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Islamophobia and Its Impacts on British Muslims After 7/7 Report

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Updated: Jul 16th, 2022

Aims and Objectives

The study investigates the perceived emotional consequences of Islamophobia among British Muslims. It also aims to provide the Muslim community in Britain an exclusive occasion to describe an individualized prejudice experience. The objective is to complete an in-depth empirical assessment through semi-structured interviews to document British Muslims’ voices about Islamophobia. Another objective is to understand what Islamophobia comprises and how it functions in the societal context and theoretical propositions about approaches to preclude and eradicate Islamophobia. From these objectives, the study will seek to answer the following objectives:

  1. How is Islamophobia experienced by British Muslims?
  2. How does Islamophobia operate, and what are its impacts?
  3. Which efforts and strategies can be deployed to avert and eradicate Islamophobia in Britain?

Introduction

In increasingly diverse societies, minority Muslims tend to face various forms of discrimination following increased migration and a sense of religious belonging. In Britain, the situation is not different, with reports on Islamophobic motives becoming severe. Islamophobia remains a multifaceted occurrence that entails many expressions and features. In this research, Islamophobia refers to the hatred of, prejudice against, or fear of Muslims or the Islamic region when seen as the root of violent extremism (Dadabhoy, 2018). From this description, Islamophobia is noticed within the political sphere.

In Britain, the events of 9/11 and later that of 7/7 prompted the surge in Islamophobic ideas. The 7/7 terror attack in London on 7 July 2005 resulted in the death of 52 people and about 700 injuries. Before and after these two separate deadly terror attacks, the perception of Muslims has been that of prejudice and discrimination in many ways. Even before these two incidences, Muslim discrimination had been reported in several parts of Britain. For instance, the ‘race riots,’ which erupted following racial skirmishes in Northern England where some Muslims clashed with White British residents, are evident of runaway Islamophobia in British communities (Powell, 2018). The events post the 7/7 attack acted as a catalyst for previous fears, leading to the enhanced and rejuvenated hatred of and prejudice against the Muslim community in Britain. Irrespective of government undertakings to curb discrimination, Islamophobia is still on the rise, and concerted efforts and strategies need to be deployed to lower these retrogressive acts in society.

Literature Review

The Fundamental Values of Islam

It is essential to highlight the fundamental ideologies of Islam to further offer the precise background to the experiences and narratives arising from Islamophobic attacks. Muslims believe in Allah, and Prophet Muhammad, and uses Quran to guide their day-to-day lives(Ali, 2017). The Islamic religion is also based on five pillars that support the faith and includes Salat, Shahadah, Zakat, Hajj, and Sawm. Muslims believe in resurrection after death where Allah will judge people and send them to paradise or hellfire based on an individual’s good deeds or sins (Ali, 2017).

Early Manifestations and Historical Causes of Islamophobia

Cultural differences and historical contexts add to how Islamophobic accounts have continuously ensued in the United Kingdom. Various scholars have probed the impacts of historical causes on modern-day Islamophobia. The “othering” of Muslim communities is not a new phenomenon, but rather a normalized act due to the looming threat of terror attacks from groups adhering to Islam (Ali, 2017, p. 8). Other scholars also posit that the pervasiveness of anti-Islam is a new notion that operates separately from historical ideologies (Ali, 2017). However, this perspective is rejected since different researchers keen on Islamophobia settle on the historical manifestation of this situation in comprehending today’s anti-Muslim narratives.

Centuries of interaction between Western Christianity and Islam, encompassing the endemic growth and increased frontiers of the Christian world, leaving a history of significant misconstruction, anxiety, and in certain situations, prejudice (Bazian, 2018). Supplementary to the political and religious beliefs, Western cultures continued to portray Muslim communities as others (Dadabhoy, 2018). For instance, publications about Muslims reinforced and demonstrated stereotypes that predicated anti-Islamic attitudes. Such perspectives and publications created long-lasting effects on perceptions about Islam from the 18th century.

