LONDON PRAYER TIME DAWN: 04:19 SUNRISE: 06:00 ZOHR:: 13:03 MAGHRIB: 20:20
Religious Cinema, Best Means to Confront Islamophobia in West
Abdullah Jacques Chartier, head of the French Society of Shia Muslim Converts, added that speeches by politicians, scholars and even Muslim thinkers in Europe are helpful in reducing Islamophobic activities but arts, especially religious cinema, can play a much more effective role.
“I believe movies produced in Muslim countries can be very effective in discouraging Islamophobic onslaughts,” he said, urging Muslim countries to use arts to confront Islamophobia instead of resorting to political rhetoric and slogans.
He said among different fields of arts, cinema is the most important means that should be used to fight Islamophobia.
“In order to dominate the public opinion, the West makes movies in which the idea is promoted that ‘We are always right’. Muslim countries should also invest in making movies … to respond to Islamophobic attacks by proving that ‘You are not right’”.
Chartier said Muslims sometimes resort to some un-Islamic measures such as pouring out anger to confront Islamophobia. “Protesting is every citizen’s right but a protest that harms the image of Islam and its teachings is not acceptable. Islamophobes are trying to present Islam as a religion of violence and Muslims as violent individuals. If Muslims resort to violent methods to protest against anti-Islamic acts, they have helped the anti-Islamic groups to advance their agenda.”
Asked about the reason behind the growth in Islamophobic activities in recent years, the French Muslim leader said, “Following the 9/11 attacks, there have been attempts at the international level to equate Islam and terrorism and attribute any radical action by some so-called Muslims to Islam in general. In fact, these attempts have been a political strategy aimed at justifying the presence of Western forces in Muslim countries under the pretext of what is called ‘war on terror’”.
He said despite some objections even in the US and European countries, this strategy has continued up until the time when the Syrian crisis began and Islamophobes found the opportunity to bolster themselves “because some pseudo-Muslims like Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front commit terrible crimes in the name of Islam, giving Islamophobes a platform to claim Islam spreads violence in society. These led to a spread of anti-Islamic activities in France, such as attacks against Hijab-wearing women and attacks on mosques.”
Head of the French Society of Shia Muslim Converts underlined that all Muslims who want to protect Islam must separate their path from that of extremists and introduce the true Islam in the West.
He concluded by saying that although Islam urges Muslims to come to help and support their fellow-Muslim brothers, it does not mean that Muslims should condone the crimes committed by Wahabis and Salafists and allow these crimes to continue.