What does Islamomisia look like?
Support Resources for Muslim Folks
Informational Resources for Allies
Wondering about the use of "Islamomisia" instead of "Islamophobia?" Check out information about the change HERE.
A note on the scope of this guide:
This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues within the Simmons Community. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-oppressive initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. This guide serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources.
Islamomisia (also called Islamophobia) is prejudice plus power; anyone with any religious beliefs can have/exhibit religion-based prejudice, but in North America (and throughout much of the western world), people who follow Christianity have the institutional power, therefore Islamomisia is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against Muslim people due to their religion, or perceived religious, national, or ethnic identity associated with Islam. Like anti-Semitism, Islamomisia describes mentalities and actions that demean an entire class of people.
Note: Criticism of Islam should not be automatically conflated with bigotry against Muslims. Islamomisia is not the rational, respectful interrogation and/or criticism of Islam based on factual evidence, just as criticism of the tenets of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions does not necessarily indicate bigotry or prejudice. Islamomisia is the irrational fear of, discrimination against, and antagonism toward Muslims simply for being Muslims.
Anti-Islamomisia is strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter Islamomisia, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on religion, religious or ethical beliefs, and/or perceived religious, national, or ethnic identity.
Islamomisic Microaggressions are commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults in relation to the beliefs and religious practices of Muslims. They are structurally based and invoke oppressive systems of religious/Chrisitan hierarchy. Islamomisic Microinvalidations, Microinsulsts, Microassaults are specific types of microaggressions.
Note: The prefix "micro" is used because these are invocation of religious hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), whereas the "macro" level refers to aggression committed by structures as a whole (e.g. an organizational policy). "Micro" in no way minimalizes or otherwise evaluates the impact or seriousness of the aggressions.
Six Categories of Common Islamomisic Microaggressions (from Subtle and Overt Forms of Islamophobia: Microaggressions toward Muslim Americans)
Endorsing Religious Stereotypes: statements or behaviors that communicate false, presumptuous, or incorrect perceptions of certain religious groups (e.g., stereotyping that a Muslim person is a terrorist or that a Jewish person is cheap).
Exoticization: instances where people view other religions as trendy or foreign (e.g., an individual who dresses in a certain religion’s garb or garments for fashion or pleasure).
Pathology of Different Religious Groups: Statements and behaviors in which individuals equate certain religious practices or traditions as being abnormal, sinful, or deviant (e.g., telling someone that they are in the “wrong” religion).
Assumption of One's Own Religious Identity as the Norm: Comments or behaviors that convey people’s presumption that their religion is the standard and behaves accordingly (e.g., greeting someone with “Merry Christmas” conveys one's perception that everyone is Christian or similarly saying “God bless you” after someone sneezes conveys one’s perception that everyone believes in God).
Assumption of Religious Homogeneity: Statements in which individuals assume that every believer of a religion practices the same customs or has the same beliefs as the entire group (e.g., assuming that all Muslim people wear head coverings).
Denial of Religious Prejudice: Incidents in which individuals claim that they are not religiously biased, even if their words or behaviors may indicate otherwise.
This video shows a policeman's very different reactions to two young men who argue first
in English, then later in Arabic.
A Muslim woman needs help with her car. Will reactions differ if she wears a hijab or
regular street clothes?
This video discusses how ISIS are NOT Muslims and how Islam is misunderstood
for a religion that promotes terrorism and violence due to ISIS.
When an attacker is white, they're labeled as having mental health issues, but if the
attacker is brown or Muslim, then they're instantly suspected of terrorism. What gives?
For Muslim Folks in Crisis
Community Education & Support
Webinar: Post-Election American Muslim Self Care from Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
|Local & National Support Organizations|
In the United States and many other Western nations, Christianity and its various denominations and religious practices hold institutional and cultural power. Christian privilege is the unearned benefits that Christians in the US receive that members of other faiths (or non-religious people) do not. Some examples are below:
Religious or Christian fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of religious stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as tears, argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate Christian or dominant religious equilibrium. (adapted from "White Fragility")
Christianity's religious dominance in the U.S. allows most American Christians to live in social environments that insulate them from challenging encounters with beliefs or people who differ from themselves. Within this dominant social environment, Christians come to expect social comfort and a sense of belonging and superiority. When this comfort is disrupted, Christians are often at a loss because they have not had to build skills for constructive engagement with difference. They may become defensive, positioning themselves as victims of anti-Islamomisic work and co-opting the rhetoric of violence to describe their experiences of being challenged on religious privilege. (adapted from "Christian Fragility")
Being a Supportive Ally
A- always center the impacted— Kayla Reed (@RE_invent_ED) June 13, 2016
L- listen & learn from those who live in the oppression
L- leverage your privilege
Y-yield the floor
Please note that as of January 2023, this guide is no longer being updated. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Celebrating Muslim Folks
More links celebrating Muslim Folks
In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted that the collaborators on this guide occupy some of the oppressed identities outlined here, but not all of them. We have attempted to bring together quality, relevant resources for the anti-oppression issues in this guide, but we are not immune from the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives as allies.
We welcome and greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions for the guide, particularly from the perspectives and experiences of the marginalized groups listed and not listed here.