Discrimination and prejudice is a reaccuromg issue within the modern world, showing a predominant effect on the Islamic culture. Ethical views are diminished when citizens begin to experience Islamophobia. It does not only effect the day to day life of Muslims and people of the Islam faith but will subsequently cause detrimental effects to their mental health and stability. Awareness amongst the issue has yet to cause prominent changes but is slowly helping the change.When discussing the phobia it is important to understand the social sciences. Focusing on this will allow readers to understand the cause of this on a wide spectrum with understanding every perspective towards the issue.
“Significant percentages of several Western countries share this sentiment, saying that the West does not respect Muslim societies. Specifically, 52% of Americans and 48% of Canadians say the West does not respect Muslim societies.” ( Kurzman, Charles). This study, performed in 2011 gives specific percentage relating to Islamophobia, which include numbers that have only increased since then. To a devoted Muslim, it is hard to continue the practices of your beliefs when there are many people speaking negatively towards it. There are many rules within the faith, much like that of any other faith (example: the 10 Commandments). Following these already takes dedication and focus, but when these aspects are interrupted, the basic teachings of Islam become unattainable. The five pillars of Islam are very hard to follow during the western world. Although all the pillars except one aren’t truly affected by Islamophobia, their prayer (salat) is indeed changes because of those who discriminate. Muslims must pray five times a day while facing Mecca, at specific times of the day. Descimination is shown when, for example, a Muslim is at their job. They need to take a break to follow their teachings, but people around him/her begin to judge. They now feel uncomfortable to continue and stop their prayer because of the judgemental issues of others. This is only one of the many ways in which the Muslims are faced with issues in the Westem world.
Muslims are often equated with terrorists and for the victims and peers it can be extremely frustrating and disturbing. Psychologists are taking this issue and attempting to decipher the causes and effects of Islamophobia. It is known as a form of overt discrimination, meaning that is shown publicly and these scape goats are unable to hide or fight against the numerous allegations forced upon them. Due to the fact that Islam is not just a race or religion but is described as an ideology it is hard for those who are close-minded to respect opinions beyond their own. The rise of the issue is causing for it to be more visible to those who are not contributing to these harmful acts. The fight against these hate crimes are starting to be discussed and must continue to be shut down through public awareness, media, and educating people around the concepts of Islam. It stems from the ignorance theory studied in sociology. It is described as “the lack of personal and social experiences which causes them to make incorrect assumptions about others”. They refuse to learn about another group due to fear of unfamiliar practice. Resulting in these people to create hate and racism groups. Devoted Islams may question their faith because of the opinions of others. Sociology and psychology acts as a positive stepping stone in the influential discussion of Islamophobia.
Discrimination towards any human being rusults in several mental health issues. In a recent study performed in 2016 by the University of California they had discovered discrimination causes psycological effects such as, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Validity to this statement is shown through the following quote “We now have decades of research showing that when people are chronically treated differently, unfairly or badly, it can have effects ranging from low self-esteem to a higher risk for developing stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression,” (Mays,Vickie) UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor in the department of health policy and management.” Following the information found in this study, disrimination is an ever present factor in today’s society and is proven to cause detrimental mental health issues to an individual.
Diversity is considered as a positive, progressive aid in order for succession in a developing world. It is hard for this to continue when Muslims are constantly seen as less than, or treated poorly by the citizens of Canada. It has become so severe that people have labelled Muslims into categories of “bad Muslims” and “good Muslims”. Bad Muslims, to citizens of the west, are seen as those who wear hijabs, and/or have a niqabs and devote all their time to praying. Good Muslims are those who act as an American/Canadian. Those who have lost their connection with their faith and ancestors have now been given the label of “normal”. This disturbing label affects how Muslims view themselves. This can therefore cause Muslims to feel hate towards people within the West. A rivalry has now been created and people lose important social connections with each other as well as interpersonal skills.
Our world is becoming more disconnected every day. Personal morals are lost when the issue of Islamophobia begins. Sociology and psychology is and aid to discovering the true reasons to which people feel these negative emotions towards Muslims. Western views on Islam, impacted through sociatal views and stereotypes forces Muslims to feel isolated from the rest of the world. This form of discrimination can cause many severe health issues. It is important to teach people about why different religions, outside of their own, are equally important. It is hard for others to understand new concepts, such as Islam, and adapt to it, causing such a large issue to arise. People need to step out of their comfort zones and learn to love one another for who their are, no matter the religion, race, beliefs, and anything causing differentiation between others.