‘Islamophobism’ as an Ideology in the West
Scapegoating Migrants of Muslim Origin
(2016) In A. Amelina, K. Horvath, B. Meeus, An Anthology of Migration and Social Transformation. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer, Cham
This chapter offers a review of the recent literature on Islamophobia in Europe through the lens of immigration issues, socio-economic status and the civic participation of Muslim-origin immigrants and their descendants. It also seeks to address the most recent data, survey findings and public discourses concerning the current state of Islamophobia in the European context. The main premise is that the European identity of today is partly built upon what is referred to in the chapter as ‘Islamophobia’, or anti-Muslim racism. Describing Islamophobia as a form of ideology, the chapter argues that Islamophobia operates as a form of cultural racism in Europe, which has become apparent together with the process of securitising and stigmatising migration and migrants in this age of neoliberalism. Referring to the current survey findings and to fieldwork conducted in the last decade (particularly in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands), as well as tracing the genealogy of this Islamophobia since 1973, this chapter traces the ways in which this ideology has been used by the neoliberal states in Europe.