The scapegoating of Islam in Western ideologies is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that has evolved over centuries, shaped by historical events, cultural perceptions, political agendas, and media representations. Following the terror attack in Moscow, Reuters rushed to name ISIS as the perpetrator. The convenience of pushing ISIS while Israel is enacting a genocide against many Muslims in Gaza with the West’s support is being questioned by those who have studied geopolitics in depth.

Western ideology and Islam

Historical Context:

The roots of Islamophobia in the West can be traced back to the medieval period, marked by the Crusades and the European encounters with the Islamic world. During this time, Islam was often portrayed as a threat to Christendom, leading to the demonisation of Muslims and the perpetuation of stereotypes about their religion and culture.

In more recent history, events such as the Ottoman expansion into Europe, the colonisation of Muslim-majority regions by Western powers, and conflicts in the Middle East have further contributed to negative perceptions of Islam in the West. The rise of nationalism and imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries often portrayed Muslims as backward, uncivilised, and in need of Western intervention to modernise.

Media Representations:

Contemporary Western media plays a significant role in perpetuating stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. Sensationalist coverage of terrorist attacks carried out by individuals claiming to be Muslims often leads to the vilification of the entire religion, despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslims condemn such acts of violence.

Moreover, Hollywood and mainstream media have often depicted Muslims in stereotypical roles, portraying them as terrorists, extremists, or oppressive patriarchs. This type of representation not only reinforces existing biases but also limits the diversity of Muslim experiences and identities in the public imagination.

Political Agendas:

In the realm of politics, Islamophobia has been exploited by right-wing politicians and groups to advance their agendas. Populist leaders often use anti-Muslim rhetoric to appeal to their base, framing Islam as a threat to national security, cultural values, and way of life. This type of scapegoating not only serves to demonise Muslims but also distracts from more pressing issues such as socioeconomic inequality and political corruption.

Additionally, policies targeting Muslims, such as travel bans, surveillance programs, and restrictions on religious attire, further marginalise and stigmatise Muslim communities, perpetuating a cycle of discrimination and exclusion.

Impact on Muslim Communities:

The scapegoating of Islam in Western ideologies has profound consequences for Muslim communities, both individually and collectively. Muslims often face discrimination, harassment, and violence based on their religious identity, leading to feelings of alienation, fear, and insecurity.

Moreover, Islamophobia intersects with other forms of oppression, such as racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, exacerbating the marginalisation experienced by Muslim women, people of colour, refugees, and other vulnerable groups within Muslim communities.

The psychological toll of living in a society that demonises one’s faith and identity can have long-lasting effects on mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that Islamophobia contributes to increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD among Muslims, impacting their ability to fully participate in society and achieve their potential.

Challenging Islamophobia:

Addressing and dismantling Islamophobia in Western societies requires a concerted effort from various stakeholders, including governments, media outlets, civil society organisations, and individuals. Education and awareness-raising initiatives are crucial for dispelling myths and stereotypes about Islam and fostering intercultural understanding and dialogue.

Additionally, policies and laws must be implemented to protect the rights and dignity of Muslim communities, including measures to combat hate speech, discrimination, and violence. Representation matters, and efforts should be made to amplify diverse Muslim voices and narratives in the media, politics, and other spheres of public life.

Furthermore, fostering solidarity and allyship across different communities is essential for building coalitions against Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry. By challenging divisive narratives and standing up for justice and equality, we can work towards creating more inclusive and compassionate societies where all individuals are valued and respected, regardless of their faith or background.

In general, western societies have witnessed the scapegoating of Islam in their ideologies. It has become a deeply ingrained and pervasive phenomenon with far-reaching consequences for Muslim communities and broader societal dynamics. By understanding its historical roots, examining its contemporary manifestations, and actively challenging its underlying assumptions and biases, we can strive towards a more just and equitable world for all.

As a result of the recognition of this malignancy within western societies, many investigative journalists have had to find a way of stepping outside of the hegemonic nature of the propagandising to locate a resemblance to reality. Whenever. an incident occurs, this then requires going up against, and sometimes in conflict with, prevailing ideas that are being spread as a dominant narrative. Counter-narratives can then become unpopular as the machine of mind control swings into action.

Choosing to step outside the mainframe, besides being unpopular, can also be dangerous, but without it, we are just the walking dead.

Patrick Henningsen, a geopolitical analyst, gives his take on the current attack in Moscow

Also, The Times of India rightly point out that whatever the reality, how is it that the USA was promoting the idea that ISIS was the perpetrator before any arrests had been made? What do they know and how do they know it?

The UK government and many other governments across the West will now repeat, repeat, repeat what they want their citizens to consume, and many will, unquestioningly. They may be close to reality or spinning a convenient yarn, but how will we ever know?

Douglas James

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