This chapter explores the rise of Hindutva nationalism in India. Among the most misleading and carefully orchestrated strategies of the Hindutva movement, of which the current Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is part and parcel, is to pursue three contradictory, irreconcilable policies in India. First, the weaponisation of pluralism to enforce homogenisation. Second, fomenting radical authoritarian and majoritarian impulses to break the law, yet insist that those that are victims of the subsequent violence accept and abide by it. Third, claiming to champion freedom of speech, assembly, and dissent, while labelling Muslims and Christians who utilise these rights as guilty of incitement or terror. Each of these stratagems contains further internal discord that only adds to the complexity of Hindutva nationalism in India. These approaches are mediated by the psychosomatic link between cowardice and oppression, or what George Simon refers to as ‘predatory aggression’ and ‘narcissistic bullying’. This chapter will explore these facets of Hindutva Islamophobia and the Hindutva colonial project, which have become further intensified in the context of the War on Terror.
This introductory chapter focuses on outlining fundamental understandings and theoretical frameworks, as well as historicising Islamophobia. This unpacking of Islamophobia helps to construct an understanding of the emergence of a globalised Islamophobia and how it manifests in the War on Terror. Furthermore, the chapter explores the co-dependent relationships between interpersonal and institutional forms of Islamophobia that have materialised to embolden the growth of nativism, Islamophobic protest movements, and Islamophobic political rhetoric globally. The Introduction discusses how the synergistic relationship between interpersonal and institutional forms of Islamophobia helps to construct categorisations of Islamophobia across the global North and South which represent similar and differing manifestations that are textured by local histories, colonialism, imperialism, and notions of racial supremacy. The introduction also provides a brief outline of the edited volume and explains which specific sites of Islamophobia from the global North and South are included in the book.
This chapter provides an overview of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) counter-terrorism policies targeting Uyghurs since 2001, when the state first asserted that it faced a terrorist threat from this population. In reviewing these policies and their impact, the chapter suggests that the state has gradually isolated and excluded Uyghurs from PRC society. The chapter articulates the progressive exclusion and policing of Uyghurs in the War on Terror, where the Uyghur people have come to symbolise an existential threat to society that must be policed through surveillance, punishment, and detention. Furthermore, the state narrative of the Uyghurs has stirred and legitimised fear, stigma, and violence from private actors towards this community. Rather than suggesting that these impacts of China’s War on Terror coincide with the intent of state policy, the chapter argues that they are inevitable outcomes of labelling a given ethnic population as a terrorist threat in the age of the global War on Terror.
Racialising the Muslim subject in public, media, and political discourse in the War on Terror era
This chapter analyses manifestations of Islamophobia within the historical, political, and cultural context of Australia and examines the interplay of Islamophobia within the religious plane, the political sphere, media reporting, right-wing organisations and the field of criminology. The chapter explores interpersonal and institutional aspects of Islamophobia and the relationships between them. Interpersonal manifestations of Islamophobia include the growth of hate crimes against Muslims in Australia; public discourse surrounding Muslim women veiling and Islamic ritual slaughter; and the actions of Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man who engaged in the Christchurch mosque shooting. Institutional aspects of Islamophobia describe the growth of far-right and nativist political rhetoric and anti-terrorism laws that have targeted Australian Muslim communities. The findings presented in this chapter signify the circumstances under which anti-Muslim hate incidents exist and affect Australian Muslims, illustrate specific characteristics of interpersonal Islamophobia in Australian society, and demonstrate how the politics on the global War on Terror are entangled with localised policies and legislation aimed at policing the Muslim subject.
Constructing mythologies surrounding reverse colonisation and Islamisation through politics and protest movements
This chapter briefly examines Dutch rule over the East Indies, particularly focusing on the brutal and violent occupation of Indonesia. Colonial attitudes during this period framed Islam as a heretical faith and viewed Muslims as a primitive people. This colonial legacy of suppressing Islam and viewing Muslim practices as backwards forms the backdrop of current-day anti-Muslim racism and bias in the Netherlands, addressed throughout the rest of the chapter. Islamophobia in the Netherlands includes interpersonal forms, through the emergence of nativist Euro-nationalist groups like the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (Pegida), as well as other far-right anti-Muslim groups. Their protest towards Muslim institutions and fear-mongering, promoting the myth of European Islamisation, are endemic in public discourse and have brought about exclusion and violence towards Muslim communities in the Netherlands. This situation is exacerbated through institutional forms of Islamophobia, including integration policies, which reinforce notions of the moderate ‘good Muslim’ in contrast to the radical ‘bad Muslim’. However, these binaries are increasingly becoming inconsequential, through the rise of extreme far-right political figures, who have normalised rhetoric framing all Muslims as an incompatible fifth column to the state.