Demonstration of Modern Day Islamophobia – Post 9/11 and 7/7 Terror Attacks

Research on religious opinion in America shows Islam as the most negatively perceived faith among other religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam) (Riaz, 2020). Other causes trigger the premeditated continuation of anti-Islamic narratives, comprising applying such tales for party-political benefit. The British media has also portrayed Muslim communities as the ‘alien other,’ resulting in increased racism, particularly Islamophobia. The media has often attempted to show Muslim topics as ‘un-Britishness'(Ali, 2017, p. 9). Comments about Islam adherents have increasingly become part of the political and cultural environment to levels that is no more the preserve of some extreme political groupings such as the British National Party.

British Muslims and Impact on Islamophobia post 7/7

In Britain, the government condemned hate crimes against the Muslim community following the separate terror attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 but has done less to avert increased negative representation of the issue by the media. The majority of British Muslims have encountered the brunt of suspicion coupled with hostility and doubts cast at them concerning their loyalty as U.K citizens (Bazian, 2018). British Muslims are categorized into two labels; one is seen as a terrorist who massively hates the West, and the other assumes the role of apologist who shields Islam and explains it as a peaceful religion. Such labeling makes the British Muslim community develop a feeling of not wholly belonging to the country (Dadabhoy, 2018). Islamophobia has also resulted in fear of racist assaults combined with the growing discrimination against Muslims in Britain (Riaz, 2020). Moreover, the new terrorist bill has elicited feelings of alienation among British Muslims (Bukar, 2020). Through stigmatization, some people perceive British Muslims as unwanted outsiders with linkages to terror.

Methodology

Research Design

This research aims to investigate the impact of Islamophobia as experienced by British Muslims. The research will explore and analyze British Muslims’ individual experiences from anti-Islamic hate and bigotry with more prominence in the manner in which the runaway anti-Islam has affected staying in the U.K. To effectively craft a comprehensive response to this pervasive issue in society, exploratory, qualitative research methods remain indispensable (Tracy, 2019). Through qualitative analysis, the researcher aims to gain expanded comprehension of the psychological effects of Islamophobia on individual British Muslims.

Qualitative methods seek to offer detailed and rich accounts of the study topic. Since the research explores the human experience, the investigator deems qualitative methods a highly suitable technique for collecting data (Hennink, Hutter, and Bailey, 2020). Specifically, the semi-structured interview will be used since it is a common method in qualitative studies. Another strength is that it allows the examination of issues, which might be regarded as too multifaceted, through quantitative techniques. Semi-structured interviews facilitate a relaxed, face-to-face discussion between the participant and researcher. The interviewing process will adopt the rapport type to allow uncovering of individual experience, which is the eventual goal of the study. The weakness this method can present is that it cannot offer a measurable response.

Sampling

To be eligible for this research, a participant needs to self-identify as British Muslim, must be aged above 18 years, and should be willing to share racial discrimination experiences. Individuals should have the ability to write, read, and speak English. The study will engage a sample size of 15 participants as the number is deemed appropriate for providing deepened insights on the study topic. Participants were recruited through the combination of snowball and purposive nonprobability sampling approaches. Purposive sampling refers to the nonprobability technique that comprises intentionally selected factors (Tracy, 2019). Snowball sampling also gets partakers from the set group in which people can be requested to offer contact details to allow involvement in research (Tracy, 2019). The researcher might encounter a challenge of stigmatized perspectives from British Muslims during sampling, leading to reluctance about partaking in the study and sharing experiences. Therefore, by adopting snowball sampling, the researcher aims to expand the feasibility of collecting data while also enrolling participants recommended by other contributors.

Data Collection

The interview session will be categorized into different sections, with the first covering participants’ demographics such as ethnicity, birth country, and age. The second section will focus on religion, identity, and family background. Other questions such as friends, work, education, etc., will also be asked. The other section will cover individual experiences post 7/7 terror attack in London and their impacts. Media portrayal of Islam, including terrorism, backlash, and racism, will also be discussed. The participants will be required to complete a consent form, then debriefed with relevant information and furnished with researchers’ contact information should they require further clarification on any issue.

Although the sample size might appear too small to investigate subgroup deviation with systemic confidence, the researcher will remain curious to witness if there are any patterns in data disparity. Moreover, the interviews will be semi-structured, with both close and open-ended questions. The question’s nature is deemed suitable since it allows the investigator to explore an area with limited literature (Tracy, 2019). Therefore, the scholar will attempt to ask questions that conjure details on necessary themes while also seeking to make the conversation adequately open-ended to permit contributors to discuss and present individual reactions and experiences.

