So as the final week of this campaign comes to a close, I’d like to say that my journey through this campaign has taught me a lot. Though initially I was interested, it was only after talking to people and following the social streams for these conversations about Islamophobia that I realised how important and prevalent this issue is. I cannot stress enough how deeply entrenched Islamophobia has become around the world. With continuing burqa bans (most recently, Austria) and media misrepresentation, trudging through comment sections has become exhausting. The hate comes disguised in many other issues such as national security, feminism and even the housing crisis.
Whether you choose to believe in God or not, whether that is the one God or many, your religious freedoms should remain your own. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the idea of freedom as practiced in the West is to allow everyone to make their own choices even if you completely disagree with them. I’m not saying to stand by and watch oppression or actual terrorism but just because somebody decides to follow a certain religion or dress a certain way does in no way mean that anyone has the right to take that away from them. Restricting individual freedoms by telling Muslim women what they can and can’t wear is exactly the opposite of what we stand for.
However, there is good out there. Throughout the course of this campaign, many stories and individuals have touched me and helped me understand that there are so many people unable to see another human being being treated differently simply because of their belief system. Though Islamophobic incidents have been so common, under-reported and lacked intervention, I think there’s a real chance for us to change these statistics. So many organisations are already supporting the cause. Here’s some you should definitely check out.
- The Islamophobia Register
- Aussies supporting Muslims
- The Diversity Council of Australia
- Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia
- Just Media Advocacy
There’s always something you can do and reporting an Islamophobic incident as a witness is only one extremity you may have to do. However, it’s important to recognise your role as an individual and realise that there are so many daily instances where you see or unconsciously find Islamophobia. The first step is recognising you have the responsibility to combat it. It is definitely worth checking out our previous blog posts here, here and definitely here!!