Why does Islamophobia exist in Muslim-majority countries?


Why does Islamophobia exist in Muslim-majority countries?

Growing Islamophobia is not just a phenomenon in Western Europe, in the Balkans where the continents largest number of Muslims are, it’s also a problem.

A European Union-funded report from a Turkish thinktank, has shone a light on how anti-Muslim racism is prevalent in Europe, including the Balkan region.

It makes for interesting reading when it addresses the Balkan states, given Muslims here are indigenous, with the vast majority having converted more than four hundred years ago. Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia are three majority Muslim countries in the Balkans that face significant anti-Muslim rhetoric. There is also a large contingent of indigenous Muslims in Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro who face everyday challenges while practicing their faith.

In 2019, the book “Islamophobia in Muslim Majority Societies” sought to tackle this unusual and seemingly self-contradictory question. “Islamophobia may function differently but, in essence, the phenomenon is connected to the global political context that is very much structured by the post-colonial order and related to contemporary US hegemony in the world,” claim the book’s authors.

The US has become one of the central funding sources from which anti-Muslim narratives are spread globally. A 2019 report, “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network”, found that there are 1,096 organizations responsible for funding 39 groups – to the tune of millions of dollars – in order to spread anti-Muslim sentiment.

Much of it has crossed the Atlantic into Europe and consequently into the Balkan countries, where it has mixed with an older form of othering Muslims resulting in an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment. Elites in majority Muslim and “self-Westernised countries” such as the Balkans, viewed the “the regulation of Islam [as] a way of regulating an identity that was regarded as a threat to the Western-like secular nation-state.” …

Source: TRT World

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