Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Islamophobic Rhetoric

The Narrative on ‘Islamophobia’

Since the Twitter battle of Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West, the word “narrative” has been circling the vernacular of social media. The infamous (and heavily ‘memed’) quote itself reads as followed: “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one I have never asked to be a part of.”

In many ways, the word “narrative” itself is a reflection of the cultural phenomenon that has young social justice workers and avid followers of celebrity culture casually throwing it around. However, the implications of this word affect more than just pop stars who claim that their stories have been rewritten for the mass consumption of media; it affects the Muslims living amongst those in a media influenced and frenzied America who are told to fear them.

Just this Sunday, a man walked into a mosque in Quebec, Canada, and released fire. He killed six people and injured eight others. A result of extremism and intolerance, this was an act of terrorism. And one word that was filtering in and out of the media was “Islamophobia.”

An article that I came upon called for the Prime Minster to “drop the Islamophobia narrative.” However, there is a danger that comes with ignoring the rhetoric of today’s zeitgeist. The word “narrative,” frequently used in today’s speech, paired with “Islamophobia” is a phrase that is easily understood and accepted by the youth. It is something familiar to us and easy to spread its ideas through the media’s environment.

Furthermore, why drop a narrative that brings attention to the growing intolerance of Muslims through the wildly inappropriate and unjust veil of the idea that all Muslims are terrorists? We need to keep the Islamophobia narrative because we need people to understand this: fearing an entire race based on the action of few is created by the media and perpetuated through our continual act of denying it.

We must come together to recognize the Islamophobic rhetoric so that we may stop it from continuing to infiltrate our media and spreading unnecessary fear through our citizens.

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