Islamophobia is the aversion, hostility, and violence against Muslims. This prejudice involves exclusions, restrictions, discriminations, and any type of opinion or action that threatens the liberty and rights of these people. Very frequently, their religion is used as an excuse for prejudice, but the hostility comes from an animosity towards race, culture, and ethnicity.
According to a research made by Gallup, Muslims don’t feel respected by western countries. 48% of Muslim Americans stated that they experienced some type of racial or religious discrimination. On the other hand, 61% of Americans that state having a great deal of prejudice have none to little knowledge towards the religion.
With the research and history, we are able to see that the discrimination against this group rose after 9/11, an attack made but the Islamic extremist network called Al-Qaeda, and with the internet. At the same time the internet helped this growth, it also served as a way for members of this community to speak and disseminate knowledge, helping to reduce some of the prejudice.
As social media became the more efficient way to reach a large number of people, some Muslim influencers started to show their lives and educate people. Her Campus Cásper Líbero chose some of them, so you can learn more!
MARIAM CHAMI is a Brazilian Muslim who posts videos on her Instagram account talking about curiosities and information about Islam, and corrects wrong stereotypes. She also shows that her hijab, a scarf worn around the head to hide hair, ears, and neck, does not narrow her experiences or way of living. Apart from that, Mariam posts about her trips to Asian and Middle-Eastern countries, and a lot of videos of her cute son and husband.
ZEI CHAMI is Mariam’s sister. With a different approach, Zei is a beauty and life influencer. On her page, she gives tips about makeup, esthetical procedures and shows trips and some parts of her day. Even though she doesn’t explicitly talk about the issues against her beliefs, having someone wearing a hijab and showing it on a big platform such as Instagram is a great way to end misconceptions, don’t you think?
SHADIA SALAMAH (Shadia Muhammad Ali Al Salma)is another beauty influencer. She shows aspects about her culture and different ways on how to style a hijab. With very charismatic posts, Shadia shows how proud she is of her country, religion, and culture. Oh, and we can’t forget that she also shows her daily life as a college student.
HOW THE INTERNET CAN HELP TO END THE PREJUDICE
The Islamophobia industry has an extensive connection with media outlets, public figures, and politicians that perpetuates discrimination speeches. They do that throughout the internet and influence their followers to think the same. At the same pace, we have films and TV shows that contain certain representations. Sometimes it fails, but with the necessity of doing things right, a few shows made justice for Muslim representativeness, such as Ms. Marvel, Skam, and The Bold Type.
What all this information is trying to show is that the internet can – and must – help disseminate correct information about Islam and, as a consequence, reduce prejudice against a nation. Just as mentioned before, the internet gives space for participants to speak and fight misinformation, but we can’t forget that it is also a space to bring up important discussions. It’s not any news that Muslims have the right to live wherever they want and must be free to practice their traditions, but ever since 9/11 it got harder.
Maybe the easiest way to make a change is online. So, let’s not waste time!