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Defining and Researching Islamophobia

Abstract

Islamophobia was originally developed as a concept in the late 1990s by political activists to draw attention to rhetoric and actions directed at Islam and Muslims in Western liberal democracies. In recent years, Islamophobia has evolved from a primarily political concept toward one increasingly deployed for analytical purposes. Researchers have begun using the term to identify the history, presence, dimensions, intensity, causes, and consequences of anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim sentiments. In short, Islamophobia is an emerging comparative concept in the social sciences. Yet, there is no widely-accepted definition of the term. As a result, it is extremely difficult to compare levels of Islamophobia across time, location, or social group, or to levels of analogous categories like racism, anti-Semitism, or xenophobia.

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Review of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 2151-3481
  • EISSN: 2329-3225
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-middle-east-studies
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