Anti-Muslim discourse has plagued the European horizon, but never has it taken on so many dimensions.
Islamophobia remains a hot topic across the West and minority communities are feeling the pinch of the prejudice in their daily lives more than ever before.
To these minorities, their marginalisation is the result of misconceptions about Muslims and Islam.
Is Islamophobia the cause or the result of terrorism? There is no clear answer to that question. But if one thing is for sure, it is that xenophobia has become widespread and has increasingly more complex ramifications on the lives of Muslims living in the West.
This has implications for Western human rights standards, as well. Islamophobia can be defined as the unjustified fear of all things Muslim based on preconceived notions that define it as a religion of violence.
While many think this form of racism bears an inextricable correlation with modern-day terrorism, many Western thinkers say anti-Islam sentiment goes back more than a century, way before the media started creating and perpetuating stereotypes, especially after the September 11 attacks.
The advent of the colonial mindset
The term “Islamophobia” was first coined during the French colonisation of several Muslim countries at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the year 1910 when French thinker Alain Quellien published a book entitled “Muslim politics in French west Africa”.
In it, the writer says Islamophobia is based on preconceived prejudice that is specific to the Christian world.