Western countries, including politicians, business circles, academia and media, have been insistently and deliberately otherizing and alienating Islam and Muslims for the last three decades. Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and the elimination of the communist threat, influential Western circles began to consider Islam and Muslims the main threat to the Western-dominated world hegemony.
The “Clash of Civilizations” thesis developed by Samuel Huntington was the first and only one of these new perspectives. Huntington claimed that the ideological clashes were over and the new era would witness worldwide tension between the large cultural units, i.e., civilizations. In other words, instead of two ideological poles, several new power centers will emerge soon and some of these will threaten and challenge the global Western dominance. Within this context, the Islamic civilization was considered the most imminent threat.
However, Islam and Muslims were directly targeted by many Western countries after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against American symbols. Since the terrorists who executed the Sept. 11 attacks were Muslims, the U.S. and Western European countries began to hold Islam and Muslims responsible for all wrongdoings, including political instabilities and regional crises worldwide. For this reason, Western countries mobilized non-Western countries to take measures against Islam and Muslims. The West invited all countries to join them in their struggle against “international terrorism,” allegedly emanating from Muslim communities. Many in the West and their allies in other parts of the world began to use international terrorism and political Islam interchangeably.
Eventually, after both Western and non-Western countries agreed on the otherization and alienation of Islam and Muslims, anti-Islamism emerged as one the most effective concepts shaping international politics. Not only Western countries such as France and the Netherlands but also non-Western countries such as India implement discriminatory anti-Islamic policies. In addition, introducing the concept of “Islamophobia” consolidated the worldwide anti-Islam policies. The anti-Islam campaign initiated by the West ended up in the total otherization of Islam and Muslims.
Western persecution of Muslims
Western global powers first oppress and persecute Muslim peoples around the world, such as Palestinians, Malians and Tunisians, then declare those who react to the Western oppression and exploitation as terrorists. Ultimately, the West improves the idea of controlling Muslim countries to control the “threatening forces” and “enemies of the Western civilization.” This is how the Western global powers justify their unilateral and oppressive policies against Muslim peoples.
The West has already lost its moral superiority; therefore, it cannot impose values on others. The West has been violating fundamental human rights in the non-Western parts of the world without hesitation. For instance, Western countries violate the territorial sovereignty of other states, exploit their resources and execute citizens of other countries when needed. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Nowadays, the West has left anti-Islam policies to the Scandinavian states such as Sweden and Denmark, which are considered some of the most democratic countries in the world. It is clear that the attacks against the symbols of Islam in Sweden and Denmark, such as the burning of the Quran, are a Western and European political project aiming to otherize Islam and Muslims further since no West European country has effectively reacted. As a matter of fact, large European states can make the smaller states pay the price for insulting Islam and Muslims. However, they chose to remain indifferent to these insults. One even can claim that they give indirect support to these acts.
Unfortunately, these democratic states increasingly disrespect “others,” i.e., Muslims, and they go unharmed politically or economically. The governments that allow their citizens to burn the Quran, the holy book of more than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, are wicked and dreadful. None can defend these insults from the perspective of freedom since some people tried to burn the Torah, which the same Swedish government did not allow. There is no difference between the two acts: burning the Quran or the Torah. However, the reaction of the Swedish government was the opposite in these two incidents. Therefore, it is clear that the Swedish government has a problem with Islam and Muslims.
The world knows that the West has been behaving hypocritically against non-Western states and societies. Sooner or later, more and more Muslim states will react to the anti-Islam policies of European countries. It should not be forgotten that the more Western countries attack Islam and Muslims, the more they will lose ground in Muslim countries in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa.
On the contrary, anti-Western countries such as China and Russia will gain ground in the Muslim states. In other words, the West has been insistently cutting the branch that it sits on. The most recent developments in the Middle East and the African continent can be read from this perspective. Most official and civil actors in Muslim states have begun to improve their relations with non-Western political and economic actors. The Muslim states will prefer any alternative to the states that follow hostile policies against Islam. We will wait and see the result.
In this article
- Anti-Turkish Sentiment | Anti-Turkism | Turkophobia | Turkish Fear
- Cold War
- Daily Sabah
- Freedom of Speech | Freedom of Expression
- Hate Crime
- Islamophobia in Europe
- Islamophobia in Sweden
- Middle East
- Quran Desecration
- Racism in Europe
- Rasmus Paludan
- Rising Racism
- Salwan Momika
- Samuel Huntington
- September 11 2001 Attacks | 9/11
- Western Hegemony
- Western World