Securitising Islam covertly
in The securitisation of Islam
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This chapter offers an innovative twist to securitisation theory by introducing the notion of indirect securitisations, which occur when the speaker resorts to covert language rather than an explicit language of threats and enmity. This type of securitisation is more likely in societies where what Tali Mendelberg refers to the ‘norm of racial equality’ prohibits racist speech. It also speaks to everyday racism by exploring how the indirect securitisation of Islam in the war on terror constitutes a covert form of racism. To this end, the first section draws on John Searle’s indirect speech act theory and unpacks how Bush, Obama and Trump have used indirect speech acts when speaking about Islam. Because indirect securitising speech acts allow actors to avoid worst possible outcomes and ‘save face’, this chapter argues that indirect securitising speech acts are an important tool in elites’ securitising playbook.

The securitisation of Islam

Covert racism and affect in the United States post-9/11


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