Islamophobia has been increasing in the United Kingdom in the last decade. The potential for violence and bigotry against Muslims in Britain has been quite worrying.
It should be the mission of all Muslims and Islamic activists to stop Islamophobia in all aspects of British life. This article attempts to list some of the goals that the fight against Islamophobia attempts to achieve.
The first and foremost aim of fighting against Islamophobia is attempting to integrate Muslims into all walks of life. For Muslims to be able to take part confidently in the political process or Britain as well as being able to contribute without fear to the cultural and economic development of the United Kingdom. It is also important for Muslims to feel accepted by society and for them to be able to participate without fear of violence as equal members of society. It is also important for British Muslims to feel that their voices are heard when it comes to decisions affecting the whole community. It is also important to make sure that the accomplishments of British Muslims are recognized and made known among the population. For this it is important to eliminate the recent stigma that has become associated with Islam and its followers.
A main path to stop Islamophobia is to make sure that Islamophobic speech is no longer acceptable in the public eye. If this is especially true for the public at large, it should especially not be tolerated when people in a position of authority engage in Islamophobic speech and thoughtlessly make Islamophobic statements. Due to their influence and position of authority, this should be especially condemned. In fact, it should not be enough to reprimand. A great step forward would be for legal restrictions to be put in place against discrimination based on religion when it comes to hiring employees or providing services for the public. Violent offenses that have a component of religious hate should also have additional legal punishments and sanctions.
It is also important to take steps to ensuring that Muslim youth is adequately protected from Islamophobia. An important step in this direction would be to establish Muslims schools and education among existing public schools. Schools should also take steps to ensure that the needs of their Muslim students are well taken care of, such as those pertaining to religious practices and dietary restrictions. Young Muslims in Britain should be encourages and supported to embrace their religious identity and to partake freely in their traditional culture. To express one's beliefs in Islam publicly, through speech or through the wearing of the veil, should not be stigmatized or become a motive for critique.
A final goal of anti-Islamophobia activists in the United Kingdom should be to raise the standard of living and conditions of Muslim immigrants. To give these people better access to state facilities and services should be a priority. It is sad that today, for a number of reasons, many Muslims live as outcasts in a society that is as much theirs as any other person's.
-- Al Arabiya Digital