ISTANBUL (AA) – Islamophobia in the US and Europe has triggered hatred against Muslims in other parts of the world, including the Asia Pacific region, according to a leading academic.
“It is legitimate today to talk about the globalization of Islamophobia,” John Louis Esposito, a professor of international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, told Anadolu Agency.
Esposito pointed out that Islamophobia first became a major global issue after the 1979 revolution in Iran and then the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He added that while Islamophobia initially became prevalent in the US, Britain, and Germany, it later spread to other regions, “even in northern Europe where you don’t even have that many Muslims.”
“You have the issues of Myanmar, the former Burma. You have the issues in China with regards to the Uyghurs. In both cases, you even have international communities talking about genocide,” he said.
“The really stunning thing is, even more than that, the extent to which it (Islamophobia) has become global,” he stressed, suggesting that anti-Muslim sentiments were also spreading across the political spectrum.
In France, for example, not just far-right politician Marine Le Pen, but President Emmanuel Macron, too, resorted to hostile rhetoric against Muslims during the election campaign, Esposito said, adding that these political figures’ attitude toward the Muslim community was one of cultural conflict.
Noting that Islamophobia was not met with sufficient outcry, he said: “It is interesting that when you actually say how many Muslim governments have spoken out and major, international Muslim organizations have spoken out. There is a silence there.”