Everyday Islamophobia

Below are a few tales on how Islamophobia is perpetuated in the everyday life of individuals. These recurring incidents enable the formation of collective consciousness about the Muslim community. This further advances the otherization process in society.

  1. One fine dinner night! 

Context 1:  It's a Sunday, and I am out with my family for dinner. 

Me: Shall we order Afghani chicken? 

Father: Do you still want to try Afghani cuisine? After all that you see about Afghanistan? 

Me: Are you crazy, Acha (Father in the Malayalam language)? 

Context 2: A Muslim family comes and sits next to our table. 

Father: Look, how many children are they having? Such a shame.

Me: How many siblings do you have, Acha? 5? Really.

Father: Unlike us, they do it as part of an agenda.  


  1. Catching up with an old-school friend! 

Context: A phone conversation between two old friends from school. 

Friend: You still have that laugh like a witch. Why have you not changed a bit? 

Me: Get lost, you innerwear stealer (nickname). 

Both laugh

Friend: Tell me where do you work now? 

Me: I work with an NGO in Calicut. 

Friend: What? Do you live among the kaakkanmaaru (a Malayalam derogatory term used to identify Muslims)? No no, you come back to Kochi asap ok. (He continues with a giggle). They are not good. 

Me: That wasn't funny.

Friend: Common, it was a joke. 


  1. In the theatres

Context: Discussion among cousins after watching the film “Maalik”.  

Cousin C (IT professional): The scene where Ahad (Protagonist) challenges the collector from taking him from his area was electrifying right? It was real heroism. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Cousin A (Businessman): Yeah, no state apparatus can function properly in areas where they inhabit. Did you notice how the police, the banks, etc could not function in their territory? The Muslims try to hijack the areas where ever they settle. They overthrow all other existing systems and establish their own systems.   

Cousin B (Humanities student): No, you cannot say that based on a movie. That is so harsh. 

Cousin C (IT professional): Exactly, it’s just an art form. 


  1. A classroom scenario


Context: 11th standard classroom


Teacher: Fathima, what is the answer to the 1st question? 

Fathima: Mam, sorry, I couldn’t hear you, can you please repeat?

Teacher: No wonder, how can you hear if you wrap your head like this and attend the class?

Other students: Mam, why do you say that to her? 

Teacher: For god’s sake, I didn’t say anything. Now don’t come and chop off my hands for this. 


  1.   A family get together


Context:  A marriage function in the family after a long time. 


Uncle: How are you, mole? How is your new college? Are studies happening or is it just full-time having fun?

Me: All good uncle. College is strict but I enjoy the lectures. They are pretty interesting. Having fun is in my blood uncle. Common. 

Uncle: That’s good. I keep seeing your pictures on Facebook. You have quite a lot of Muslim friends it seems.  

Me: Yes, they all are so nice.  

Uncle: But be careful OK. They are good at brainwashing. You are aware of all the news, right?


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