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Samina Gul
Adnan Ashraf


Islamophobia has been emerging as a significant global issue, profoundly impacting Muslims both individually and collectively in their societies. With rapid technological advancement, the internet and social media have become major platforms for the propagation of Islamophobic sentiments. This study explores the role of various social media platforms in developing and fostering online Islamophobia resulting in offline hate crimes against Muslims, especially in Western countries. Islamophobia's consequences span physical, psychological, and social dimensions, manifesting in heightened stress, mental health issues, and social marginalization. On an individual level, it results in adverse physical health outcomes, such as heightened stress and related health issues. The psychological toll, though challenging to quantify precisely, contributes to a host of mental health problems among affected individuals. Socially, Muslims frequently face marginalization in their own communities, encountering discrimination that intensifies their sense of isolation and otherness. Furthermore, online hate speech and stereotyping of Muslims tend to surge following acts of terror, reflecting pre-existing Islamophobic sentiments. Sadly, terrorism is disproportionately associated with Islam, influencing policies that target Muslim communities negatively. The lack of specific anti-Islamophobic laws further complicates the issue, making it challenging to assess the full extent of the problem. The results of this study show that Muslims in Western countries face discrimination in their day-to-day life which affects their health and also their choices regarding their education, career and social activities. Despite these challenges, there are encouraging efforts by individuals, organizations, and governments working toward countering misconceptions about Islam and promoting inclusivity.

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