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Muslims and Islamophobia (27 Jul 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Neo-Orientalist Islamophobia Is Maligning the Reputation of the Prophet Muhammad like Never Before

 



By Munawar A. Anees

25 July, 2015

Beyond the legacy of colonialism, the often frosty relations between Islam and the West have come to be defined largely by post-Sept. 11 ideas and events. Several narratives such as "the clash of civilizations," the "war of ideas," the "war on terror," the Crusades and Islamofascism have thus been used in vogue in reference to this relationship.

In the West's cultural delirium, the military, economic and political mindsets involving the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan and covert and not-so-covert intrusions into Pakistan, the most prominent target is the life, personality and character of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Islamophobic literature of the current decade, for which the Internet is a fertile breeding ground, has the omnipresence of former "Muslims" (e.g. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan and Walid Shoebat) and others with pseudonyms (such as Ibn Warraq or Ali Sina) who have attempted to present neo-Orientalism in a theological garb -- as opposed to Orientalism as a way of depicting people of the East in a condescending manner ("the other," "the savages"). Moreover, the instantaneity with which the text, graphics and audiovisual bits are transmitted today has added new dimensions to this intensified diatribe. Portrayal of the prophetic life these days is a pointed vilification manifested in its focus on pedophilia, slavery, polygamy and "holy" war. In the past, the dominating Orientalist approach used philology, history and comparative religion to describe the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

The hate, rage, calumny and prejudices against Islam in the West do not distinguish between the Quran, the prophet and Muslims at large. Both neo-Orientalism and Islamophobia, though recognizing the archetypal status of the prophet, target one and all in their relentless assaults upon Islamic dignity and integrity. It may be argued that such an ideological blitzkrieg often culminates in the invasion and occupation of Muslim lands.

In 2011 in Gainesville, Florida, an American evangelical pastor supervised the burning of a copy of the Quran in a church after finding it "guilty" of crimes. It is not an isolated incident. There is a pattern to it. The story of the desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay prison was well documented: it was reportedly flushed down the toilet to rattle Muslim detainees (The story was later retracted by Newsweek, but similar incidents have occurred). The same year, American jailers splashed a copy of the Quran with urine, kicked and stepped on it and soaked it with water. A German businessman printed the name of the Quran on toilet paper and offered the rolls for sale. Incidents such as the use of Quranic verses as a tattoo on the lower dorsal side of female body, their imprinting on leather used for women's shoes and garments printed with these verses worn by half-naked female models in fashion shows are not entirely uncommon. The Dutch MP Geert Wilders issued on the Internet a poor collage entitled Fitna, and compared the Quran with Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf." And joining the Islam-bashing bandwagon was none other than Pope Benedict XVI with an affront to the prophet and highly derogatory remarks about Islam.

These incidents are only a tiny fraction of the events and materials that continue to target Islam, its prophet and Muslims in the most denigrate and despicable manner. The language and the graphics employed to create this avalanche of bigotry is, to say the least, unthinkable by any civilized person in any time and age, save for the horrific expulsion of Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula after the Christian Reconquista.

The verbal and visual onslaught, especially experienced by Muslims who frequent the Internet, hardly ever gets reported in mass media. The magnitude of this hate can be gauged by entering a simple keyword on Google. Early this week, use of a single search term -- Islamophobia -- yielded some 2,000,000 results; over 2,000 for books on the subject and nearly 1,000,000 images out of the keywords "Islamophobia images."

I am awestruck to witness what is depicted in the name of the Holy Grail of freedom of expression. Invoking the maximum reach of modern technology to broadcast hate, no other faith has been maligned like Islam. No prophet has been subjected to such atrocities as the prophet of Islam. No other group of believers has been made to suffer such deep and lasting emotional scars inflicted by this "freedom." However, rising Muslim anti-Semitism, something that has been largely non-existent in the long peaceful history of Jewish-Muslim relations -- a la convivencia -- is a cause of serious concern because it opens up a new gate of hate.

We would be amiss to believe that these statements were made in a "politically correct" context and had transitory value. Nay, they have come to define the way the West looks at Islam, its prophet and Muslims. We do not need to dig any deeper to understand the influence of these opinions in academia as well as the public square. Not to mention reformulation of old state policies or introduction of new controls.

The Oriental romanticism, mystique and the mystery of Arabia deserta with the feuding Bedouins and the opulent harem now is replaced with a new plethora of stereotypes for the "Arabian prophet" and his worldwide followers. They now are cast in new dyes.

Over the last decade we have witnessed a slow death of multiculturalism, an end to liberal thinking, increasing curbs upon personal freedom, enhanced surveillance of individuals, a lowered threshold of tolerance, harassment, unlawful detention and ultimately a ban on Shariah. In public life, travel restrictions, discrimination, violence, profiling, ban on the Burqa, denial of permission to raise minarets or to build mosques and restrictions on Halal manufacturing are but some of the prejudices faced by Muslims.

