The Billion Dollar Islamophobia Industry Must be Stopped

The Billion Dollar Islamophobia Industry Must be Stopped
The Billion Dollar Islamophobia Industry Must be Stopped

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” – The APPG on British Muslims

The Islamophobia Industry Report – Canada

The following information is based on a report titled: Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North lays out networks’ funding that is influencing Islamophobia.

Given that it has “become a multinational industry,” a Canadian study identified the networks that fund and influence Islamophobia.

The 127-page report concludes that the Islamophobia industry is worth $1.5 billion in the United States alone. According to four years of research, the market is coordinated by 39 US-based organizations.

“Islamophobia networks are transnational. They’re not just in Canada or the United States. A lot of funding for this industry comes from the US, and some studies show it’s a $1.5 billion market in total. Some of this support is promoting anti-Islamic propaganda”. – Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University

The report further explains that:

  • Transnational connections between individuals involved in spreading Islamophobia in Europe and elsewhere, “strengthen the power of these networks and help them to distribute their disinformation and misinformation significantly more widely”.
  • Media outlets play a significant role in the Islamophobia industry. Media outlets and Islamophobia influencers use social media platforms to professionalize and monetize their propaganda and bigotry.
  • Soft-power organizations wield power by promoting anti-Muslim campaigns in order to achieve specific political, ideological, and religious goals that fuel Islamophobic subcultures. They also use coercive tactics like bullying, harassment, and intimidation to silence those who disagree with them.
  • Additionally, there are “local informers,” who are Muslim dissidents and ex-Muslims who act as authoritative interlocutors, fabricating and accrediting conspiracies and narratives that are anti-Islamic. They provide anti-Islamic initiatives and political cover.
  • Think tanks and officially recognized security experts “create a cult of expertise” in order to promote Islamophobic conspiracy theories that portray Muslims as potentially dangerous extremists and national-security threats.

In her report, Jasmine Zine stresses that “the industry is a term that’s been used to represent the orchestrated organized nature of Islamophobia groups that have come together and are working in concert to orchestrate controversies to create propaganda to organize campaigns that promote Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism.

Islamophobia Awareness Month 2022

To raise public awareness of Islamophobia, a coalition of Muslim organizations launched the Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM) campaign in 2012. It aims to raise awareness of the evils of islamophobia in society by highlighting the positive contributions of British Muslims. The month-long campaign takes place every year in November.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the initiative, which is being commemorated with the hashtag #tacklingdenial. Denial of Islamophobia manifests itself in a variety of ways in both political and social contexts. Why is combating denial so important? Because how can we begin to have a rational discussion about it and then address it if you allow people to deny the existence of Islamophobia? Denial ends this conversation.

If you wish to support the campaign please go to the Islamic Awareness Month participation page.

What You and I Can Do to Combat Islamophobia

1- You can start with spreading awareness by supporting Islamic Awareness Month as a business, as an individual, or as a community.

2- Study your religion and get a firm grip on the basics. Most of the claims that Islamophobic individuals are expressing are very easily refuted. You should be able to intellectually defend your belief. The Islamophobe may not want to listen to reason or logic at first but may do later, or those around him or her may be triggered to research Islam from a neutral perspective. Learning about your religion after all is your duty as a Muslim in order to lead a proper Islamic life.

“Verily, Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah)” – Quran 13:11

3- We, Muslims, are an easy target because although our global population is 1.98 billion strong we are divided, racist against one another, and intolerant to those who have different jurisprudence standpoints than us. As long as we are not united, it does not matter much what we do. We can run campaigns that help ease the pain but they cannot cure the sickness that is Islamophobia.

“Soon the nations will be summoned to you just like one is invited to a feast.” It was said, “Will we be few on that day?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No, rather, you will be many in that day, but you will be scum like such flowing down a torrent. Allah will remove your esteem from the chests of your enemies and Allah will insert feebleness in your hearts.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this feebleness?” The Prophet said, “Love for the worldly life and hatred of death.” – Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4297

4 – Create lobby groups that advocate the needs and wants of the Muslim community to local governments and slowly move up to a national level.

5 – Strive to be an economical power by a) Muslim consumers supporting Muslim businesses and b) Muslim businesses spreading awareness of their brands to help Muslim consumers find more Muslim products and services.

6- You can promote an inclusive workspace by hiring a diverse staff and ensuring that all staff is treated equally.

7-  Businesses should try to incorporate  Muslims in their advertising campaigns without confirming biases and stereotypes.

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