Another act of Islamophobia

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SEEDS of hate cultivated in the West against Islam and its followers in the wake of 9/11 have now grown into a full fledged poisonous crop, posing threat to the lives and security of the western world itself.Acts of white extremism and Islamophobia have become quite frequent in the Occident. One saw its ugly manifestation yet again the other day in Norway when a white man tried to attack a mosque just prior to Eid prayers. There would have been enormous casualties had a 65-year retired personnel of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mohammad Rafiq, who has been living in Norway over the last few years, not timely overpowered the attacker and helped Police in arresting him. Norwegian police said the attacker appeared to have far-right and anti-immigrant views. Ahead of the attack, a message was posted on the EndChan forum making a reference to New Zealand mosque attack suspect Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people in Christchurch last March. In that attack also a family of Pakistani origin had come forward and rendered their lives to save the lives of many others from the white terrorist. Apart from such terror acts, hate against Muslims and Islamophobia exists in the western world in many other forms and manifestations. In recent years, everybody witnessed how the mosques were barred in some countries from prayer calls and then the scarf ban in France. The Christchurch and Norway mosque attacks have once again proved that Islam has nothing to do with violence and is the religion of peace, and its followers in fact are the saviours for those facing any danger or threat. It is time for the West to take the threat of white extremism and terrorism seriously and take the remedial measures to counter it. Since a great deal of Islamophobia is based on the notion that Muslims threaten the European way of life, values and culture, one way to challenge these ideas is to highlight the contribution being made by Muslims towards development of their societies. Then there is need to hold frequently inter faith dialogue in the West to portray the true teachings of Islam and counter the negative propaganda against its followers. Those already brain washed should be sent to rehabilitation centres for de-radicalization.

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