I’ve often written about the increasing criticism on Islam in recent months and years and the kind of poor response by Muslims to handle that criticism. Partly it is due to the fact that criticism is a new thing for these societies and the other reason I could see was that there is a serious drift between different Muslim Sects and sections of societies themselves, they don’t have a uniform response.
And now it appears they have started to pay price for that lack of planning and a structured approached to handle criticism. Price is that the world has already started labelling them, their culture, their practices and the way they look as Primitive, Backward, Ugly and Illiterate. The prejudice is on the rise and is clearly visible on several platforms including the online forums such as Facebook. People start judging you from your name and most often from your profile and / or cover picture. Here is what you can try.
Create a Facebook ID with a Muslim name and put a photo as your profile picture of a Mullah with a sort of Orange Beard. Make sure your name includes Muhammad. Put a typical Islam Praising banner as your cover picture and start joining Debate Forums. You’ll notice that people will judge you before they hear you or your arguments. You’ll also notice that it wouldn’t matter how much your arguments are well constructed, backed up by solid evidences, and have rational justifications … you will still be judged.
Prejudice is a natural human psyche and has a history as old as humans themselves and though it has dropped significantly in the modern societies, we are still not able to get rid of this psyche altogether. No matter how much we dislike to admit but we still turn our heads when we see a person who looks different compared to the majority of people around us. We do give a funny look at somebody’s traditional dresses and start considering them Primitive. This practice has existed and it still exists. But what is happening to Muslims is bit new.
I get prejudged myself at various places that includes Airports. I often have to go through extra security checks although they tell me its a random check but somehow I keep hitting that jackpot and come out to be the lucky winner. Its all based on your looks and your name.
Is this a fair treatment ? I don’t think so but could that have been prevented ? I’m really not sure …
Muslim’s response to criticism and the failure of so-called Moderate Islam to regroup itself and start condemning the Primitive practices has actually made things even worse. We can’t see a meaningful movement in the modern muslim societies to denounce Terrorism, to campaign in favour of adopting more and more science and to tell their brethren to stop labelling non muslims as Filthy and everything that goes wrong as a Yahood-o-Hanood (Jeudo-Christian) Conspiracy. There is simply no movement and no rationality prevailing in these societies and the result is that the outside world too is losing its patience with Muslims.
This in my view is quite a complex situation and I really can’t see what can be done to improve the image of Muslims in non-Muslim societies if Muslims themselves are not ready to understand where they are going wrong …