What is Islamophobia? Not always simple hatred of Muslims..


Islamophobia is not always simply a hatred of Muslims. Most people would say ‘Oh Yes! I love Muslims too… but…’

beaing a muslim in IndiaIslamophobia is often a spontaneous gut response that is guided by an almost illogical apathy. By linking up various things as if in a reflex thought. So when you start talking about Palestinians, it immediately turns to Hamas. When you talk of protests, it would turn to “appeasing the Muslim vote bank”. When you talk of ‘India With Gaza’ or talk about the Kashmiri boy who was killed by the Indian military while he was protesting for Palestine, it immediately becomes ‘well what about Kashmiri Pundits’. There is a subtle suggestion throughout that the Palestinians have deserved all that they have got because they are ‘insurgents’. Despite strategically and superficially condemning the massacres, it’s the same ‘I love Muslims. But…’ syndrome.

This is somewhat like closet homophobia. Like, I have no problem with gay men, but what about raising kids…well, what about STDs (you get the hint immediately)….well what about social reality and cultural acceptance….very soon we might hear gibes about appeasing the “gay vote bank”.

It appears that the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’ discourse has found its roots in many people’s minds. Sometimes, unknowingly. An eye-opener in how the bourgeoisie hegemonises our minds. By using common-sensical views as a tool to not only oppressing the already oppressed but also to legitimise it by manufacturing consent of those sections of the people who could have otherwise been an ally of the oppressed. As Gramsci pointed out – we need to develop ‘good sense’ as opposed to ‘common sense’

Kasturi works with All India Progressive Women’s Association and Cinema of Resistance

One Comment

  1. Ok, I was raised an orthodox Christian -we usually do not choose our religion any more than we choose our parents or our societies, in most cases we are born into/unto them…
    One of the first and wisest axioms I learned was what Jesus spoke in the case of the adulteress about to be stoned to death according to the Law: “let the one who has no sins throw the first stone.” Even when we believe we are right and the other one is wrong, before we pass any judgment and before we take any action, let us pause and consider our own faults; we are no different, no better and no worse -our circumstances differ, not our essence. When we hit a weaker person, we are serving the will of others (more often than not remote to us or to our victims) stronger than ourselves. We shall be hit similarly in our turn.