The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

“Browning of Europe” author visits City College to discuss history of Islamophobia

Rashad Baadqir in the Cultural Awareness Center talking about peoples perceptions of Islam Feb. 17, 2016, Christopher Williams, Staff Photographer. | chriswexpress@gmail.com
Rashad Baadqir in the Cultural Awareness Center talking about people’s perceptions of Islam Feb. 17, 2016, Christopher Williams, Staff Photographer. | [email protected]
Rashad Baadqir in the Cultural Awareness Center talking about people's perceptions of Islam Feb. 17, 2016, Christopher Williams, Staff Photographer. | chriswexpress@gmail.com
Rashad Baadqir in the Cultural Awareness Center talking about people’s perceptions of Islam Feb. 17, 2016, Christopher Williams, Staff Photographer. | [email protected]

Rashad Baadqir, author of “The Browning of Europe”, talked about Islamophobia and its grip on the world Feb. 16 at City College.

As opposed to being a psychological or individualistic phobia, Islamophobia connotes a social anxiety about Muslims or Islam, Baadqir said. In essence, it is a racial fear of Muslims. The only problem is a race cannot be compared to a religion. Anyone can practice whatever religion he or she wants, regardless of skin color or look.

“Prior to 9/11, most non-Muslims knew of Islam only here and there, but it really put the spotlight on Muslims and Islam after 9/11,” said Baadqir.

Phobia, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something.” The list of phobias is growing by the day in the world. One of the biggest phobias to appear in the last 15 years is Islamophobia. While its inclusion on the list of phobias may be suspect, Baadqir said it is growing faster than ever.

Baadqir associated the fear to a “clash of civilizations.” He said it’s the “Western, non-Muslim countries such as Europe and North America versus [the] Muslim world consisting of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia,’ and that “the heart of it, politically, is global racism and white supremacy. The root of which drives and controls the world order.”

Rashad Baadqir in the Cultural Awareness Center talking about people's perceptions of Islam Feb. 17, 2016, Christopher Williams, Staff Photographer. | chriswexpress@gmail.com
Rashad Baadqir in the Cultural Awareness Center talking about people’s perceptions of Islam Feb. 17, 2016, Christopher Williams, Staff Photographer. | [email protected]

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“We see these waves of refugees coming and now witnessing how radical extremist groups, nationalistic groups, such a PEGIDA [Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West] in Germany and the far-right movement in France led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, are continuing to spew again the global racist white supremacist ideology which is controlling the world today. This is the root to which you have institutional racism which is in effect,” said Baadqir.

The lower classes in many European countries are struggling with the vast influx of refugees coming over from the conflicts in the Middle East. There is now a battle between the lower class that already exists in these countries, who have already been battling for social change versus the new refugees. Instead of being welcomed in, they are battling for position on the socioeconomic ladder, explained Baadqir.

“Instead of joining in solidarity, they are becoming rivals,” said Baadqir. “Back in the day, groups got together, even though they had different ideologies and agendas, for the movement’s sake they aligned and built coalitions. However, in this current political climate we are in now, we are seeing a lot more polarization. People who don’t normally consider themselves racist, because of the perceived cultural threat, they have to preserve their national and cultural identity. So as a result, it’s creating hostility.”

Baadqir explains that because of these events in Europe, the notion of Islamophobia has increased greatly here in America, from California to New York, in the last three or four years.

“As a matter of fact, the Bible actually references more violence than the Quran does,” said Baadqir. “It’s all a matter of your interpretation. It’s a very small, select few that are creating hostility for a vastly peaceful, religious group.”

For more information on Islamophobia and its history, visit http://www.runnymedetrust.org/publications/17/32.html.

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