This chapter discusses how Muslims have been framed as a security threat in Austrian politics. It starts with the Habsburg monarchy and how opponent Muslims were criminalised in the Austrian colony of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and shows how Muslim agency has been criminalised again in contemporary Austria. The chapter demonstrates how the governing conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) managed successfully to fundamentally reshape the state’s politics towards Muslim communities by introducing the terminology of ‘political Islam’ into the public discourse, while connecting this to the fear of pan-Islamism in colonial Austria. Institutions that produce knowledge to criminalise Muslimness have been at the centre of the discourse on ‘political Islam’, which influenced the work of the domestic intelligence agency and subsequently police operations, as well as legislation. This chapter demonstrates that the discourse on ‘political Islam’ not only targets Muslimness but also criminalises vocal and/or organised Muslims as well as anti-racist actors and thus captures the postcolonial governance of Islam in contemporary Austria.
The so-called ‘Triple Frontier’ – the border between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay – is the ‘host society’ of an important Muslim community, composed mainly of Lebanese immigrants and their descendants born in Brazil and Paraguay. In less than two decades, Shi’i and Sunni Arab Muslims created mosques, religious centres, a cemetery, and three schools. Mosques, schools, and religious centres are spaces for the production of a sense of community. The institutional discourse of these entities emphasises the connection between religion and community of origin, considering Islam as part of ‘Arab culture’. However, since the early 2000s, through influences from international media and the US-led War on Terror, this area has been constructed as a ‘Terrorist Sanctuary’. This chapter aims to analyse how local Muslim communities became the object of an Islamophobic discourse played out as an external phenomenon; the region was also included in reports by the US Department of State as well as in the discourse by governmental agencies from Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. After 9/11 the Arab Muslim community organised itself through a series of movements supported by the local civil society to repudiate stigmatising campaigns.
From historical roots to electioneering exploitation
The tensions and rifts between France and the Muslim world, whether domestic or regional, may be analysed as resulting from various historic dynamics. The most important of these rifts is an internal one. It is by far the most structural – and the most decisive. Above all, it is rooted in the contemporary, post-Revolutionary history of French society. This rift has, however, been made more explicit and amplified by recent political power struggles, particularly since 2018. Like many of their European counterparts, for several decades, French political forces had thrown themselves into defiant electioneering one-upmanship against their fellow citizens descended from Muslim backgrounds. Since 2018, this posture has no longer been the sole preserve of far-right political forces. It has become the position of a quasi-majority of the political landscape. Far more consequentially, it has become the policy of the government of President Emmanuel Macron. This chapter examines the historical roots of Islamophobia in the French context, as well as how the issue of Muslims and Islamophobia has become deeply politicised in France.
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
Derya Iner and Sean McManus
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.