Raheel Raza’s commentary misses the point. Of course Islam will remain unaffected as a practised religion by the politics of suspicion and fear. However, those who practise the faith will be affected by such politics of division.
When a widely read Canadian news magazine publishes a series of one-sided articles about Muslims, including one saying Muslims are an insidious force in the West, public opinion about a minority community can be shaped.
There are some who wrongly misuse Islamophobia to stifle debate (as has been done with anti-Semitism), but that doesn’t make the realities of Islamophobia disappear.
I agree that there is no epidemic of Islamophobia, but that doesn’t mean we should close our eyes and ears and dismiss incidents of hate and bigotry. Just ask the Ottawa family that recently found a severed pig’s head on their doorstep with an anti-Muslim slur written on it.