The media played a major role in affecting the message of Islam and diverting the masses from its true teachings. Media outlets from Hollywood movies to news reports, known to be controlled by the Zionist movement, played a major role in establishing stereotypical images about Islam and Muslims. They even went further to amplify such stereotypes by generalizing their outcomes until they became hard facts that cannot afford to be debated, and to which governs the practices of many Westerners with Islam and Muslims.
Truth be told, Muslims themselves contributed a major role in giving credibility to such stereotypical images by presenting diverted examples about the personality of a Muslim, which in turn reflected back on Islam itself. Also, the rigid application of Islamic teachings by some governing regimes that claim its legislative platform to be Islamic, but mainly focuses on exteriors on account of substance and spirituals, distorted the true image of Islam and intimidated people. Such regimes showed Islam to resemble an executioner that hunts people to take away their freedom, deprive them all forms of joy and force them to accomplish obligations and religious rituals.
This distorted view was supported by the bombings that targeted many Western countries, such As the United States, Britain and Spain, and also many Islamic countries such as Saudi, Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan, to which were adopted by groups that claim its affiliation with Islam, such as Al-Qa’idah and its branches. This escalated the fear factor and gave its enemies more excuses to fight and tighten its screws under the pretext of its direct responsibility of giving birth to terrorism and terrorists.
But since the emergence of Islamophobia at the beginning of the Islamic conquests, the phenomenon expressed itself through different ways of themes that varied in its nature from one time to another, from one place to another, and from the degree of its negativity and its severity; we can speak of them in in the following points:
1- Slandering the message of Islam and skepticism about the prophecy of the messenger of Allah :
Since the appearance of Islam, no sooner had voices came out to question the validity of the message and the sincerity of its Messenger , Islam was attacked by a fierce campaign from Arab tribes and Jews, who constantly attempted to fight and terminate the call towards Islam by accusing the Prophet with many descriptions and false claims.
Naturally, such tendentious accusations did not stop at the limits of attacking the Prophet, but extended to reach Islam as well, which was accused by haters to being a materialistic religion that does not take the spiritual aspects in consideration, and that it is a bloody religion that was established and spread with bloodshed, also being a religion that is free from any originality since it stole its ideology from previous religions such as Judaism and Christianity. But in reality, it is impossible to separate between Islam and its Messenger, as the Prophet is the owner of the call to Islam and its main symbol, and what is more important is that he is the practical embodiment of the teachings of Islam, so much so that any offense against the Messenger of Allah is considered an offense on Islam itself and certainly vice versa.
Examples of constants attacks on the Prophet can be seen in the writings of the famous French Enlightenment writer called Voltaire who in the mid of 18th Century published a book titled “Fanaticism or Mahomet the Prophet”, where he described the noble Prophet with hideous false accusations.
Around the 13th Century, “The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri” also addressed the Messenger of Allah with what is unworthy to be mentioned, and which what was repeated by the Indian writer Salman Rushdi when he published his famous novel in 1988 “The verses of Satan”, where he and his novel still receive support, protection and honor by the West, claiming to support freedom of speech!
Then comes the drawings that were published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-posten in 2005 to add to the list of deliberate offenses against Islam and its symbols. The newspaper published 12 comic drawings of the Messenger of Allah that were described by many as an utmost impudence and degeneration. Coupled with such drawings was an article published by the newspapers Chief Editor expressing his amazement and condemnation of the holiness that Muslims give to their Prophet, and calling others to break such taboo. And where recently, the weekly French publication Charlie Hebdo published yet another drawing in an attempt to ignite another offense against the Messenger of Islam, which ended up backfiring on the newspaper itself, being attacked by what was attributed to be Muslim extremists, causing more harm to the ideals and fundamental teachings of Islam in the eyes of main stream media.
It should be noted that such drawings are not a first of its kind, and are nothing but a link to a stretched chain of events that does not want to end.
2- Provoking conflicts between Muslims:
Western countries, especially the colonial type, showed clear keenness in highlighting the differences based on religious foundations in the Islamic world, and made sure to amplify and develop the level of differences in their pursuit to ignite conflicts among Muslims from one side, and Muslims and non-Muslim minorities from another side. Here, it would be good to mention the enormous efforts done by France in the beginning of the last Century to tear apart Lebanon and fueling religious differences between its residents. After that, colonial countries were able to split apart the Arab orient to vulnerable states following the signing of the Sykes-Picot Treaty in 1916, where Lebanon became a theater to fragile religious and sectarian balances.