The vicious cycle of institutionalised racism and reinforcing the Muslim ‘Other’
English encounters with Muslim-majority lands from the Crusades, colonial occupations, and most recently the War on Terror, provide a foundation for a nuanced understanding of current-day anti-Muslim racism in the United Kingdom (UK) – i.e., Islamophobia. In the context of the War on Terror, ‘Others’ – Muslims in Britain – have been brutally demonised. Muslims, routinely presented as the source of society’s ills, are subjected to both symbolic and actual violence. Deep-seated and structurally racialised norms amplify the isolation and alienation, impeding Muslim integration. Both these ‘left-behind’ Muslims and white British groups, who perceive themselves as the true nation, are under pressure from ongoing geopolitical concerns in the Muslim world, as well as widening divisions at home. This chapter discusses the symbiotic intersections between interpersonal and institutional Islamophobia and radicalisation, which have fuelled the growth of nativist and populist anti-Muslim protest movements, as well as sanitised state policies and legislation policing the Muslim subject under the guise of national security and curbing ‘extremism’ in the War on Terror. Ultimately, the perpetuation of interpersonal and structural Islamophobia in the UK and beyond creates a cycle of hate crimes, the institutionalisation of Islamophobia, and the normalisation of war and conflict.
This chapter addresses a common misconception that conservatives and/or the Republican Party have a monopoly on Islamophobia in United States (US) politics. It argues that a wide range of political actors and stakeholders – conservatives, moderates, and progressives – are invested in the racialisation of Muslims and in the effort to securitise Muslims and cast them as threatening and inferior ‘Others’. The mainstreaming of Islamophobia reflects an environment in which support for US imperial interests resonates across the political spectrum, resulting not only in aggressive military incursions in Muslim-majority regions but also in domestic policies that frame Muslim Americans as representative of a perceived Muslim threat to US global hegemony.
This chapter looks at how Islamophobia is conceptualised and operates in Canada as a set of discourses and practices defined through the relationship between Muslims, racialisation, and coloniality. The racialised logics that underpin the construction of the Canadian national imaginary are grounded in the intersecting histories of English and French white settler-colonial projects. These racialised logics continue to shape the present-day relationship between white majorities and racialised Muslim minorities in Canada and Quebec, most visible in the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting and its aftermath. This chapter situates this national analysis within the global and transnational elements that inform Islamophobia, such as the War on Terror and its securitisation of Muslims and the rise of xenophobic and Islamophobic far-right and white supremacist political groups in the United States, Canada and Quebec. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the emergence of Muslim political identity and agency as part of the active resistance to ongoing Islamophobic laws, political discourses, and actions.
The so-called ‘War on Terror’ ushered in a new era of anti-Muslim bias and racism. Anti-Muslim racism, or Islamophobia, is influenced by local economies, power structures, and histories. However, the War on Terror, a conflict undefined by time and place, with a homogenised Muslim ‘Other’ framed as a perpetual enemy, has contributed towards a global Islamophobic narrative. This edited volume examines the differing manifestations of Islamophobia, as well as resistance and activism combating it across multiple international settings, spanning six continents. The volume maps out categories of Islamophobia across the global North and South.These are the localised histories, conflicts, and contemporary geopolitical realities in the context of the War on Terror which have influenced and textured the ways that Islamophobia has manifested. This ranges from limited instances of racial violence and hate crimes to more pronounced co-dependent relations between interpersonal and institutional racism that have culminated in genocide. This book presents a nuanced appreciation of specific themes that critically engage with the complexity and evolution of Islamophobia in the War on Terror. It provides up-to-date accounts and analysis of Islamophobia across the global North and South and its impact on the political landscape of differing country contexts. Furthermore, this book explores resistance and the need for activism that confronts interpersonal and institutional racism, with the aim of constructing a more coherent understanding of how to challenge Islamophobia.
Islamophobia is a term that frequently describes anti-Muslim racism, as well as the ‘Othering’ of the Muslims in settler societies and European nations from the global North. Increasingly, the term Islamophobia has been used to describe systemic racism and anti-Muslim violence from the global South. This chapter investigates the phenomenon of Islamophobia in Myanmar, which culminated in the Rohingya genocide in August 2017. The accusation of genocide has been denied by the state of Myanmar. Furthermore, recent violence against the Rohingya has been sanitised as an unfortunate consequence of the War on Terror. This chapter examines both institutional Islamophobia, as well as Islamophobia enacted by private actors in Myanmar. The central argument in this analysis demonstrates that the co-dependent relationship between institutional and interpersonal Islamophobia since military rule in Myanmar, in the absence of a strong and unified resistance, contributed to the genocide. This analysis provides insights into the troubling logic used to defend the state-sponsored violence and killing of Rohingya in post-democratic Myanmar and its relationship to the War on Terror.