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Protectionism on the rise - Muslims in India mirror dangerous world trends

Updated: Mar 25, 2020


Looking at a broad view of the current landscape of the world, we start to notice certain trends that have started showing up in our society. The manifestation of these trends shows in many forms of bigotry, fascism, and Islamophobia. For a long time, through our media, Muslims have been characterized as backwards, violent, criminal and altogether bad human beings. In all kinds of academic spaces, we have tried to characterize the religion of Islam as being incompatible with society because they are "terrorists."


BLAME THE MEDIA

Many times, we do not realize how heavily our culture influences what we think and what we do. Our actions are informed by what books, TV, and music tell us. When you watch a movie and there is a terrorist, we find out that they are often depicted as Arabic people. These kind of depictions do great harm to a cohesive society and a new globalized world that we are quickly moving into. When we paint certain groups of people as having particular negative characteristics, we are in danger of teaching the next generation that peoples religion causes them to act violently. The problem with this is that it makes groups of people discriminate against other groups because they have been taught that they are evil. This kind of division has manifested in countries like the USA, which recently has been having a rise of fascists calling for certain races to be attacked and marginalized. The alt-right is a political ideology that believes white people are of a superior race, and that all other races need to be either put in their place or altogether excluded from the community. Yes, it might be hard to believe, but there are groups of Americans who believe that Mexican people are invading the United States and that violence must be used in order to preserve a white ethno-state.


For a long time, we have been fine with economic diversity, in which we are happy to import goods and services created in other countries, and consumed by the indigenous society. You never find anyone complaining that they are getting a wide variety of food options provided for them due to trade. This is because people in general love to consume goods and services, no matter where they originate from. Social migration has always been a part of human history. This is when certain groups of people decide to leave their "homeland" and migrate to a different space to exist due to many reasons. Sometimes, when they get to a different part of land, there are already people there and we can see from history that many times this is where conquests start to happen. Humans have acted violently towards the land they are moving to, and try to conquer the land. Although, times did come where people were able to migrate and coexist with whichever indigenous people they found at their destination. This gives rise to social diversity, in which people of different ethnicity's start to commingle with on another, taking the good things that come with whichever group. For example, group A could have discovered electricity, and when they move to group B, they discover that these people do not know of electricity. The knowledge that group A comes with is something that could benefit group B, and they could now be exchanging not just goods and services, but knowledge and experiences as well.


RISE OF "FRACISM"


The term "FRACISM" is obviously invented. It is a combination of the words racism and fascism. Fascism is usually linked to one group wanting to have power over another, and this usually rises from racism. In the past, the United States was a participants of the slave trade, which shipped off groups of Africans around the world to act as a free source of labor. There used to be many scientific literature that depicted Africans as being subhuman and therefore formed a justification for their treatment. It was normal thought, that as we have cows that produce milk and meat for consumption, Africans were another species that were only good for labor. They were said to not feel emotions of "normal" humans and could not be commingled with Caucasians. This kind of thinking repeats itself all throughout history, and we can see the resurgence of this in modern day India.


India is a nation that is guilty of implementing certain systems that divided people on a kind of heritable caste. It was popularly known as the caste system, where certain segments of people were excluded from occupations and social circles. In these times, it was considered an abomination to marry people of a different caste because it would somehow poison a lineage. My reason for referencing the caste system is to show that India is not new to implementing laws which discriminate and marginalize groups of people.


There is a new Citizen Amendment Bill(C.A.A) that is clearly anti-Muslim and has given rise to discourse around the world concerning Islamophobia. The reason it is anti-Muslim is because it explicitly states that Muslims would not be allowed to seek citizenship in India due to their religion. To mirror activities going on in the USA, President Donald Trump has been found alluding of his support for anti-Islamic rhetoric. The president has tweeted articles from far-right publications, such as Breitbart, that called Muslims "rapefugees", in support of Mr. Trump calling immigrants drug dealers, murderers and rapists. This kind of dialogue is very damaging to the current trend of globalism, and many peoples desires to reap to fruits of economic diversity, without accepting the people aspect of it. The proponent of this anti-Muslim president, Narendra Modi, is heavily taking advantage of certain world trends, where the leader of the free world, Donald Trump, is enabling his behavior. In the America that we all believe in, these kinds of acts would be denounced and seen as explicitly racist. I could never imagine President Obama supporting such policies that proved to be full of bigotry. During the last month, more that 30 people have been killed Muslim targeted violence by mobs. It is very disheartening to see that the hatred of Muslims has been normalized by the free world. Before passing the C.A.A, president Modi also implemented a National Register of Citizens which forced people to verify or forfeit their Indian citizenship. This kind of rhetoric mirrors the kind of policies Donald Trump is advocating for in the USA, where he wants to include a citizenship question on the national census. We all know that such kind of divisions only give power to the state to discriminate and target certain groups of people.



In conclusion, we have seen a certain world trend that is mirroring a lot of the kind of violence being enacted on groups of people. We are all human beings, and we wonder why these divisions arise in the 21st century. We share all kinds of goods and services. We have adopted different political systems of thought, including democracy. And now, we have to face integrating the social aspect of our imports and exports. As an Uyghur Man, all topics discussed are related to believing in Justice. Currently, in East Turkestan, a similar kind of anti-Islamic trend is picking up as seen by the implementation of "reeducation camps" which paint Muslims as violent and having "wayward" thinking. We must stand up against these kinds of injustices and speak out against it wherever it is seen.


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