The Oriental romanticism, mystique and the mystery of Arabia deserta with the feuding Bedouins and the opulent harem now is replaced with a new plethora of stereotypes for the "Arabian prophet" and his worldwide followers. They now are cast in new dyes.

Extrapolating the atrocities committed by the so-called Caliphate installed by a bunch of ISIS terrorists, over 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide now face the daily burden of collective guilt for the reports of the alleged crucifixion of spies, child rape, slaughtering of non-Muslims, mass execution of children, burning alive of enemies, savage beheadings, looting and burning of libraries, killing caged enemies by drowning, sexual slavery, stifling human rights of minorities, training of children as executioners and suicide bombers and massive destruction of antiquities, including the tomb of Prophet Jonah, among many other sordid tales of death and destruction. None of the ISIS acts are sanctioned by Islamic doctrines. Yet, the Islamophobes are never tired of chanting the mantra: ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS.

It is erroneous to assume that the new brigade of Islamophobic authors is a pseudonym for neo-Orientalism. On the contrary, it is a new genre of its own, devoid of intellectual honesty, conscience or any moral underpinning. In spite of having carved a new path to profit -- for the Islamophobia industry is a money cruncher -- some of them have laid claim to neo-Orientalism.

The classical Orientalism neither had the means nor the evil imagination to portray the prophet in a manner akin to what we are observing today. The paradigmatic shift is, to a large extent, technology-mediated and no longer makes pristine intellectual pursuits a trait of this academic discipline. Truth stands sacrificed at the altar of political expediency to the extent that benign scholarship is made to appear as suspect. In the name of "revenge" for the Sept. 11 attack, an intellectual and political noose is being tightened and attempting to distort the personality and the message of Muhammad.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/munawar-a-anees/neo-orientalist-islamophobia-prophet-muhummad_b_7806440.html?utm_hp_ref=india&ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/muslims-and-islamophobia/munawar-a-anees/neo-orientalist-islamophobia-is-maligning-the-reputation-of-the-prophet-muhammad-like-never-before/d/104044





TOTAL COMMENTS:-   69


  • GM
    that is why you are just a paper lion.
    you are saving your neck from our 99.99% peaceful believers who take solace in the holy book.
    you have no guts to confront them.
    it is who is barking at wrong tree and at wrong place.

    By rational - 8/7/2015 8:17:20 PM



  • Rational says, "if you are such a well wisher of humanity why don't you go to Dar ul uloom Devband, Azhar University, Nadwat ul Ulema and other such seats of Islamic?" . . . .

    I know what I believe and I express my views in moderate and liberal sites as I should. You however, considering your views, are barking up the wrong tree.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/7/2015 1:28:34 AM



  • GM the lion of the paper refuse to begin raising his voice from a right place. you hide yourself saying you are not a religious person. why don't you go to Saudi Arabia to tell them?
    have you sold you shame?
    Keeping silence by Sufi scholars is not a sign of their opposition to death for apostates.
    your sufi shaul islams anounce death for apostates. Have you ever written to Sufi tahir ul Qadri.
    why are you so shameless in speaking lies?

    if you are such a great Muslim humanist why are you are barking on the site but don't have courage to speak before the custodians of Islamic centers.
    People like you have kept Muslims away from up-gradation behind the respect of beliefs.

    your stupidity is on rise in asking others to go to Saudi arabia.
    if you are such a well wisher of humanity why don't you go to Dar ul uloom Devband, Azhar University, Nadwat ul Ulema and other such seats of Islamic? recently Devband has issued fatwa to ban shaving of beard and earning through shaving of beards. it is viral on internet.
    you are not more than a coward busy in nitpicking and doing not any worth.
    i am the right person for people like you. and that is why you go mad on every comment of mine.
    Go to Tahir ul Qadri your peaceful Sufi Shaikh ul Islam if you are the person of dignity.
    Don't ask others what you yourself don't do.
    Stop barking at wrong, go and tell your believer brothers in Saudi Arabia and Similar countries it is Islamic. Tell them "You are stupid backward Muslims".
    they will give you befitting answer you deserve.



    By rational - 8/6/2015 8:30:26 PM



  • Rational says, "Three non-scholars denounce death for apostates." . . . .

    Millions of Muslims oppose death penalty for apostasy. In Indonesia, Lebanon and Tunisia, only 15% of Sharia-supporting Muslims support death penalty for apostasy.
    In the NAI community, hardly anyone supports death penalty for apostasy. So why are you wasting your breath here? Take your message to Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/6/2015 2:28:20 PM



  • GM
    Three non-scholars denounce death for apostates.
    why are you throwing responsibility of beliefs of Muslims on me? Did I say them to believe in death  apostates? did  say them to remain in time 1400 years back?
    where s your common sense man.
    has it vaporized?
    your sacred sources which areare universal to them demand such beliefs.

