Islamophobia in the West, Dhimmitude in Arabia

An elderly Muslim man walks through the streets of America (AP)

An elderly Muslim man walks through the streets of America (AP)

In 2010, it was Pastor Terry Jones who made international headlines for his plans of publicly burning the Quran on the 9th anniversary of September 11 attacks on the United Sates. Recently, an Islamic school in Britain was reduced to ashes in an arson attack executed by British teenagers as retaliation for beheading of a soldier by Islamist terrorists. The Boston bombings carried out by Muslim immigrants in America led to a series of revenge attacks on Muslims including desecration of a site which was supposed to be the standing point of a mosque in the coming future.

It was only after some hours that Ed Husic became the first Muslim Minister in an Australian Cabinet to swear in using the Holy Quran that he was flooded with hate mails and intense criticism for carrying out such an “un-Australian” act. Islamophobia in the West is a direct result of persecution of minorities in the Muslim-majority countries. For the ones involved in anti-Muslim attacks in the West, their actions are nothing but a fitting reply to the ones carrying out similar sort of barbarism in Islamist countries. This kind of “excuse making” exists on both the sides – be it Arab land or the West.

Universalization of human rights is the way towards taming hate mongers and violent activists whose agenda is to institutionalize persecution of religious minorities by means of law. Another step which is vital towards greater integration of immigrants and minorities is through adequate representation in government offices and legislatures. In 200 years of American democracy, only one Muslim American has made it to the Congress. Same applies to American Hindus and American Buddhists both of whom have had just 1 representative each in the Congress. In the Arab World, there are countries like Iran and Egypt who reserve parliamentary seats for people belonging to recognized religions like Judaism and Christianity but representatives from non recognized faiths like Bahai Faith don’t stand a chance to get elected.

While organizations like the OIC ie Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League are becoming powerful proponents for putting an end to discrimination against Muslims in the West, there doesn’t appear an organization of equivalent stature to demand rights for Non Muslims in the Arab World. Yohunna Qulta, Deputy Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt claimed in a television interview that the United States has done anything for the Christians of Iraq, Lebanon, Rwanda and Burundi. He said that more than a million Christians have died in the region due to genocidal violence and churches have witnessed destruction. While some might argue that America being a secular nation has no business regarding Arab Christians, the fact that the biggest Christian nation in the world chooses to overlook Christian persecution and continues to meddle its nose in the affairs of other countries in the name of human rights is in itself an oxymoron.