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QU Journal Publishes groundbreaking Research on Islamophobia and its Roots in the Western Context | Qatar University

QU Journal Publishes groundbreaking Research on Islamophobia and its Roots in the Western Context

2023-08-03
Dr. Badran

In a pioneering study published by the Qatar University (QU) Journal of Scientific Research, Dr. Badrane Benlahcene, an esteemed associate professor and researcher at the Ibn Khaldon Center for Humanities and Social Sciences at QU, delves into the intricate topic of "Islamophobia and its religious and cultural roots in the Western context." The research paper aims to comprehensively understand the phenomenon of Islamophobia at its roots, promote cultural, religious, and intellectual Western views towards Islam, and foster a scientific and realistic understanding for the sake of global civilizational cooperation and coexistence.

The Phenomenon of Islamophobia

Islamophobia, a term that emerged in contemporary discourse, refers to the irrational fear, hatred, and discrimination against Islam and Muslims. While the fear of Islam and animosity towards Muslims have historical origins, the term "Islamophobia" gained prominence with the 1997 publication of the report "Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All" by the British non-governmental organization The Runnymede Trust. This report highlighted Islamophobia as the perception of Islam as inferior to the West, primitive, irrational, sexist, violent, aggressive, and supporting terrorism, perpetuating discriminatory practices against Muslims.

The tragic events of 11 September 2001, further intensified the global spread of Islamophobia, leading to difficulties for Muslims in establishing meaningful connections with other nations, civilizations, and peoples, particularly in the West. However, Dr. Badrane Benlahcene argues that Islamophobia is not solely a product of these events but rather has deep-rooted historical foundations, perpetuated by various religious, cultural, and civilizational factors.

The Religious Root of Islamophobia

Christianity's historical encounter with Islam has been fraught with tensions and misunderstandings. Monk John of Damascus is considered a pioneer in distorting Islam, and his influence has had a lasting impact. Over the centuries, Christians presented a picture of Islam based on ignorance and a vast number of stereotypes about the Middle East, further fueling hostility and animosity.

The Crusades, which significantly shaped Western imaginations about Islam, continue to influence perceptions even in the modern era. This crusading spirit permeated various spheres of Western society, leading to a confrontational approach towards Islam and Muslims. Even during the European Renaissance and colonial campaigns, orientalist views prevailed, with the West seeking to control rather than understand Islam. This institutionalized process of orientalism became fertile ground for the nurturing of Islamophobia and the discourse of hatred against Islam and Muslims.

Overcoming Islamophobia

To combat the harmful discourse arising from Islamophobia, Dr. Badrane Benlahcene emphasizes the need to overcome historical prejudices and engage in a comprehensive review of Islam in the Western context. This requires openness, a willingness to understand, and an effort to transcend the historical baggage of the Crusades. By promoting a scientific and realistic understanding of Islam and Muslims, societies can build bridges of communication, foster dialogue, and cultivate a spirit of cooperation and coexistence in global human civilization.

The research paper also highlights the importance of accurate data and unbiased analysis when discussing Islam and Muslims. Relying on assumptions, preconceived ideas, and misinformation only perpetuates stereotypes and contributes to the perpetuation of Islamophobia.

Dr. Benlahcene's research paper, "Islamophobia and its religious and cultural roots in the Western context," represents a significant step towards understanding and combating the phenomenon of Islamophobia. By addressing its historical roots, the paper urges societies to move beyond fear and hatred and instead embrace a spirit of openness, cultural exchange, and cooperation.

This groundbreaking study is available in the QU Journal of Scientific Research and offers valuable insights for policymakers, academics, researchers, and anyone interested in promoting peace, tolerance, and understanding between cultures and civilizations.