Issue Brief on “Combatting disinformation and Islamophobia”

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Disinformation and rising Islamophobia have emerged as serious challenges in the contemporary world. Muslim populations across the globe are affected by this phenomenon and this has also led to numerous untoward incidences in countries where Muslim populations reside as immigrants. Disinformation has been instrumental in creating perceptions about Muslims and have thus resulted in hate crimes and other xenophobic trends. In a largely integrated world, such trends are not only dangerous but also detrimental for peaceful coexistence.

With the emergence of far right governments in the west and rising intolerance, a lethal form of discrimination against Islam and Muslims is seen around the globe. Populist parties in the west and in countries like India derive power through their ideology of hate and win popular support, and in the process create a schism in the society. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) undoubtedly has a larger role to play in combatting rising Islamophobia and this remains one of the greatest challenges of contemporary times. Such fissures in societies call for a proactive approach by organizations like the OIC, which must come up with newer approaches towards tackling this rising menace. An important step in this direction should be the initiation of interfaith dialogue, for better understanding of each other’s faiths. Such endeavours can be successful, if carried out at all levels starting from the media, academics, religious and political leaders. Electronic, print and most particularly, social media have a great role to play in this regard. Therefore, the OIC must step up efforts to tackle this rising trend and its partial success in this regard is evident from the fact that the world has begun to acknowledge the existence of this issue.

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