In recent decades, states have responded to racism by focusing on individualised issues around citizenship, identity and belonging, to the detriment of collective experience and solidarity. This approach has flattened out or eroded entirely the question of what it is to be Muslim in Europe today. Islamophobia across Europe is structural. It is driven by political leaders, public officials, law and policy makers and the media. Public policy, legislation, and media discourse normalise anti-Muslim racism in the public sphere and largely ignore the structural drivers that underpin systemic Islamophobia.
Despite a deeply concerning increase in racist undercurrents and Islamophobic rhetoric and attacks, coupled with an increase in support for the right and far-right across Europe, few attempts have been made to understand the origins of these attitudes and attacks, or their relationship to wider socio-political practices. In tackling Islamophobia, we must first understand it as a concrete action that is undertaken in the pursuit of certain political and social interests.
To discuss this further TNI will host a webinar on the structural drivers of Islamophobia on 25 November at 4pm CET.
Austria: Farid Hafez – University of Salzburg
United Kingdom: Narzanin Massoumi and David Miller, Spinwatch
France: Yasser Louati, Comité Justice & Libertés Pour Tous
The Netherlands: Nawal Mustafa, S.P.E.A.K. Muslim Women Feminist Collective
France: Benedicte Kurzen, Noor
Spain: Pedro Rojo, Al Fanar
Italy: Prof. Francesco Alfonso Leccese, University of Calabria.