The way the governments in Europe reacted to Christchurch terrorism taking 50 Muslim lives and counting has done a fatal blow to hate mongers and Islamophobia. Of late, it had become a thriving an industry in Europe and the US.
That said, it would be a misreading of the situation if we think that outreach of this industry is limited to western lands. No, it is not. If Islamophobia is like a ticket for popularity in the west, popularity worshipers have set up shops selling hate against Europe in our midst, masquerading as anti-Islamophobic religio-politicians, university professors and media analysts.
Due attention has been dedicated to Islamophobes but those who have adopted their method here in cities like Islamabad have not been challenged. They have been feeding the society at large the rhetoric of anti-Islamophobia in such a way that incites anti-Europe sentiments. If we call them local surrogates of western Islamophobes, it will make our argument more comprehensible.
Both these groups rely heavily on media and move the society through hyperbole. Dr Azizur Rehman, chairman of the Department of Sharia and Law, International Islamic University (IIUI), explains that a glance at popular Australian media is enough to find that it has been endorsing white supremacy.
Dr Rehman is a law graduate from a leading university of Australia and his students have assumed key positions in our judiciary. The Christchurch terrorist is a known Australian white supremacist and Islamophobe.
Dr Rehman thinks that Australia has a history of harbouring white supremacy and shoving off immigrants. Rupert Murdock has set up an empire of media to back right-leaning ideology, he said. It leads to an environment that is conducive for violent extremism.
Looking at another perspective, Dr Zaman, founder of Department of Sociology, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), says it is strange that a foreigner, especially a white European, comes to Pakistan and does not change his mind.
Dr Zaman has graduated from Germany and is a frequent traveler to European capitals where he is leading or participating in different international research projects. “They say terrorist Brenton Tarrant came to Pakistan last year and met people. I believe he had a very biased approach. Had he come here with open mind, he must have changed his viewpoint,” he said.
Pakistanis are very hospitable compared to Europeans, he said. “Every time any of my research partner or teacher came here from Europe, one thing he or she mentioned to me is our hospitability. It may be a different experience for non-Europeans or people of colour, but we are extra-ordinarily friendly to white Europeans,” he said.
Even those who have long been spewing hatred against Europe in the garb of anti-Islamophobia do not miss an opportunity to visit Europe where they attend conferences, trainings and different paid sessions. Nobody knows what harm these visits have done to them.
Another strange observation is that European and American bodies fund them in collecting anti-Muslim items from global media, which they later spread in printed and digital forms with an addition of their hateful views.
Now that PM Jacinda Ardern’s message of humanity beyond religions and colours has led to discrediting Islamophobia in Europe in a big way, we in Pakistan also need to rubbish our anti-Islamophobic hate merchants.