Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: islamophobia

11 Islamophobia: A Study of Unfounded Fear of Islam in Nigeria

Authors: AbdulHameed Badmas Yusuf

Abstract:

Islamophobia is unfounded fear of Islam and, more accurately, of his adherents. This phenomenon has found a fertile terrain in Nigeria given her status as a multireligious society where Muslims and Christians co-exist. Over the years, Islamophobia has taken constitutional, diplomatic, educational, financial, and political dimensions in the country. Any move by Muslims to adhere to their religious dictates, within the constitutional framework, is misconstrued by Christians - their religious counterparts- as a systematic way of Islamizing the country. Against this backdrop, this paper casts a look at Islamophobia from the five dimensions mentioned above. It shall identify possible causes of Islamophobia and proffer solutions accordingly. Available resources as well as events in the recent past reveal that Islamophobia is not unconnected with orientalism and terrorism, which are informed by prejudice and ignorance respectively. As such, the paper suggests adequate knowledge and tolerance as inevitable tools to curtail the menace of Islamophobia. This will go a long way in enhancing mutual tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the adherents of Christianity, Islam, and other religions in Nigeria. Both historical and analytical methods are used in this paper.

Keywords: islamophobia, islam, Nigeria, orientalism, terrorism

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10 Combating Islamophobia in Australia: An Analysis of Six Legal and Holistic Strategies to Help Address Discrimination towards Muslims

Authors: F. Zamani Ashni, P. Gerber

Abstract:

In today's religious and political climate, Muslims find themselves the focus of much attention, often in the form of discrimination and vilification. There is a widely held belief that Islam and terrorism are inextricably intertwined. An anti-Muslim narrative has been shaping policy around the world for some time now. This study, which focuses on the experience of Muslims in Australia, provides guidance on legislative and other steps that can be taken by Australia to help address Islamophobia. This study provides a doctrinal analysis of the state, territory, and federal anti-discrimination laws in Australia. Using principles of statutory interpretation along aside an analysis of relevant jurisprudence, this study concludes that Australian anti-discrimination laws are ill-equipped to address modern-day Islamophobia. The study also finds that laws alone are insufficient to combat Islamophobia, and a more holistic approach is required. Six strategies are identified, which can, in combination, help to successfully respond to Islamophobia. In addition to legislative initiatives, combating Islamophobia requires Australia to promote inclusive human rights education, fair media coverage, strong leadership, integration of the Islamic community, and comprehensive documentation of anti-Muslim attacks.

Keywords: Australia, discrimination, Islamophobia, Muslim

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9 Representation of Islamophobia on Social Media: Facebook Comments Analysis

Authors: Nadia Syed

Abstract:

The digital age has inevitably changed the way in which hate crime is committed. The cyber world has become a highly effective means for individuals and groups to be targeted, harmed, and marginalized , largely through online medium. Facebook has become one of the fastest growing social media platforms. At the end of 2013, Facebook had 1,23bn monthly active users and 757 million daily users who log onto Facebook. Within this online space, there are also an increasing number of online virtual communities, and hate groups who are using this freedom to share a violent, Islamophobic and racist description which attempts to create a aggressive virtual environment. This paper is a research on the rise of Islamophobia and the role of media in spreading it. This paper focusing on how the media especially Facebook is portraying Islam as the religion which promotes violence and ultimately playing a significant role in the global rise of Islamophobia against Muslims. It is important to analyse these ‘new’ communities by monitoring the activities they conduct, because the material they post, potentially can have a harmful impact on community cohesion within society. Additionally, as a result of recent figures that shows an increase in online anti-Muslim abuse, there is a pertinent need to address the issue about Islamophobia on social media. On the whole, this study found Muslims being demonized and vilified online which had manifested through negative attitudes, discrimination, stereotypes, physical threats and online harassment which all had the potential to incite violence or prejudicial action because it disparages and intimidates a protected individual or group.

