Voices Of Youth

Young must realise risks of Islamophobia

The threat of Islamophobia in Singapore has often been dismissed on the grounds that our country is a "multiracial" and "multi-religious" society that is safe from racial tensions.

Islamophobia is often talked about as a Western phenomenon, and terrorism-related issues are discussed as merely abstract or academic concepts.

It can be potentially dangerous if youngsters fail to realise how closely Islamophobia is related to us and our immediate surroundings. It can create serious repercussions for us as a nation.

My school is a Chinese school, and most of us seldom have the chance to interact with anyone non-Chinese. This is troubling. A subtle polarisation seems to exist.

More opportunities need to be given for interracial interaction and the forging of bonds, especially among youngsters.

It is extremely difficult to truly understand another race unless we know someone of that race.

We can have classroom discussions on race, terrorism and their social implications, but it is personal connections that will greatly deepen understanding between people of different races.

Zhang Zheting, 16

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Young must realise risks of Islamophobia'. Print Edition | Subscribe