What Causes Islamophobia?

The Third International Conference of Islamic Scholars met in Indonesia to examine issues pertaining to what are causes of Islamophobia and what can be done to deal with this problem. The conference called on ulemas and Moslem Scholars to emphasize the importance of cooperation in building peace and preventing conflicts that are partially caused by the media exaggerating the importance of Muslim militants. Dr. Ameer Ali, who teaches at Murdoch University in Australia, said after 9/11 his nation became obsessed with fear of Muslims. Australian religious leaders responded to the campaign of fear by organizing interfaith dialogues which cut across all religions. However, he believes a major factor in the rise of Islamophobia is “the deliberate demonization of Islam and Muslims in the western media.”

The scholars believe an important factor in reducing anti-Muslim feeling is engaging in dialogues with leaders of the media in order to offer the public a more balanced view of what is happening in the Muslim world. For example, few in the media even know of the existence of the Conference of Islamic Scholars and their work for peace.