Islamophobic bluster stirs clash of cultures

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-8 23:53:01

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made astonishing remarks on Monday, calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims from entering the US," until the country's representatives "figure out what is going on." These words are considered a significant symbol of the rising Islamophobia in the nation.

Coincidentally, in the ongoing French regional elections, the far-right National Front, which is known for its xenophobia, has topped the first round, gaining support from one-third of voters. France, which is normally understood to have long-upheld multiculturalism, seems to have put on a stern face that makes Muslims feel uneasy.

These trends are bound to make Muslims worldwide feel uncomfortable, and while they don't represent the attitude of the entire Western world toward Islam, they mirror the real inner thoughts of Western society. The antipathy between some Western people and sections of the Muslim population is growing and spreading, and the clash of civilizations is getting heated.

This dangerous trend must be curbed, and it first of all depends on the West, which is able to decide how to respond to the challenges posed by a few radical extremists from the Islamic world. It can choose to isolate those extremists only, by installing certain complicated measures. Or, it can move toward separatism, and be on guard against all Muslims as a whole.

In Europe and the US, Muslims are still living at the bottom, or on the edge of society. They are not yet accepted as an integral part of society, but are marginalized or remain outsiders, who stand for a cheap labor force, object of governance and object of democratization.

It is hard for the West to make policy choices, or keep social rationality while facing the spread of terrorism. The election culture would naturally encourage radicalization to some extent, and it is thus impossible for Western society to be immune from the disturbance of specific incidents, or keeping long-term cross-cultural unity.

That's why we hear Trump's call for a complete ban on Muslims, and the National Front has won the support of voters.

Advocating radical anti-Muslim proposals may be absurd in the long run, but it can bring a sense of security and comfort to Western society within a short time.

When an atmosphere of Islamophobia is popularized, the happiest groups are the jihadists. They are only a handful of people who can never change the world. But now, they can expect to create a great disturbance by making a few radical moves, with the desire to provoke hatred between the West and the Islamic world for real.

Terrorists need to be shunned in the Islamic world, rather than being considered as an excuse to create revenge opportunities for those oppressed Muslims. This should be the bottom line of global anti-terror policy. And those Trumps mustn't be so capricious in turning their rhetoric into a means of creating a clash of civilizations.

Posted in: Editorial

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