Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for...


An unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners,or anything perceived as foreign or different. 

Racism and discrimination against people of another religion and culture are all forms of xenophobia. 

Xenophobia is something that Muslims in the West have to deal with a lot. Even western muslims may have to deal with it in majority muslim countries.

 Many converts experience it in different levels of our lives.
Some experience it within themselves. How terrifying would it feel to be afraid of anything different than yourself or your set group of people? It influences some new muslims to only accept those things that do not make them seem different from their group, such as rejecting hijab. They are afraid of feeling foreign.

 Some experience it from their families. Many of our families do not know how to adapt or react to the changes we make in our lives that make us so different from them. They are afraid of it because they can't identify with it. They look at their family member and suddenly see something completely foreign to their experience.

 Many experience it from their communities. Communities tend to develop a group identity and those that don't fit in are excluded, feared, or rejected. Fear of the unknown is common to all humanity, and foreign/different people have shown themselves to be an unknown quantity.

 Even muslims exhibit characteristics of xenophobia. Many communities fear the corruption of their religion and culture so intensely that they actively discriminate against people who are different, even if those different people do not pose a threat to them.

 Xenophobia is a destructive to the community as it excludes minority people, creating a group of of people who feel no allegiance to the community and no sense of responsibility to them. This is something that Islam totally teaches against and encourages marriage between muslims of different races and cultures in order to create a community whose identity is belief in God, not in culture or color or geographic location. Muslims are even taught to accept the disbelief of others and that this life is not where their judgement will be found. We are taught to say "to you your religion, and to me mine."

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