    GM you are barking n wrong tree. if you denounce it is fine.
    more have to come.
    your common sense is dwarf before their beliefs.
    take care of your ufi scholars who have not posted a single comment against death of apostates.
    You empty your frustration on me for your failure.
    such comments are nonsensical from an advocate of reform. better if you join herd of believers. Reform is not your cup of tea but nitpicking is.

    By rational - 8/5/2015 8:07:36 PM



  • Rational says, "Calling spade a spade is stigmatization of Muslims!" . . . .

    You completely ignore the fact that all New Age Muslims denounce any punishment for apostasy and you keep on harping on some Hadith based factoids to argue the contrary!  Do you want modern Muslims to give up their beliefs and adopt the beliefs of people living a 1000 years ago or people living in distant lands? Are you telling Muslims that they must accept the beliefs that you had learned in your Wahhabi madrasa?


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/5/2015 1:28:00 PM



  • Naseer Saheb
    as per my view exposing weakness of an ideology is a way to reform. you may agree or  disagree. it is your choice.

    i consider religions man made. prone to corrupt. remove God from religions everything is explainable logically.
    Bring God into it, the problem starts.
    This black box called God is not the answer, it is the creator of unending questions.
    The man is composition of good and bad so are the religions. Calling these religions from God is not my cup of tea.
    more you try to solve through God, more you entangle it.


    By rational - 8/5/2015 5:44:32 AM



  • Rational,

    It is a common problem with all religions that the people have drifted away from its teachings. At the same time, revival movements have succeeded because of the inherent goodness of man. 

    I never said that Muslims have misunderstood the meaning of Kufr and Kafir in all of its 1400 history. The corruption started two to three hundred years later and since all works of scholarship outside the text of the Quran start from this time, we are simply unaware of what the earliest Muslims believed and practiced.

    My  effort is  to revive the correct and original meaning of the Quran. You can become a part of this effort or go against it. 


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/5/2015 3:41:43 AM



  • GM
    this is newest joke from you:
    "You seem to be only interested in stigmatizing Muslims! "
    Calling spade a spade is stigmatization of Muslims!

    do these three people constitute Marjory of Muslims? where these three people stand?
    why don't you ask your Sufi scholars?


    By rational - 8/5/2015 3:08:46 AM



  • Naseer Ahmed - 8/5/2015 2:41:11 AM
    reserve your statement for Muslim scholars not for those who criticize Islam.
    in 1400 years you are only one who understand the Quran correctly. Certainly this means the Quran is not guidance for all. it is not even guidance for 1.2 biilions of Muslims. forget about past generations.

    you have admitted that all other scholars have misunderstood the definition of the kufr.
    you have proved beyond doubt that the Quran is unable to convey its any message correctly in 1400 years.
    my poor understanding is hardly of any importance. It is not the question on me it is a question on millions of scholars of Islam and the Qur'an.
    I just quote from Muslims what they have understood from the Qur'an and hadith.



    By rational - 8/5/2015 3:01:42 AM



  • Rational has a huge problem understanding the simplest of verses. This is a common deficiency in all those who denigrate/reject Islam - so common, that the Quran states it as one of the defining characteristics of those who reject faith. They are those who lack understanding or deliberately refuse to understand or cover the truth with their falsehood.

    (4:90) Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then Allah Hath opened no way for you (to war against them).

    It is clear from the above that only apostates who wage a war against you should be shunned or killed depending upon the degree of their antagonism. 


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/5/2015 2:41:11 AM



  • Rational says, "there are many reports where apostates were killed or prophet wanted them be killed." . . .

    Why this useless debate? If you do not believe apostates should  be killed, I do not believe apostates should be killed, Naseersaab and Shahinsaab do not believe apostates should be killed, why are you wasting our time with this? You seem to be only interested in stigmatizing Muslims! The beliefs of modern Muslims do not suit your purposes!


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/5/2015 12:51:38 AM



  • Naseer ahmed
    the quran is using term "faith" not war. and that is why all scholars have demanded death for apostates.

    and there are many reports where apostates were killed or prophet wanted them be killed.

    Actions of Muslims which are results of their beliefs are louder than your words.

    and you see except some deviants nobody has accepted your concocted definition of kufr.
     


    By rational - 8/4/2015 8:28:09 PM



  • Naseer ahmed
    the quran is using term "faith" not war. and that is why all scholars have demanded death for apostates.

    and there are many reports where apostates were killed or prophet wanted them be killed.

    Actions of Muslims which are results of their beliefs are louder than your words.

    and you see except some deviants nobody has accepted your concocted definition of kufr.
     


    By rational - 8/4/2015 8:24:10 PM



  • Naseer ahmed
    the quran is using term "faith" not war. and that is why all scholars have demanded death for apostates.

    and there are many reports where apostates were killed or prophet wanted them be killed.

    Actions of Muslims which are results of their beliefs are louder than your words.

    and you see except some deviants nobody has accepted your concocted definition of kufr.
     


    By rational - 8/4/2015 8:23:40 PM



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