry, couch it in an intellectual argument, and present it as public interest or honest opinion that allows the rot of xenophobia to set in.”

Will Islamophobia finally be taken seriously?

Since the young age of 13, I have been creating awareness of the rise of Islamophobia in our society. I have been lobbying MPs, MEPs, Councillors, members of the House of Lords, and various organisations to take anti-Muslim prejudice seriously – it is irrefutable to deny that we have a problem with Islamophobia.

Some organisations and elected/senior officials have heeded and acting upon my words about the increasing anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain and across the world. However, not all have been wholly receptive and have had conflicting views about Islamophobia; I have been told by a Conservative MP that “Islamophobia doesn’t exist, and it’s frankly idiotic to suggest so”.

The Muslim Council of Britain says otherwise. Thankfully, we have many Peers talking about the hostility British Muslim face, such as Baroness Hussein, Baroness Uddin, and Baroness Warsi. It is very encouraging to see peers of different political parties working together in the common goal to tackle Islamophobia.

Another issue is that the media portrays and depicts Muslims in a negative way – adding to the anti-Muslim sentiment. According to the Muslim Council of Britain:

  • 59% of all articles associated Muslims with negative behaviour.
  • 37% of articles in right-leaning and religious publications were categorised with the most negative rating of “very biased”.
  • Over a third of all articles misrepresented or generalised about Muslims.
  • Terrorism was the most common theme of Muslim portrayal.

Especially in these recent months, many newspapers have become a mouthpiece for the far-right government and have both shared and endorsed their Islamophobic and xenophobic views.

However, I would like to take this opportunity as a young 15-year-old Muslim from Bradford, to offer my gratitude to The Muslim Vibe for always being impartial, reporting on Islamophobia, and portraying Muslims in a good light – it is very refreshing to know that we at least have one fair and impartial publisher.

The fight is not over.

We all still must report on all incidents of Islamophobia, and I would encourage everybody to lobby elected officials to take Islamophobia seriously. If we don’t act, we will fail both the Muslim community and our future generations.

Now more than ever, we need your support…

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Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

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