Social and political Islamophobia

Stereotyping, surveillance, and silencing

Authored by: Salua Fawzi

Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415691321
eBook ISBN: 9781315794273
Adobe ISBN: 9781317744023


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Much of the literature treating Islamophobia credits the infamous Runnymede Trust publication Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All (Runnymede Trust 1997) with being the first to use this term in contemporary discourses. The report explains how the term Islamophobia describes the prejudice, hostility, and hatred directed towards Muslims that excludes them from mainstream political and social affairs, and proposes solutions for minimizing its effects. Since its appearance in the Runnymede report, the term Islamophobia has continued to generate a plethora of academic literature. 1 Some of this literature has attempted to determine its expediency and articulate how it is useful in describing some of the many injustices directed at Islam and Muslims, especially those living in the West. 2 Other literature suggests that “Islamophobia comes off as a nebulous and perpetually contested category” (Sayyid 2010: 2), that it “is the term plus its social histories, including contestations, in materially embedded forms” (Vakil 2010: 72), and that it possesses no widely agreed upon or accepted definition that “permits systematic comparative and causal analysis” (Bleich 2011: 1581).

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