The paper "Muslims in the West" is an outstanding example of a research paper on religion and theology.
The Muslim community is flourishing day by day. In the 21st century, the situation is just like one out of five human beings is a Muslim and probably it would be a quarter of the human race during the course of this century. Now they have flourished so much in the western world that they have become a strong globalizing force. Since they have extended their reach in the western part of the world there are as many as thousands of mosques and many Islamic centers, which have established in the United States alone. The country has separate associations for Muslim communities including scientists, engineers, and educators. The Muslim population in America itself is quite impressive, which is around 6 million and their number is increasing at a fast rate. But after the 9/11 attack and particularly after the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005 consecutively the Muslim presence has become a major political concern. This paper explores the political, religious and legal situations of the Muslims in the west.
The challenges faced by Muslims in Western society today
In the United States, Muslim immigrants are living like a migratory bird. According to Clifford (1994), this is not only a separation from their ancestral homeland but this is more of an exile. Muslim immigrants in this country are mainly border-crossers. They are living in a threshold space but still, they don’t find their home in this country. They came into this country by carrying their country’s legacy often regarded as a troubled relationship with the United States and the European nations1.
After the attack of the World Trade Center, the U.S. government imposed the immigration policy and national security measures. Various policies have been implemented by the U.S government. According to it the duration between arrest and clearance was 80 days. Surveillance of the Muslim community is ongoing on the bank accounts, the place of employment, in the mosques and also on the library records. A special registration has been applied to men. According to it the person belonging from the Muslim countries and whose age group is from 16 to 45 would reside theirs on temporary visas. They have to report to the INS offices for multiphase registration which includes photographing, fingerprinting and hardcore questioning. Due to the imposition of these policies the relationship of this community with the U.S government got devastated. Along with this they also face social discrimination with physical harassment. They have been attacked even in the mosques and in their homes. In the last few years, they also faced huge economic discrimination. Even in the workplace some of the Muslims have been addressed by a terrorist. During the recession, time was at its peak2.
Decade after 9/11
There have been a lot of changes in the life of the Muslim communities in Europe and America after the attacks. The American Muslims faced a terrible attack from their fellow citizens. Four days later after the attack, a gas station owner named Balbir Singh Sodhi who was not a Muslim was murdered as a first retaliation of the attack. It has been perceived by many American Muslims after 9/11, that they were being attacked by the government. They started to realize that they were not getting the basic human rights like the other Americans, though they considered themselves as Americans the government was not considering themselves as the Americans. In North America, there has been a shift of Islam phobia which means that it is a move from fear to hatred for Islam and Muslims3. Train bombings at Madrid in the year 2004, the assassination of a film-maker at that particular year, and the bombings at London transportation in the next year revealed an intense anti-western sentiment among many Americans that to large extent Muslim communities are involved with this matter and encouraging this particular thing. 9/11 has become a geopolitical and cultural moment in Europe and the United States. It has far-reaching effects on the Muslims students also. After this attack, these college students also faced huge discrimination from society.
The Muslim community in America faces a difficult challenge from social and economic discrimination. They faced a hard and complex challenge which is hard to combat and these things mainly came from the stereotype Americans. But the Islamic organizations are trying hard to combat the issues by reaching out of their community while spreading the true knowledge of Islam. They are trying to reach out at the mainstream society so that they can combat against the hatred and fear which they are facing at the moment. There are some clear methods, which can actually alleviate some misunderstandings and hatred of the Muslim community. The Islamic organizations can arrange an education forum where apart from their community the outsiders can also visit and through these meetings and conventions they can make a healthy relationship with the outside community. It may not completely fix the solution but by spreading some basic tenets and knowledge of Islam, social and economic discrimination, as well as physical abuses, could be alleviated to some extent4.
1. Anwar, Muhammad, Muslims in Western States: The British Experience and the Way Forward, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, (2008) 28.1, pp. 131-134
2. Abushouk, Al, Globalization and Muslim Identity Challenges and Prospects, The Muslim World, (2006) 96, pp. 501-502
3. Tindongan, Cynthia White. Negotiating Muslim Youth Identity in a Post-9/11 World, High School Journal, (2011) 95.1, pp. 72-75
4. Husain, Amir, In the Decade after 9/11, Political Theology, (2011) 12, Issue.5, pp. 696-698