The same scenario is being repeated in Iraq under the domination of U.S occupation forces, followed by Syria. Both now engaged in a bloody fierce civil war based on sectarian differences, killing thousands of innocent people with each passing day, fueled by the U.S tendentious alliance and its biased orientations.
3- Seeking to Subdue Muslim countries and occupy them:
The crusades that were launched under the pretext of liberating the Holy land “Jerusalem” from the hands of Muslims, and the massacres that were committed by the crusaders in Islamic cities during such campaign does not only reflect a phobia from Islam and its followers, but also reflects the advanced degree of hatred and desire of revenge, as if the bloody revenge from Muslims is a way of compensating this chronic fear from Muslims and their religion. It was even narrated by an eye-witness from a crusader priest who was present at the occupation of Jerusalem in 492 A.H saying, “Our people would roam the streets and rooftops to quench their thirst of hatred from the killings, like the lioness whose young’s were kidnapped! They used to slaughter kids and youth, cutting them into pieces, and they used to hang many people with one rope for a speedy process, blood used to spell like rivers in the roads while the city was covered with dead bodies”. [Le Bon, Gustave, The Arab Civilization, Translation by ‘Adel Zuiater, Cairo: General Egyptian Book Organization, 2000, Page 325]
Another priest describes the same massacre without holding his gloated feelings. He said “What happened was wondrous between Arabs when our people took over the walls and towers of Jerusalem, and where we slaughtered the heads of some, but that was least of what happened to them, as others were slit open from their stomachs; many of them were forced to throw themselves over the wall, and others were burnt with fire, and that was after a long process of torture, the only thing any passerby would see in the streets of Jerusalem were mounts of slaughtered Arab heads, arms and legs, no one would be able to pass by except on top of their dead bodies, but that was only some of what they got”. [Le Bon, Gustave, The Arab Civilization, Translation by ‘Adel Zuiater, Cairo: General Egyptian Book Organization, 2000, Page 325]
It seems that the hateful frantic spirit of the crusade to Islam is still shadowing the Western world until this day, coupled with increased Christian missionary activities that is gaining more flexibility to act in the Islamic region and form another defensive plot to compensate for their rooted hatred to Islam. It maybe the reason behind the Western obsession to fight Muslims and submit their dominance. The Islamic world continued to be the focus of attention of Western ambitions that hid behind the mask of campaigning colonial plots that resulted in occupying most parts of the Islamic world and tearing apart its unity by overthrowing the Ottoman Islamic Caliphate in 1918.
Few years before that date, under the constant feelings of expected threat by Islam, Britain called for the formation of a high committee from 7 western colonial countries in 1907 to discuss the dangers coming from the Ottoman Islamic Caliphate to those countries. The committee concluded by confirming the real source of danger on them are the Arabian states in the Ottoman Empire and the residents of that Empire. The summery of the mentioned report came out with certain recommendations, and they are:
– Work on creating a state of weakness, disruption and division in the region.
– Establishing artificial states that follow the colonial countries and submit to them.
– Fighting any form of unity such as spiritual, cultural or historic unity between the residents of that region.
– In the sake of accomplishing all that, it is a must to involve a foreign human barrier that is strong in the region, embodying a hostile power to the residents of that region, and is consistent in its interests with the interests of the sponsoring colonial powers. [Al’Uwaisi, Mohammed Abdel Fattah. “Britain’s role in establishing of the Jewish state (1840-1948),” Social Affairs, 75 (Fall 2002), pp. 152]
It is obvious to the viewers eyes that such planned strategies are still in practice till this day, coupled with the phenomenon of Islamophobia which originally has complicated elements and complex dimensions, as well as overlapping links and profound effects. To deal with such plots and phenomenon requires concerted efforts in the Islamic world to come out with a comprehensive strategy to establish a positive relationship, not only with the rest of the world, but with the residents of the Islamic world too.
Certainly there is a dire need to know what Islam is all about, by its own people first, in order to pave the road to properly introduce it to the world. This requires massive honest efforts from Islamic governments to define the jewels of the religion and its true teachings and with what it relates, to apply those teachings in its proper applications, in the pursuit to overrun the state of hypocrisy, fluctuation and cognitive dissonance that prevails in Muslim communities.