Religion Wiki

Islamophobia is prejudice or discrimination against Islam or Muslims.[1] The term seems to date back to the late 1980s,[2] but came into common usage after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.[3] In 1997, the British Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as the "dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, to the fear and dislike of all Muslims," stating that it also refers to the practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation. It includes the perception that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.[4] Professor Anne Sophie Roald writes that steps were taken toward official acceptance of the term in January 2001 at the "Stockholm International Forum on Combating Intolerance", where Islamophobia was recognized as a form of intolerance alongside Xenophobia and Antisemitism.[5]

Sources have suggested an increasing trend in Islamophobia, some of which attribute it to the September 11 attacks,[6] while others associate it with the increased presence of Muslims in the Western world.[7] In May 2002 the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), a European Union watchdog, released a report entitled "Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001", which described an increase in Islamophobia-related incidents in European member states post-9/11.[8] Although the term is widely recognized and used, it has not been without controversy.[9]


Islamophobia is a neologism formed of Islam, the post-classical Latin -o- connecting vowel, and the post-classical Latin combining form -phobia which is used to form nouns with the sense 'irrational fear of' or 'aversion to.'[10] As opposed to being a psychological or individualistic phobia, according to associate professor of religion Peter Gottschalk, Islamophobia connotes a social anxiety about Islam and Muslims.[11][12]


A number of individuals and organizations have made attempts to define the concept. Kofi Annan told a UN conference on Islamophobia in 2004: "[W]hen the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development. Such is the case with Islamophobia."[13]

In 1996, the Runnymede Trust established the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, chaired by Professor Gordon Conway, the vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex. Their report, Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, was launched in November 1997 by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw. In this report, Islamophobia was defined by the Trust as "an outlook or world-view involving an unfounded dread and dislike of Muslims, which results in practices of exclusion and discrimination."[14] An early documented use of the word in the United States was by the conservative American Insight magazine in 1991, used to describe Russian activities in Afghanistan.[14] Other claims of early use include usage by Iranian clerics in 1979,[15] or its use in 1921 by the painter Étienne Dinet.[16]

The American writer Stephen Schwartz has defined Islamophobia as the condemnation of the entirety of Islam and its history as extremist; denying the existence of a moderate Muslim majority; regarding Islam as a problem for the world; treating conflicts involving Muslims as necessarily their own fault; insisting that Muslims make changes to their religion; and inciting war against Islam as a whole.[17]

In a 2007 article in Journal of Sociology defines Islamophobia as anti-Muslim racism and a continuation of anti-Asian and anti-Arab racism.[18] Similarly, John Denham has drawn parallels between modern Islamophobia and the antisemitism of the 1930s.[19] So has Maud Olofsson,[20] Professor Jan Hjärpe,[21] and George Galloway.[22]

In a 2008 article in the "Journal of Political Ideologies" Jose P. Zuquete argues that Islamophobia is a catch-all term that should be avoided. Islamophobia places under the broad umbrella of 'fear or hatred of Islam' discourses and criticisms that may have distinct sources, motivations and goals. He argues instead for the use of "anti-Islamic" (because it distinguishes between different discourses about Islam).


The Runnymede report identified eight perceptions related to Islamophobia:

  1. Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
  2. It is seen as separate and "other." It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
  3. It is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive, and sexist.
  4. It is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, and engaged in a clash of civilizations.
  5. It is seen as a political ideology, used for political or military advantage.
  6. Criticisms made of "the West" by Muslims are rejected out of hand.
  7. Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
  8. Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural and normal.[23]

The above perceptions are seen as closed views on Islam. These are contrasted, in the report, with open views on Islam which, while founded on respect for Islam, permit legitimate disagreement, dialogue and critique.[24] According to Benn and Jawad, The Runnymede Trust notes that anti-Muslim discourse is increasingly seen as respectable, providing examples on how hostility towards Islam and Muslims is accepted as normal, even among those who may actively challenge other prevalent forms of discrimination.[25]

In some societies, Islamophobia has materialized due to the portrayal of Islam and Muslims as the national "Other", where exclusion and discrimination occurs on the basis of their religion and civilization which differs with national tradition and identity. Examples include Pakistani and Algerian migrants in Britain and France respectively.[26] This sentiment, according to Malcolm Brown and Robert Miles, significantly interacts with racism, although Islamophobia itself is not racism.[27] The publication "Social Work and Minorities: European Perspectives" describes Islamophobia as the new form of racism in Europe,[28] arguing that "Islamophobia is as much a form of racism as Anti-Semitism, a term more commonly encountered in Europe as a sibling of Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance."[29]

Brown and Miles write that another feature of Islamophobic discourse is to amalgamate nationality (i.e. Arab), religion (Islam), and politics (terrorism, fundamentalism) — while most other religions are not associated with terrorism, or even "ethnic or national distinctiveness."[30] They feel that "many of the stereotypes and misinformation that contribute to the articulation of Islamophobia are rooted in a particular perception of Islam", such as the notion that Islam promotes terrorism; especially prevalent after the September 11, 2001 attacks.[31]