Keywords: Islamophobia, online, social media, facebook, internet, extremism

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8 The Visual Side of Islamophobia: A Social-Semiotic Analysis

Authors: Carmen Aguilera-Carnerero

Abstract:

Islamophobia, the unfounded hostility towards Muslims and Islam, has been deeply studied in the last decades from different perspectives ranging from anthropology, sociology, media studies, and linguistics. In the past few years, we have witnessed how the birth of social media has transformed formerly passive audiences into an active group that not only receives and digests information but also creates and comments publicly on any event of their interest. In this way, average citizens now have been entitled with the power of becoming potential opinion leaders. This rise of social media in the last years gave way to a different way of Islamophobia, the so called ‘cyberIslamophobia’. Considerably less attention, however, has been given to the study of islamophobic images that accompany the texts in social media. This paper attempts to analyse a corpus of 300 images of islamophobic nature taken from social media (from Twitter and Facebook) from the years 2014-2017 to see: a) how hate speech is visually constructed, b) how cyberislamophobia is articulated through images and whether there are differences/similarities between the textual and the visual elements, c) the impact of those images in the audience and their reaction to it and d) whether visual cyberislamophobia has undergone any process of permeating popular culture (for example, through memes) and its real impact. To carry out this task, we have used Critical Discourse Analysis as the most suitable theoretical framework that analyses and criticizes the dominant discourses that affect inequality, injustice, and oppression. The analysis of images was studied according to the theoretical framework provided by the visual framing theory and the visual design grammar to conclude that memes are subtle but very powerful tools to spread Islamophobia and foster hate speech under the guise of humour within popular culture.

Keywords: cyberIslamophobia, visual grammar, social media, popular culture

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7 Islamophobia, Years After 9/11: An Assessment of the American Media

Authors: Nasa'i Muhammad Gwadabe

Abstract:

This study seeks to find the extent to which the old Islamophobic prejudice was tilted towards a more negative direction in the United States following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is hypothesized that, the 9/11 attacks in the United States reshaped the old Islamophobic prejudice through the reinforcement of a strong social identity construction of Muslims as “out-group”. The “social identity” and “discourse representation” theories are used as framework for analysis. To test the hypothesis, two categories were created: the prejudice (out-group) and the tolerance (in-group) categories. The Prejudice (out-group) against Muslims category was coded to include six attributes: (Terrorist, Threat, Women's Rights violation, Undemocratic, Backward and Intolerant); while the tolerance (In-group) for Muslims category was also coded to include six attributes: (Peaceful, civilized, educated, partners trustworthy and honest). Data are generated from the archives of three American newspapers: The Los Angeles Times, New York Times and USA Today using specific search terms and specific date range; from 9/11/1996 to 9/11/2006, that is five years before and five years after the 9/11. An aggregate of 20595 articles were generated from the search of the three newspapers throughout the search periods. Conclusively, for both pre and post 9/11 periods, the articles generated under the category of prejudice (out-group) against Muslims revealed a higher frequency, against that of tolerance (in-group) for them, which is lesser. Finally, The comparison between the pre and post 9/11 periods showed that, the increased Prejudice (out-group) against Muslims was most influenced through libeling them as terrorist, which signaled a skyrocketed increase from pre to post 9/11.

Keywords: in-group, Islam, Islamophobia, Muslims, out-group, prejudice, terrorism, the 9/11 and tolerance

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6 The Rise of Populist Right-Wing Parties in Western Europe: A Case Study of the Front National in France

Authors: Jessica Da Silva

Abstract:

This paper examines France as a microcosm of the rise of right-wing populism in the broader European context. The attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper is arguably, a reaction to the aggressive European secularism spreading throughout Europe that sees its true enemy in the growth of extremist and violent interpretations of Islam. With each terrorist attack, the popularity of anti-immigrant policies and ideologies increases. What ultimately drives movements like the French National Front are the concepts of monoculture and ethnic identity. This paper analyses the character of right-wing populist parties using the National Front as a case study. Such parties generate anxiety and resentment by fomenting an irrational fear of the ‘other’. In this way, populists promote their identity on the basis of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and practices of social exclusion against targeted out-groups. They position immigrants and foreigners as ‘others’, claiming they are a threat to native cultures and a source of social and economic strife. Ultimately, right-wing populism exerts a negative influence over the democratic framework in Europe and opposes the European Union’s integration project. Right-wing populism attacks this supranational model because of its alleged inefficiency and departure from what it considers to be 'authentic' European traditions and citizenship. In this context, understanding the rise of radical right-wing populist parties is extremely important for the future of Europe, democracy and multiculturalism.

