In this article, I will talk about the globally rising xenophobia. The term xenophobia refers to dislike, fear of unknown or fearing something that is different from you. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years xenophobic rhetoric and hate crimes are on the rise in all over the world.
The first question should be asked is; “Why is it globally rising?” To answer this question, we must take a closer look at the reasons of xenophobia. One of the first and in my opinion, one of the most important reason is the refugee and migrant crisis. Due to terrorist attacks happening all over the world, European countries and USA have taken strict precautions. Counter terrorism legislations has been tightened. In some countries several anti-immigrant marches held. Far right and right wing have gained ground.
“The main driving force behind xenophobia is fear of certain groups of people that are different from the group perceived as “us”. This fear mainly relates to economic, cultural, and security threats that could be abstract or realistic in their nature.”
Politicians have exploited these fears for their political goals. Furthermore, media has a non-negligible impact on increasing xenophobia. J. Olaf Kleist has mentioned in an article that media researcher Friederike Herrmann argues that the media began creating the impression that the refugee issue was overwhelming the state, thereby inciting fear. In my opinion media should make objective publications on such critical society-related issues.
In conclusion, we have to think with a collective mind on solutions for increasing xenophobia. We must try to reduce xenophobia by starting with awareness raising classes especially for children in the age of education. Education is the only way to get rid of this ugly stereotypes,
racism and xenophobia.
As a United Nations independent expert mentioned, high quality education has a significant impact on preventing all the forms of discrimination. Addition to this, religion and caste-based politics needs to be ended in order to reduce inciting fear and hate that I mentioned before.
Leo Meriç Yamanlar,
Agora Leo Club Turkey.