WHAT IS ISLAMOPHOBIA?
Islamophobia means the "fear of Islam" and is rooted in prejudice and discrimination against Muslims and the religion of Islam. Therefore, Islamophobia have the meanings of bearing a grudge, hatred or hostility against Muslims, not trusting and suspecting Muslims, and fear of Islam.
Islamophobia, From the Past to the Present
The history of Islamophobia goes back to the conquest of Al-Andalus and deepens with the Crusades. Although the expression of Islamophobia was produced in the 70's, the fear of Islam has been uttered by different names, at different times and in different forms; however, the underlying fear of Islam has not changed. This fear has started after the emergence and spread of Islam.
With the appearance of visual language created by the development of technology and communication network, the fear of Islam all over the world is reflected as if it was a reasonable belief, so that hatred and hostility against Muslims is normalized. Upon baseless prejudices, some people reflect Islam as the source of terror and savagery and the religion of bloodshed and fear, but on the contrary it is the religion of peace, solidarity and fraternity. Many communication tools and media organizations play a role in creating of this perception. And today, the greatest perception operation is realized through the digital communication world, the digital games which are the big part of our lives.
Besides the perception generated on non-Muslims, they are trying to manage the subconscious of our children, our young people and even us with many outsourced games produced around the world.
European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) report "Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia" on the situation of Muslims in the EU Member States brings to light the realities. The report states that Muslims in Europe face discrimination in terms of working, education and housing. A research by Pew Research Centre in the USA revealed the overall increase of prejudices against religiousness and of the fear of Islam compared to other religions.
Use of digital games is increasing at a great pace every day. Games world forms a very different world that has its own characters, rules and professionals, and influences people at all ages. When examined in numbers this world is a giant media embracing almost 1,5 billion people around the world and nearly 25 million people from our country. The interaction of this media is rising parabolically day by day. It is widely accepted that TV, without doubt, as one of the primary means of entertainment gives its place to digital media, especially to digital games as they have higher interaction and communication dimension. The fact that the sector has 100 billion dollars of trading throughout the world reflects the great potential it has reached. This sector's trading in Turkey is nearly 400-500 million dollars. Also in Turkey, almost 40 million hours of digital games are played every day.
Digital Games and Islamophobia:
Islamophobia can easily be encountered in every field of life, especially in Digital Games. The fact that digital games world is the second fastest growing sector after the Internet with the users' average of children and young people makes it a new and effective media for Islamophobics. Digital games are equipped with hostility towards Islam and Muslims, and they are used as tools for spreading Islamophobia.
This media which globally visualizes violence and links terrorism with Islam serves subliminally the fear against Islam and Muslims at a global level. Within the games, the holy elements of Islam are embedded in an object or an audial element and delivered thorough images, writings, audios and messages in a way that can only be realized by subconscious, not by perceiving or hearing. In this regard, here comes the importance of researching the messages delivered to subconscious. Nowadays, messages being delivered through mass media and not corresponding to ethical values in subconscious of people or driving them to consume unnecessarily can effect individuals and society negatively.
As a global actor, our country has great responsibility for repairing the negative image of Islam which has appeared because of the fear hegemony created by this media.
ATTACKS ON MOSQUES THROUGHOUT EUROPE
In late 2014, anti-Islamic attacks were organized in 7 countries throughout Europe. Attacks on 39 mosques occurred and 31 of these attacks were organized after the structure of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
ATTACKS ON MUSLIMS ARE INCREASING IN SWEDEN
Since 2001, more than 200 attacks on mosques have been realized throughout Europe. Lastly, 3 mosques were vandalised in Sweden in a week.
PEGIDA IS THE MOST KNOWN ANTI-ISLAMIC GROUP
PEGIDA is the most known anti-Islamic organisation now. Actually they should be named as racist. As they put all Muslims into target on the pretext of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Especially in Germany, media is working collaterally with the activities of PEGIDA. The organisation is active not only in Germany but also in 8 countries and 39 cities.
ANTI-ISLAM PROTEST IN ARIZONA & VIDEO
A crowded group gathered outside the Islam Community Center for anti-Islam demonstration in Phoenix, Arizona. Some of the protesters carried gun and they showed the attack on "Prophet Mohammed cartoon drawing contest" in Texas as a reason.