Sunday, 16 April 2023 | 25 Ramadan, 1444AH
facebook cover for tackling islamobia
Islamophobia manifests in many different anti-Muslim activities. Scholars of Islamophobia have identified many types which includes structural, individual, and dialectic.
Interestingly, Islamophobia is not just about action, as we will see from the information below, it is also about inaction. It is not always blatant, sometimes it can be subtle, and equally effective in excluding the target people.
Let’s take a closer look at the period we are in, and how Islamophobia is playing a role. Many state governments in Nigeria, organizations and institutions, both public and private, find it necessary to celebrate and send best wishes to the Christians for Easter and other important Christian festivals, but have habitually ignored Muslim festivals.
During this period of both Easter and Ramadan, despite the fact that both are important occasions in the two major religions practiced by more than 90% Nigerians, so many governments at the state level, public offices and organizations have simply ignored the Muslim community, their Muslim workers, Muslim clients/customers and the general Muslim public, while sparing no efforts to share the joy of the Easter and send beautiful Easter messages.
Agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Air Force , e.t.c did not acknowledge the month of Ramadan but sent Easter greetings to the Christians. This is a form of Islamophobia as it shows a tilt towards one religion against the other.
Indirect discrimination is mostly about what is left unsaid more than what is said. Many Muslims work in these public institutions. Why do such institutions feel it is alright to separate a class of workers and treat them differently? More interestingly, there are surely many Muslim members of the leadership in these organizations that seem not to care about this practice, and are therefore part of the problem.
In the private sector, we have banks like Access, FCMB, GT, Heritage, etc., sending Easter greetings but conveniently forgetting to acknowledge Ramadan.
Structural Islamophobia is reflected in institutionalised anti-Muslim legislation and further perpetuated through dialectical Islamophobia via policing, bias in media representation and in the legal system, and the use of anti-Muslim rhetoric and statements by political candidates and elected or appointed officials.
Scholars have however confirmed that acts of Islamophobia are not limited to overt hate crimes such as verbal or physical assaults or property destruction. It’s functioning extends beyond this to more covert structural forms. Stereotyping, marginalisation, discrimination, and exclusion manifest in ways you may not even be aware of.
We are presenting a scorecard of some organizations that have done the right things and others that have clearly shown a bias. The first step towards addressing this problem by the affected organizations is to acknowledge it.
Islamophobia may be found in diverse settings throughout the society. By denying the existence of Islamophobia, we disregard many people’s lived experiences and the potential to address one of societal inequalities.
While these lists are not exhaustive, they provide a snapshot into the prevalence of Islamophobia in our society.
Oh! Allah, the Most-Merciful, make this Ramadan, a door to your mercy.
Support MPAC this Ramadan and get rewarded in manifolds from the Most Merciful.

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