Islamophobia and Religious Intolerance Day 2014

A blog by Ryma, an Irish Muslim secondary school student - who likes photography, art and being active in the community

Islamophobia. A now popular term that only came to use in the 2000s, and may have been applied retrospectively to earlier incidents.

Islamophobia. Along many other phobias around the world that stops one from fully having their human rights.

Islamophobia. A hatred, fear or prejudice towards Islam and Muslims, especially as a political force.

Arguably from the Muslim perspective Islam is about peace and stands for peace alone. An online survey of the Council of Europe (2012) showed that Muslims are the second most targeted group of online hate speech in Europe, leaving me to believe that this issue needs to be addressed worldwide. This feeling is also echoed by The No Hate Speech Movement, making the 21st of September 2014 Islamophobia and religious intolerance day and agreeing that discrimination and hatred towards one set of people because of their beliefs is unacceptable in the 21st century considering that the majority of Muslims in Europe share the same basis and morals as the societies they live in. First and foremost religious intolerance or hate speech towards anyone breaches ones human rights to dignity. The violation of one persons human rights is a threat to everyones human rights.

Tolerating hate to Islam, or any faith for that matter, is undermining human rights that have been fought for the past few decades. Being part of islamophobia and religious intolerance day isn’t about being a Muslim, friends with a Muslim, liking or supporting the religion of Islam. It’s about supporting the freedom of belief and individuality. By supporting a single faith you are supporting all faith in the hand of religious tolerance, acceptance and the love of one human being to another. The willingness of accepting difference in our societies, communities, villages, cities and towns. The acceptance into our world making it once more part of humanity and human morality.

This one day’s aim is to rid ourselves of prejudice and our irrational fear of Muslims, Islam and all things attaining to it. The present situation can’t be denied and has been going on for centuries, only coming to light recently. Islamophobia applies to mainly cities where Muslims are a minority and religious understanding is at a low. The most obvious symptoms against Muslims are the lack of official recognition as a religion, the non-granting of permission to build mosques or the non-provision of facilities or support to Muslim religious groups or communities.

Ignorance about Islam is the main reason for Islamophobia. Islam is often associated only with terrorism and extremism. Whereas if one only looked into the faith they would see Islam in itself preaches tolerance, peace, solidarity and love for each other. Like many world religions do, yet one of the main prejudice of Islam is its lack of peace and incompatability with human rights.

But leaving all that aside and ignoring the growing hate and lack of tolerance to a single faith what about religious intolerance worldwide? Its becoming a norm where religion is more of an annoyance to those around you than something that brings you peace happiness and tranquality.

What are your thoughts?  I’d love hear views and opinions x

Love and peace to all,  Ryma