Data Analysis

The narrative data will be recorded during interviews after consenting participants. The investigator will remain keen during the interviewing session to capture notes. After completing the interviews, the recorded data will be transcribed as captured verbatim in the recording instrument and then studied. Moreover, the data gathered will be organized by the open coding technique for systematic theme analysis as well as corresponding categorization. The thematic analysis allows flexibility in the approach and examination of data (Castleberry and Nolen, 2018). Explicitly, thematic assessment deals with essentialist approaches by exploring experiences, significance, and reality within the participants (Scharp and Sanders, 2019). The decerned themes signal pertinent issues in data with linkages to the research question.

Ethical Considerations

Best practice standards on ethical guidelines will be considered when engaging participants for research data collection. Specifically, participants’ confidentiality will be maintained by ensuring all their details remain confidential and all information serves the sole purpose of research (Hennink, Hutter, and Bailey, 2020). The researcher will guarantee participants’ anonymity by just detailing personal demographics such as gender, age, and signature rather than documenting their names. Every respondent will be briefed on the entitlement to withdraw from the research at any stage. The researcher will also seek the consent of participants while providing them with adequate information on the aim of the study to ensure no occurrence of deception.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the work aims to provide empirical findings on how the Muslim community is trying to adapt to the British context and the effects of the 7/7 terror attack on them. The events post 9/11 and the 7/7 terror attacks were the peaks of Islamophobic motives in the United Kingdom. In Britain, the Muslim community has experienced racial discrimination in many ways with lasting impacts on them. For an enhanced understanding of Islamophobia and its consequences to the affected population, the researcher began by understanding the key tenets of the Islamic religion. The principles of Islam show a belief in Allah and Prophet Muhammad, the Quran is the holy book, and the religion is anchored in five pillars. The research also mentions various historical elements contributing to modern forms of Islamophobia. The “othering” of Muslim communities in Europe has existed for many centuries, a situation that has reinforced and influenced stereotypes about Islam. Demonstration of modern-day Islamophobia has climaxed post 9/11 and 7/7 terror attacks.

To comprehensively answer the study question, the researcher aims to adopt a qualitative investigation method that provides diverse techniques, which is difficult to obtain when using its sibling, the quantitative tactic. Explicitly, semi-structured interviews will be conducted, promising authenticity and investigator involvement. Moreover, the qualitative approach is distinctive in its position by rarely interrupting numbers and variables, rather, examining the social aspects of society and the human actions in the broader spectrum.

References List

Ali, A. (2017) . Masters Thesis. Smith College.

Bazian, H. (2018) ‘Islamophobia, “clash of civilizations,” and forging a post-cold war order!’, Religions, 9(282), pp.1-13.

Bukar, A.A., (2020) ‘The political economy of hate industry: Islamophobia in the western public sphere,’ Islamophobia Studies Journal, 5(2), pp.152-174.

Castleberry, A. and Nolen, A., (2018) ‘Thematic analysis of qualitative research data: Is it as easy as it sounds?’, Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 10(6), pp.807-815.

Dadabhoy, H. (2018) . Ph.D. Thesis. University College London.

Hennink, M., Hutter, I. and Bailey, A., (2020) Qualitative research methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Powell, K. A. (2018) ‘Framing Islam/creating fear: An analysis of U.S. media coverage of terrorism from 2011–2016’, Religions, 9 (257), pp.1–15.

Riaz, S. (2020) ‘Islamophobia: Literature review of its definitions and early twenty first centuryapproximations,’ International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(4), pp.4392-4410.

Scharp, K.M. and Sanders, M.L., (2019) ‘What is a theme? Teaching thematic analysis in qualitative communication research methods’, Communication Teacher, 33(2), pp.117-121.

Tracy, S.J., (2019) Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

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IvyPanda. "Islamophobia and Its Impacts on British Muslims After 7/7." July 16, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/islamophobia-and-its-impacts-on-british-muslims-after-77/.

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