Islamophobia: Western prejudices against Muslims | By Prof Dr Muhammad Khan


Islamophobia: Western prejudices against Muslims

IN a surprise move, the European Parliament has passed a resolution on April 30, 2021, calling for the review of the GSP+ status of Pakistan.

Pakistan was granted Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status in December 2013.

The resolution for the grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan was passed with an impressive count of 406 votes against 186 votes and was extended up to 2022.

All GSP Plus status aimed to grant duty free access to Pakistani products to European markets.

Since then, this special provision allowed Pakistani products an equal access; 20% Pakistani exports entered EU market at zero tariff and 70% at preferential rates.

The review resolution will greatly affect the Pakistani exports and resultant Pakistani economy, which otherwise is in poor shape.

The European Parliament has taken excuse of recent protests of Tehreek-i-Labiak Pakistan (TLP) which condemned the French Government backed blasphemous sketches of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and demanded review of Pakistan’s relations with France.

Besides, the EU Parliament resolution also demanded Islamabad to explicitly condemn incitement to violence and discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan.

This is totally ridiculous, since there have been nothing against minorities in Pakistan and all religious minorities in Pakistan are enjoying equal status as of the Muslims and they have never been victimized.

This is totally a discriminatory, immature and prejudiced resolution, asking Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) “to immediately review Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ status”.

What about the discriminatory acts (burning of Holy Quran and maltreatment of Muslims) in some of the European states, overtly targeting the Muslims and Islam? French President Emmanuel Macron has been directly part of anti-Muslim laws and acts of blasphemy.

France is the first EU state which has passed laws, targeting French Muslim community and Islamism in the garb of so-called liberalism.

The EU Parliament resolution against Pakistan and anti-Muslim and anti-Islam actions are in conflict with its own laid down aims and objectives.

The larger EU aims at; promoting peace, combat social exclusion and discriminations, But, Muslims of Europe are being discriminated violence against them is stimulated by some governments.

The core values of EU states are; inclusion, tolerance, justice, equality, freedom, non-discrimination, human dignity and human rights.

Why Muslims Europe are being deprived of these core values in the contemporary Europe.

The people of civilized European society must be well aware that, Muslims love their religion (Islam) and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) with utmost respect, thus cannot tolerate any dishonour and disregard.

In one of the Hadith of Sahih Al Bukhari, Hazarat Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” For the Muslims, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is most loved among human beings.

Indeed, the love of Holy Prophet (SAW) is part of the Muslim’s belief system and embedded in their blood and genes.

Besides, love with him, it is essential part of their (Muslims) believes that, Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the Last Prophet of Allah.

Allah Almighty says in ‘The Holy Quran’ “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things”.

For the Muslims, there is no compromise over the love with their Prophet (PBUH) and believe on Finality of Prophethood (Khatm-i-Nubuwwat).

Finality of Prophethood means that Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is the Last of the Prophets.

Allah started the chain of Prophethood from Hazrat Adam Alaih-i-Salam and it ended with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Indeed, all believers of the Divine religions should be very much aware of this reality, as it is written in their Divine Books, thus should have been part of their beliefs.

In fact, had they been the true believers of their own Divine religions, they should have been the leading Muslims themselves rather the critics of this Final Message of Allah Almighty in the form of Islam (Holy Quran).

Unfortunately, they are misled since the Divine their Books are not available in their original forms and format, thus they developed prejudices against Islam and Muslims.

These discriminatory acts are part of wider campaign against Muslims and Islam known as Islamophobia.

Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan emphasized the West to “penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslims” and disrespect the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Imran Khan has also urged the ambassadors of over 30 states of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to come forward and passionately counter the Islamophobia and misconceived idea of equating of Islam with radicalism and terrorism.

As per Foreign Office, “Pakistan has played an active role in promoting freedom of religion or belief, tolerance and inter-faith harmony.

At a time of rising Islamophobia and populism, the international community must exhibit a common resolve to fight xenophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence based on religion or belief and work together to strengthen peaceful coexistence.”

Indeed, Islamophobia and mushroom growth of hatred against Islam and Muslims in Europe and American would go against the traditional bondage of their multi-religious, multi-cultural and all-encompassing social fabric.

It should be remembered that, Islamophobia of today may take the shape of Christianphobia of tomorrow.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.