Islamophobia has become a topic of increasing sociological and political importance and its existence is all too relevant. The recent comments on the internet by former candidate Sarah Palin demonstrate it loud and clear.
Sarah Palin has come to the defense of an anti-Islamic Christian preacher Franklin Graham who was uninvited to attend a Pentagon prayer service. Several officials objected to former statements made by him against Islam stressing that inviting him would be offensive to Muslims, since they are a very large number of tax payers. The Pentagon agreed that Graham's opinion of Islam, which remains very prejudiced, is inappropriate since the prayer service is a multi-faith event meant to highlight inter-faith pluralism and tolerance.
His former labeling in the past of Islam as "a very evil, wicked, and violent religion which must be fought has triggered Islamophobia which has increased during the last decade. Palin argues that the preacher's language is appropriate. She "used Facebook the social networking service to her aid "His comments in 2001 were aimed at those who are so radical that they would kill innocent people and subjugate women in the name of religion", adding "Any opposition to Graham's statements is not due to matters of respect and decency but nothing less than extreme political correctness". She slammed the pentagon's decision to cancel the invitation demonstrating that the phenomenon of "Islamophobia" is still omnipresent in the west.
Case studies examining a sample of articles in the West's press have revealed that Muslim viewpoints were and still are underrepresented and that issues involving Muslims usually depicted them in a negative light. These portrayals include the depiction of Islam and Muslims as a threat to Western security and values and that hostility towards Islam and Muslims are "closely linked to media portrayals of Islam as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist. As long as these views continue Islamophobic tendencies will also continue. As a result, there have been several initiatives aimed at increasing Muslim participation in media and politics. And several groups have been established, designed to monitor coverage in the media and establish dialogue with media organizations.
However, with the continued aggression by the Sarah Palins of the world, efforts must be increased tenfold if Islamophobia is to be eliminated. It has to be decided that the principles of brotherhood and fraternity are more valuable than the aggressive and repressive measures currently practiced.