Keywords: cultural identity, Europeanization, front national, immigration, integration, Islamophobia, multiculturalism, nationalism, right-wing populist parties, xenophobia

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5 Muslims as the Cultural ‘Other’ in Europe and the Crisis of Multiculturalism

Authors: Tatia Tavkhelidze

Abstract:

The European agenda on multiculturalism has undermined Muslim communities through cultural repulsion. Muslims have been labeled as primitive and dangerous people. They experience discrimination at university, workplace, or in the public sphere on a daily basis. Keeping this in view, the proposed research argues that the coining of Muslimness as a problem in modern European societies indicates the crisis of multiculturalism and it could be explained by the anthropological theory of cultural othering. To prove this assumption, the research undertakes a content analysis of modern policy discourse about Muslims and Islam in different European countries (e.g. France, Austria, Denmark, and Hungary). It focuses on the speech of populist politicians, right-wing party leaders and state officials. The research findings are of great significance as they elucidate that the European societies forgot to respect their own values of toleration, religious liberty and democracy; and undermine the European motto 'unity in diversity.

Keywords: assimilation, islamophobia, multiculturalism, populism

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4 Perception of Discrimination Amongst Minorites in Canada Following the Inception of Bill 21

Authors: Ayman Mohammed, Abdul Raffay Ilyas, Syeda Rohma Sadia, Zuha Durrani, Fareeha Kamal, Shaheryar Syed, Arshiya Shareef, Mukarram Zaidi

Abstract:

On June 16, 2019, Coalition Avenir de Québec (CAQ) passed Bill 21, a controversial bill impacting many Canadians. The Bill prohibits workers in the Quebec provincial sector from wearing any form of religious articles. While the Bill claims to treat all religious symbols equally, those with distinctive items of dress such as hijabs, kippahs, and turbans become targets of the discriminatory nature of the Bill. With the rise in xenophobic behaviour across Canada and the West, Think For Actions conducted a study of Bill 21. The study included responses from Indigenous, Muslims, Sikhs and Jewish people residing in Calgary. The focus was on the recent passing of Bill 21, their opinions on the perceived attitudes of intolerance, and the perceptions of common stereotypes. The data collection and analysis happened over 9 weeks. The method of data collection was semi-structured interviews held in focus groups in different religious institutions and cultural/community centres in Calgary. The focus groups generated unanimously negative responses to the Bill. Participants described the Bill as “hateful” and one which “targets minority religions”. The participants had hopes that the Bill would be defeated and Quebec residents would be protected by their basic rights to practice their religion.

Keywords: Bill 21, Islamophobia, Quebec, minorities, discrimination

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3 From Sympathizers to Perpetrators: Examining the Involvement of Rural Women in Bangladesh in Violent Extremism

Authors: Shantanu Majumder

Abstract:

This paper attempts to explain the factors contribute in attracting and engaging rural women in Bangladesh toward political Islam that in many cases manifests itself in the form of violent extremism (VE). Bangladesh, the fourth largest Muslim majority country in the world, has been confronting the problem of VE in the name of Islam since a long. The political Islamists, explaining the events like military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, anti-Muslim politics in neighboring India and Myanmar, Islamophobia in the West, and several other issues in their own way, have become to a vast extent successful in creating a high level of emotion, anger and a feeling of being oppressed worldwide among the ordinary Muslims masses. Half-hearted role of public intellectuals and political expediency of liberal political forces in explaining these events in a secular democratic way also facilitate the extremists to earn political dividend. VE was perceived as an all-male activism of the political Islamists’ in the past in Bangladesh. However, evidence in the recent times shows that there are sympathizers, recruiters, and perpetrators as well among the womenfolk in favor of VE-based political Islam. The first section in this paper sheds light on the way the political Islamists build rapport with and win over the heart of target women in countryside under the camouflage of preaching authentic Islam. This section also describes the role of family in involvement of women in VE. The second section discusses wide-ranging use of websites, facebook, laptop, mobile phones and several other means in the way to motivate and radicalize women. How the involvement with political Islamists brings changes in thinking process, lifestyle and family life of motivated women has been focused in the third section. The final section deals briefly with the way out relying on the argument that law and order forces alone cannot tackle this problem.

