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Let us heal from Islamophobia first

We must thoroughly look into our political and social circumstances - maybe then we will heal from Islamophobia

Diana Moukalled

Published: Updated:

The hostility and insults against Arabs and Muslims following terror attacks in the West seem to no longer get to us. Have we gotten used to the idea of others rejecting us as individuals and as a culture, or are we just busy with our domestic struggles and the hatred spread among our religions, sects and races?

Are we not embarrassed to criticize the detestable anti-Muslim rhetoric of U.S. presidential candidates, when similar figures who fuel our environment with poisonous insults and incite against other religions, sects and nationalities live among us? We have gradually lost the right to criticize those inciting against Muslims and Arabs, because we have fallen into the same trap.

We are observers, especially since those who respond to hatred and Islamophobia are also from the West. The hashtag “Stop Islam,” which went viral following the Brussels attacks, quickly turned into a campaign of solidarity with Muslims due to Westerners who rejected anti-Muslim rhetoric. Meanwhile, American police officials have eloquently and decisively condemned Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s call for patrols of Muslim areas.

Solutions

The problems in our countries will not be solved before we address how we view our identity and our relations with others. Belgian media have begun to speak of divisions in Belgian society and the weakness of integration policies. They have also noted that social and familial divisions resulted in the delinquency of the young men who committed these terror attacks.

We have gradually lost the right to criticize those inciting against Muslims and Arabs, because we have fallen into the same trap.

Diana Moukalled

Their “Islam” is merely the last stop in this lawlessness. I am not saying religious extremism does not play a role, but there is more to this matter and the West has begun to discuss it in depth.

It is our responsibility to look into the reasons for our divisions, and look beyond shallow justifications that they are because we are Sunni and Shiite, or sons and daughters of different races and nationalities. We must thoroughly look into our political and social circumstances - maybe then we will heal from Islamophobia.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Mar. 28, 2016.
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Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

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