It seems that more frequently there are stories in the press regarding cases of Islamophobia and racism in the press.
So lets look first at this word Islamophobia.
The definition of a phobia in the Cambridge online dictionary as follows:
noun [ C ]
UK /ˈfəʊ.bi.ə/ US /ˈfoʊ.bi.ə/
So firstly the word itself is desperately incorrect. I don’t think there is anyone in Europe or America or the entire world who suffers ‘Islamophobia’ other than those who have been tortured, raped and abused by a muslim.
I don’t point this out to lessen a crime, I just want to put these instances into their correct context. In other words, if a person is harassing a woman with hijab, it is not out of irrational fear or dislike, it is out of a rational decision to express their dislike about something they see.
People with phobia’s will run away and hide, not run to and interact with that which they fear/dislike.
So a person who chooses to aggressively interact physically, verbally or emotionally with another person, psychologically it has its basis in powerlessness that was experienced as a child. The correct English term for this is ‘bullying’.
There is acknowledgement on some levels in the media that ‘Islamophobia’ is not the correct word to be used and it will then be substituted with the word ‘racism’. For example, today we have a story in the press regarding Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain, with the headline using the word ‘racist abuse’
However, ‘racism’ is also an incorrect word in the context of Islam. Islam is not a race, it is a religion, and a woman who is white and wearing an hijab is equally, if not more, subject to being targeted by people who feel the need to bully Islamic women be it in the middle east or the middle west.
So lets look at bullying and see how we can take ourselves from this post truth world and back into the real world
The Cambridge Online Dictionary defines a bully as follows:
noun [ C ]
UK /ˈbʊl.i/ US /ˈbʊl.i/
www.mentalhealthsupport.co.uk as the following to say:
In the simplest terms, bullying means one person, or group of persons, being deliberately cruel to another person or group, for any reason. Although childhood bullies are usually quite easy to spot, adult bullies can be sly, subtle, and difficult to expose. A life-long bully has had years of practice. Some have learned to be very cunning indeed. Some hide behind masks of authority, superior knowledge, money or other type of power. Some are good at finding plausible excuses to justify their cruelty. But all bullies have one thing in common: they want to hurt someone. Being the victim of a bully can be a devastating experience, and can affect every aspect of a person’s life long after the bully has moved on to another victim
They go on to say how one might spot a bully:
Frequently, bullying behaviour is obvious, even if the victim feels he or she can do nothing about it. Physical, verbal or sexual assaults are hard to mistake. But identifying someone as a bully is not always as easy as it sounds. The cruelty meted out by bullies can be subtle, insidious, and cloaked in the most plausible of disguises. If you know someone, perhaps even someone you love and respect, who usually leaves you feeling worse for having been in his or her company (even if you can’t put your finger on the exact reason), you may be the victim of bullying. It is well worth examining the situation closely to find out.
The truth is that a person who bullies another person is not racially motivated, or religiously, or morally motivated, but is motivated by a need to feel powerful and in control over someone else. A woman who is subjected to bullying because she is wearing a hijab, could equally have been a fat woman, or a woman with a hygiene problem, the principle point being that she is weaker than her attacker.
The bully is looking to lash out at someone and they pick the easiest target, which is usually an elderly person, woman or a child and there is even further justification in the bully’s head if they feel that there is going to be an element of agreement from the audience – this aspect of the bully attention seeking can see a bully target particular groups as the focus of his attacks.
Bullies will always exist in society, they often have a history of psychological and/or physical bulling. If there isn’t a black woman to bully, there is a homosexual man, or there is an old woman in a sari – they will always find someone.
When is bullying a hate crime?
www.citizensadvice.org.uk defines hate crime as follows:
Hate incidents and hate crime are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.
For example, you may have been verbally abused by someone in the street because you’re disabled or someone thought you were gay.
Hate crime is effectively bullying but with an emotionally loaded name. A bully can be violent or verbally abusive, but a bully can also include passive aggressive methods as well as using humour to insult or demean the victim.
At this point it is worth saying that what we are talking about here is that one person or a group of persons are actively engaging with another person in a violent/verbal/emotional way with the principle intent of hurting the victim either physically and/or emotionally in some way in order to satisfy a need to feel powerful.
This is a bully and a bully is always going to find an object for his/her attention – either randomly, but more often specifically towards a group be it racial, physical, sexual, or religious.
The difference between bullying and prejudice?
99% of people are not bullies. However, that doesn’t not mean to say that 99% of people have not been bullied, it is just that they are able to make that controlled choice through self awareness not express themselves in that way. They will still have their pet hates or dislikes and may voice them with out actually directing their dislike towards the object that they dislike. We would call this prejudice and often involves ignorance or lack of empathy at its basis and this may be as a result of limited experience or no experience at all. Again, like bullying, the object of dislike can be random and may well be influenced by what is felt to gain support from an audience.
The definition of prejudice in the Cambridge Online Dictionary:
noun [ C or U ]
UK /ˈpredʒ.ə.dɪs/ US /ˈpredʒ.ə.dɪs/
Bringing this understanding into the real world:
Returning to the previously mentioned incident regarding Nadiya Hussain, where by a man on a train vocally announced that the did not want to sit next to a muslim woman. This man clearly had an intent to hurt her and used words to do so. He was bullying her.
Is this racial? it may be that the colour of her skin motivated him however, her hijab was his focus, so this was religious and may be the result of the attention that Islam is getting. Was it sexual? quite possibly, as it was a woman (rather than an old person or child). We don’t know the story of his life and it may be that he was going through a divorce and did not view women favourably, or just that he views women as weak.
Yes it can be considered a hate crime, but that would be up to the person defining that action. Hate crime is another way of saying bullying, but using emotive words to trigger stress, fear and divisiveness. When people become emotionally activated, they become more unstable and it increases the probability of more that is emotionally activating them. Hate crime is therefore a manipulative word with emotionally negative impact intended and therefore when used is an act of bullying.
In the real world, it would be better to call it as it is – bullying – and to deal with it at that level. Behaviour censorship is best dealt with and most effective when emotive factors are removed. Equally, it would then be easier to identify when it is occurring as well.<
Muslim commentators are often brought on to the TV or quoted in newspapers, being equally bully with their words. Their objective is to hurt white people with their words. They are often smiling, and enjoy calling people racist, xenophobic etc. because white people feel hurt by it. I call these people social jihadists because their intent is to use liberal Christian values subversively to ultimately silence them into submission and acceptance with the ultimate goal of bringing Sharia Law.
At the end of the day however, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you are doing, or what you believe, 95% of people are going to be easy going about the people around them, they would rather get along than to fight, and where prejudice exists, most are happy to keep it behind closed doors and make dropping prejudice through spiritual endeavour.
Sadly the 5% are extremist, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Socialist, Conservative, Liberalist, Capitalist etc. These are the people who currently have us by the throats manipulating us with post truths and emotions to bring chaos to the Western world in the hope that they come out the victorious ones. They own our governments, our media, and through progressive liberalism, our lives, and it will take a collective effort of all moderates to ultimately oust them and take back control over how we choose to live our lives.