According to Elizabeth Poole in the Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic studies, the media has been criticized for perpetrating Islamophobia. She cites a case study examining a sample of articles in the British press from between 1994 and 2004, which concluded that Muslim viewpoints were underrepresented and that issues involving Muslims usually depicted them in a negative light. Such portrayals, according to Poole, include the depiction of Islam and Muslims as a threat to Western security and values.[32] Benn and Jawad write that hostility towards Islam and Muslims are "closely linked to media portrayals of Islam as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist."[25] Egorova and Tudor cite European researchers in suggesting that expressions used in the media such as "Islamic terrorism", "Islamic bombs" and "violent Islam" have resulted in a negative perception of Islam.[33]

There have been several initiatives, based upon the sixty recommendations listed in the Runnymede Trust's report, aimed at increase Muslim participation in media and politics. Soon after the release of the Runnymede report, the Muslim Council of Britain was formed to serve as an umbrella body aiming to "represent Muslims in the public sphere, to lobby government and other institutions." The "Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism" (FAIR) was also established, designed to monitor coverage in the media and establish dialogue with media organizations. Following the attacks of September 11, the Islam Awareness Week and the "Best of British Islam Festival" were introduced to improve community relations and raise awareness about Islam.[34]


Islamophobia has become a topic of increasing sociological and political importance.[30] According to Benn and Jawad, Islamophobia has increased since British Muslims' denouncement of Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" and the September 11 attacks.[35] Anthropologist Steven Vertovec writes that the purported growth in Islamophobia may be associated with increased Muslim presence in society and successes.[7] He suggests a circular model, where increased hostility towards Islam and Muslims results in governmental countermeasures such as institutional guidelines and changes to legislation, which itself may fuel further Islamophobia due to increased accommodation for Muslims in public life. Vertovec concludes: "As the public sphere shifts to provide a more prominent place for Muslims, Islamophobic tendencies may amplify."[7]

Patel, Humphries, and Naik claim that "Islamophobia has always been present in Western countries and cultures. In the last two decades, it has become accentuated, explicit and extreme."[36] However, Vertovec states that some have observed that Islamophobia has not necessarily escalated in the past decades, but that there has been increased public scrutiny of it.[7] According to Abduljalil Sajid, one of the members of the Runnymede Trust's Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, "Islamophobias" have existed in varying strains throughout history, with each version possessing its own distinct features as well as similarities or adaptations from others.[37] An observatory report on Islamophobia by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference similarly states that Islamophobia has existed for as long as Islam itself.[38]

Some Muslims in India have complained about substantial discrimination. According the controversial Sachar Committee report, muslims are heavily under-represented in different government and social areas.[39][40] Among other claims, it declared that in the province of West Bengal, where Muslims make up 27% of the population, their employment in the government sector was below 3%.[41]. These findings have been disputed, in particular, by Indian Muslim politician Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (who is generally very critical of Islamophobic hatred[42]) as politically motivated propaganda designed to secure votes from the substantially sized Muslim electorate in India by cultivating division in Indian society.[43] Numerous prominent Indian Muslims have declared that Muslims in India are treated exceedingly well compared to other countries.[44]

Muslims in the Uyghur region of China have complained of discrimination from Han Chinese[45]. Adherents of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a secessionist movement among the Uyghur Sunni Muslims of Western China have claimed that the Communist regime of China engages in active restrictions of Islamic practises. Hajj travel for Muslims is controlled, as is Sawm during Ramadan, and Koranic teachings are censored by the government.[45] Reports argue that the July 2009 Ürümqi riots were the result of such discriminations. Human Rights Watch, as well as Uyghur activists like Rebiya Kadeer, have alleged that the Chinese state is carrying out systematic anti-Muslim campaign in the name of counter-terrorism and anti-separatism.[46]

A Pew report released in 2009 noted that nearly six-in-ten American adults see Muslims as being subject to a lot of discrimination, far more than Mormons, Atheists, or Jews.[47]

EUMC reports

The largest project monitoring Islamophobia was undertaken following 9/11 by the EU watchdog, European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). Their May 2002 report "Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001", written by Chris Allen and Jorgen S. Nielsen of the University of Birmingham, was based on 75 reports — 15 from each EU member nation.[48][49] The report highlighted the regularity with which ordinary Muslims became targets for abusive and sometimes violent retaliatory attacks after 9/11. Despite localized differences within each member nation, the recurrence of attacks on recognizable and visible traits of Islam and Muslims was the report's most significant finding. Incidents consisted of verbal abuse, blaming all Muslims for terrorism, forcibly removing women's hijabs, spitting on Muslims, calling children "Usama," and random assaults. Muslims have been hospitalized and on one occasion paralyzed.[49] The report also discussed the portrayal of Muslims in the media. Inherent negativity, stereotypical images, fantastical representations, and exaggerated caricatures were all identified. The report concluded that "a greater receptivity towards anti-Muslim and other xenophobic ideas and sentiments has, and may well continue, to become more tolerated."[49]

