“There is more, much more to America than its imprudent foreign policy in the Muslim world.” In an recent article on Huffington Post by Dr. Muqtedar Khan, the Associate Professor at the University of Delaware and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Islamophobia is brought into contemporary scholarly criticism. Current discussions on the West’s relationship with Islam is described through what Khan calls “historical Islamophobia” in that our relations with “the other” is solely because of our perpetual bitterness towards Islam. However, Khan would say that this is not necessarily the case and argues that current politics add fuel to the fire of Islamophobia. For example, the recent Benghazi attack on the American Embassy was associated with violent crime under the name of Islamic terrorism. This term is used more widely than any other term to describe any other groups that have committed extreme actions.
Nevertheless, there are some major developments and connections being made between those advocates of Western-Muslim relations, groups such as AUA! Most groups fostering discourse among anti-Islamophobists are surprisingly in the West, where Muslim communities are growing and being influenced every day by Western traits and vice versa. Dialogue is more important now especially in a post 9/11 world. Because as globalization and human rights infiltrate most parts of the globe, the West should realize that they hold the responsibility of influencing many communities, therefore the easy and superficial answer of generalizing Islam is as lethal as another world war.
As Marie Curie would advise, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” AUA Director Benjamin Orbach will be visiting the University of Delaware today to foster this understanding between Americans and the Muslim World.