Keywords: Bangladesh, political Islam, violent extremism, women

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2 The New Far-Right: The Social Construction of Hatred against the Contemporary Islamic Community in Multicultural Australia

Authors: Angel Adams

Abstract:

In Australia, the contemporary social construction of hatred against the Islamic community was facilitated through the mainstream media. Australian public figures who have depicted Muslims and Islam not only as potential terrorists but also as incompatible with the country’s values and identities have helped to increase the level of fear against the Islamic community, leading sympathetic far-right movements to shift discussions towards anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Political opportunities combined with a socially constructed narrative of fear of the ‘other’, introduced during the White Australia Policy of 1901, has allowed extreme and radical far-right movements to justify hate against the contemporary Australian Islamic community. This study aims to answer the following question: How does Australia’s founding provide a fertile environment to the spread of hatred against the contemporary Islamic community? The paper demonstrates that a forged social construct of grievances concerning the Islamic community in Australia has led to a surge in supply of far-right activism to combat what has become a perceived ‘national threat’. In essence, Australia’s history of a fear of the ‘other’ brings challenges to a multicultural society, and can potentially lead to a more unstable socio-political environment where abuse and violence are normalized and more likely to develop. Furthermore, the paper aims to bring a more nuanced understanding of what is considered ‘new far-right’ discourses with shared anti-Islam and anti-Muslim agendas in Australia. The political opportunity structures theory was the mechanism used to determine how new forms of far-right groups have become more mainstream in Australia. Previous studies on far-right groups in Australia have relied on qualitative data, but further empirical research in this area is sorely needed. Above all, this paper clarifies how hatred against minorities can have a negative impact on wider communities and allow a global narrative of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ to erupt from the fringes of society in Australia.

Keywords: Australia, Islamophobia, far-right, nationalism, political opportunity structures, political violence, social construction

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1 The Hybridization of Muslim Spaces in Germany: A Historical Perspective on the Perception of Muslims

Authors: Alex Konrad

Abstract:

In 2017, about 4.5 million Muslims live in Germany. They can practice their faith openly, mostly in well-equipped community centers. At the same time, right-wing politicians and media allege that all Muslims tend to be radical and undemocratic. Both perspectives are rooted in an interacting development since the 1970s. German authorities closed the 'King Fahd Academy' international school in Bonn in summer 2017 because they accused the school administration of attracting Islamists. Only 30 years ago, German authorities and labor unions directed their requests for pastoral care of the Muslim communities in Germany to the Turkish and Saudi administrations. This study shows the leading and misleading tracks of Muslim life and its perception in Germany from a historical point of view. Most of the Muslims came as so-called 'Gastarbeiter' (migrant workers) from Turkey and Morocco to West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. Until the late 1970s, German society recognized them as workforce solely and ignored their religious needs broadly. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 caused widespread hysteria about Islamic radicalization. Likewise, it shifted the German perception of migrant workers in Germany. For the first time, the majority society saw them as religious people. Media and self-proclaimed 'experts' on Islam suspected Muslims in Germany of subversive and undemocratic belief. On the upside, they obtained the opportunity to be heard by German society and authorities. In the ensuing decades, Muslims and Islamophiles fought a discursive struggle against right-wing politicians, 'experts' and media with monolithic views. In the 1990s, Muslims achieved to establish a solid infrastructure of Islamic community center throughout Germany. Their religious life became present and contributed to diversifying the common monolithic images of Muslims as insane fundamentalists in Germany. However, the media and many 'experts' promoted the fundamentalist narrative, which gained more and more acceptance in German society at the same time. This study uses archival sources from German authorities, Islamic communities, together with local and national media to get a close approach to the contemporary historical debates. In addition, contributions by Muslims and Islamophiles in Germany, for example in magazines, event reports, and internal communication, revealing their quotidian struggle for more acceptance are being used as sources. The inclusion of widely publicized books, documentaries and newspaper articles about Islam as a menace to Europe conduces to a balanced analysis of the contemporary debates and views. Theoretically, the study applies the Third Space approach. Muslims in Germany fight the othering by the German majority society. It was their chief purpose not to be marginalized in both spatial meanings, discursively and physically. Therefore, they established realities of life as hybrids in Germany. This study reconstructs the development of the perception of Muslims in Germany. It claims that self-proclaimed experts and politicians with monolithic views maintained the hegemonic discursive positions and coined the German images of Muslims. Nevertheless, Muslims in Germany accomplished that Muslim presence in Germany’s everyday life became an integral part of society and the public sphere. This is how Muslims hybridized religious spaces in Germany.

Keywords: experts, fundamentalism, Germany, hybridization, Islamophobia, migrant workers

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