When confronted by the prejudice and discrimination faced both online and offline by Muslims, it often seems like an insurmountable barrier. Whether you are a Muslim or not, there is actually a lot you can do to overcome biases and every day Islamophobia. It is also important to realise that every person has a responsibility to challenge hatred they see and once you’ve looked within (see previous blog post) you must look outwards and know you’ve made a significant difference just by being a caring person. Here’s a few tips to get you started.
Whenever you see Islamophobic sentiment being echoed, speak up! Whether it’s a conversation on the train or a misrepresentation on TV, know that you have power as an individual to let your voice be heard. You’d be surprised by how many people will agree with you. Not only that but you’re telling people they are being discriminatory or prejudiced when they might not even realise they’re doing it. If they do realise it and you put a stop to it, maybe they’ll think twice about what they say the next time around.
2. Talk about it!
Get your friends and family together or anyone you know who fears Muslims or Islam in general and have a chat! Don’t be afraid to approach them, a frank discussion helps a lot! Take this further by talking to your Muslim friends or making new ones! It’s always better to get your uncertainties out in the open. Don’t be derogatory or intimidating, remember that not all Muslims are visibly Muslim.
3. Post about it!
Social media is such an important tool for creating social change these days. Even if you get disagreements, seeing your post forces people to think about the issue and helps shape your online interests and personality.
Hopefully you can put these tips into practice and understand that there’s a lot you can do! Stereotyping and discrimination only occurs because it is allowed to happen. You may not think that you can change entire attitudes but you’ll be another voice to the community against Islamophobia and together, you’ll be loud. One word can make all the difference. Extinguish the hate!