Dar Al-Ifta announced the establishment of an “Islamophobia observatory” Sunday, which will be responsible for spotting and observing the phenomenon and how to deal and manage it.
The observatory’s role will also include suggesting all possibilities to counter the widespread phenomena, minimise its effect on Muslims abroad, and correct false concepts about Islam, state-owned media reported.
Dar Al-Ifta explained that this step was taken in the wake of the violations and hatred against Muslims abroad, and against far-right radicals who strongly oppose Muslims abroad and call for their deportation from European and US territories.
Several numbers of mosques and Islamic institutions abroad have been subjected to racism. Violent communities formed, calling to expel Muslims from Europe and the US, Dar Al-Ifta said, noting that they benefited from the latest terrorist acts that were being executed in the name of Islam to promote for their racism against Muslims.
Dar Al-Ifta also said the right way to deal with the problem is by observing and scientifically analysing the events and cases that reveal hatred towards Muslims.
It said in its statement that in the Arab and Muslim world, there is a cultural and religious struggle because of the emergence of radical groups that try to distort the image of Islam and Muslims. Those radicals also try to hinder the exerted efforts to improve relations between Muslims and others.
The latest statements against Muslims prove that they are in a dire need for an institution that observes all violations. This institution will suggest all best possible ways to respond to these allegations and claims.
The observatory’s role will consist of observation, research, and analysis, and it will coordinate with institutions abroad. It will also observe the violations, analyse them, and suggest recommendations for the best response to be taken. Finally, it will coordinate and communicate with other Islamic institutions abroad.
Combating the problem should be undertaken by communicating with Westerners using their language and through their media, which the observatory aims to do by releasing its reports in several languages.
Dar Al-Ifta’s decision came in the light of recent statements of US conservative presidential candidate Donald Trump, who declared that he would ban all Muslims from entering the US if he wins the elections. He also claimed that several Muslims approved his proposal and admitted that there is a real problem with Muslims living in the US. He said he would require Muslim-Americans to register with a database and carry special cards that note their faith.
Trump’s statements have caused a wave of anger both on a local and international level, with some comparing his strategy to Hitler’s.
Muslims were also subjected to backlash following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November, which caused more than150 deaths.
Witnesses in Paris reported that they heard the perpetrators shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) before shooting, prompting fears within the population of around 6 million Muslims in France of a violent backlash.
A terrorist attack in France took place on a cartoon newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January, which left 12 dead. The perpetrators were proven to be Muslims. Following the Charlie Hebdo Incident, the US observatory against Islamophobia reported a 28% rise in anti-Muslim incidents in the first quarter of 2015.