When you think of Islamophobia what comes to mind? Go ahead take a minute to think. Are those thoughts positive or negative?
One researcher is challenging the way our society thinks about the religion of Muslims.
Researcher Dr. Todd Green, associate professor of religion at Luther College and a former U.S. State Department Advisor is challenging the way students and politicians think with his study, “Islamophobia.”
Islamophobia is often used to describe discrimination against the Muslim religion.
Dr. Green is the author of renown study The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West where he targets the main causes and issues associated with the discrimination of Muslims.
With one word, Dr. Greene holds up a mirror to the subconscious stigmas our society forms toward the nation of Islam.
Most people subconsciously formulate these ideas by the numerous portrayals through political parties, news television, and even social media outlets.
“The truth is in many western nations we have very little knowledge of Islamic text, Islamic traditions, Islamic history, and most importantly we have very little knowledge of how Muslims interpret their own text traditions,” said Dr. Greene. “We have way too many people trying to speak about Islam in the media. We don’t have enough opportunity where Muslims are teachers and they are helping us understand their own traditions.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera English, Dr. Green believes these portrayals keep society mentally handicapped.
According to Dr. Green, our society must change their way of looking at the Muslim faith.
The numerous portrayals in the media will continue to spread this false belief until people actively seek a change with how they perceive Muslims.
“Until Muslims are our friends, our colleagues, and our neighbors and we see them as such. I think these prejudices will continue. We must speak out by using government platforms, and media platforms to speak out and call attention to this particular form of prejudice.”
To end the ongoing stereotypical view people, have against Muslims Dr. Green said,“ people must address that it is happening, they must educate themselves, and they have to build social coalitions to break down these stereotypes. Only then, will we begin to see the social break down what divides us change.”