The current economic crisis and the ignorance of some Western scholars are fueling prejudices against Islam, participants said at a conference in Poland Friday.
The daylong conference in the western Polish city of Wroclaw considered the media portrayal of Islam, attitudes towards Muslim immigrants in France and the perception of Muslims in the former Soviet Union.
Imam Ali Abi Issa, of Wroclaw's mosque, said some Western scholars are fueling Islamophobia by studying Islamic texts without looking at historical or cultural contexts.
Some studies are conducted by people without a fluent knowledge of Arabic, he said.
'Based on a fragmented understanding of jihad, some conclude that it's purely an offensive tactic,' he said. 'Western methodology is fueling Islamophobia because it doesn't take into account Muslim studies.'