9 December, 2015

What is our problem?

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Category: Human Rights, Islamophobia, Refugees
Community Manager
12 pm

EuropeMigrantsEssentialSmartphoneWritten by Tatiana Chebac, Republic of Moldova

Ahmed Mohamed, a muslim teenager in Texas, was arrested because his teachers thought the homemade clock he brought to school looked like a bomb. This 9th grade child faced humiliation simply because he  has brown skin and his name is Mohamed. When rather, the truth is that Ahmed Mohamed is just a young robotics fan who enjoys making devices and wanted to bring his latest  invention to school to show it to his teachers.

The breaking news about Ahmed Mohamed spread all over the world because it was an innocent child who became victim of the continuous and recurrent islamophobic bias against Muslims. Islamophobia doesn’t spare anyone, not even children. Unfortunately, for most of the Muslims that live in Western countries, islamophobia has become a sort of chronic pain they need to learn how to live with.

The stereotypes against Muslims gained ground under the conditions of the “war on terror”, the global economic crisis and the current refugee crisis that challenges states to manage religious and cultural diversity. The anti-Muslim rhetoric often associates Muslims with terrorism and extremism, or portrays the presence of Muslim communities as a threat to national identity and democracy. Islamophobia, as defined by the Swedish historian Matiass Gardell is “socially reproducing prejudices and aversion to Islam and Muslims, as well as actions and practices that attack, exclude or discriminate against persons on the basis that they are perceived to be Muslim and be associated with Islam”.

The awful case of Ahmed Mohamed fits the dramatic reality of the refugee crisis that takes place in the world currently. This crisis shows that hate speech and islamophobia has no limits, not even when it is concerning refugees, who are forced to leave their home and countries devastated by war.

In Moldovan society war refugees are portrayed as “invaders” that are coming to spread  islamization over society and to use our social system. These beliefs are completely irrational, statistics show that even if European countries will accept and integrate all 4 millions of refugees, the total number of Muslims in Europe will increase from 4% to 5%; in addition, the majority of refugees are educated, and are potentially professional workers and once they gain a work permit they could start to integrate into society and bring benefits to the social system of the country of asylum. Unfortunately I witness on a daily basis islamophobic, hate speech around me that refer to refugees. The fear of refugees coming to Moldova is ungrounded, according to the Bureau for Migration and Asylum of the Republic of Moldova, for the 1st of September 2015 in Moldova there were 141 refugees  registered  (76 from Syria, 15 from Afganistan, 8 from Irak,6 from Uzbekistan). This statistics show us that refugees are not as interested in our country as it is made out. However, even if Moldova does take in a large number of refugees, there is no logical or justified reason for islamophobic and racists attitudes within  society.

We can notice a deep lack of humanity in our society. Racism and other biases have the supreme power over rationality, no matter of the human tragedy outside of our comfort zone. Hillary Clinton said: “Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe—they hold us back.”, giving refugees the chance to start a normal life outside of their terrible reality, in the conditions of peace and humanity would be our greatest treasure, but we are not there yet.


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