The EUMC has since released a number of publications related to Islamophobia, including "The Fight against Antisemitism and Islamophobia: Bringing Communities together (European Round Tables Meetings)" (2003) and "Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia" (2006).[50]

Criticism of concept

The concept of Islamophobia has been criticized on several grounds.[51][52][53] Some critics argue that it is real, but is just another form of racism and does not require its own category,[54] while others argue that it is used to censor criticism, that its use threatens free speech,[52][55] or is used to silence issues relating to Muslim populations in Western countries[56]

Novelist Salman Rushdie and others signed a manifesto entitled Together facing the new totalitarianism in March 2006 which denounced Islamophobia as "a wretched concept."[57] British academic Michael Burleigh argues that the term 'spares anyone the need to examine what has gone wrong within [Europe's Muslim] communities'[56]. Some opponents argue that Islamophobia is justified.[9] Others, such as Edward Said, consider Islamophobia as it is evinced in Orientalism to be a 'secret sharer' in a more general antisemitic Western tradition[58][59][60] However, Daniel Pipes says that "'Islamophobia' deceptively conflates two distinct phenomena: fear of Islam and fear of radical Islam."[61]

The concept of Islamophobia as formulated by Runnymede is criticized by professor Fred Halliday on several levels. He writes that the target of hostility in the modern era is not Islam and its tenets as much as it is Muslims and their actions, suggesting that a more accurate term would be "Anti-Muslimism."[62] Poole responds by noting that many Islamophobic discourses attack what they perceive to be Islam's tenets, while Miles and Brown write that Islamophobia is usually based upon negative stereotypes about Islam which are then translated into attacks on Muslims.[63][64] Halliday also states that strains and types of prejudice against Islam and Muslims vary across different nations and cultures, which is not recognized in the Runnymede analysis. Miles and Brown respond by arguing that "the existence of different ‘Islamophobias’ does not invalidate the concept of Islamophobia any more than the existence of different racisms invalidates the concept of racism."[63] Halliday argues that the concept of Islamophobia unwittingly plays into the hands of extremists.[62]

British writer and academic Kenan Malik believes that the charge of Islamophobia confuses discrimination against Muslims with criticism of Islam, and that it is used to silence critics and Muslim reformers. He writes that the extent to which Muslims are more vulnerable to social exclusion and attacks than other groups is frequently and allows for a culture of victimhood, where all failings are attributed to Islamophobia. Islamophobia is not a form of racism, in his view, because Islam is a belief system.[65] This analysis is criticized by Inayat Bunglawala from the Muslim Council of Britain and Abdul Wahid from the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.[66] Bunglawala writes that Malik's argument is limited to overt acts of violence against Muslims, without recognizing less overt forms of prejudice or discrimination. By ignoring non-violent examples of Islamophobia, Malik's commentary "makes a mockery of victims of prejudice by pretending they have not been discriminated against," according to Bunglawala.[66]

In the wake of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, a group of 12 writers signed a statement in the French weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in March 2006, warning against the use of the term Islamophobia to prevent criticism of "Islamic totalitarianism." The novelist Salman Rushdie was among these signatories.[57] These views are shared by Dutch law professor Afshin Ellian.[67] Critics cite the case of British journalist Polly Toynbee, who was nominated in May 2003 for the title of "Most Islamophobic Media Personality of the Year" at the 'Annual Islamophobia Awards' overseen by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, for claiming that Islam "... imposes harsh regimes that deny the most basic human rights."[68]

In an article called "Fighting Islamophobia: A Response to Critics", Assistant Professor Deepa Kumar writes that the modern-day demonization of Arabs and Muslims by US politicians and others is racist and Islamophobic, and employed in support of an unjust war. About the public impact of this rhetoric, she says that "One of the consequences of the relentless attacks on Islam and Muslims by politicians and the media is that Islamophobic sentiment is on the rise." She also chides some "people on the left" for using the same "Islamophobic logic as the Bush regime". She concludes with the statement "At times like this, people of conscience need to organize and speak out against Islamophobia."[69]

Johann Hari of The Independent has criticized the use of the term by organizations like Islamophobia Watch, arguing that liberal Muslims interested in reform are left unsupported because people fear being accused of Islamophobia.[70] Writing in the New Humanist, philosopher Piers Benn suggests that people who fear the rise of Islamophobia foster an environment "not intellectually or morally healthy", to the point that what he calls "Islamophobia-phobia" can undermine "critical scrutiny of Islam as somehow impolite, or ignorant of the religion's true nature."[71] The New Criterion editor Roger Kimball argues that the word "Islamophobia" is a misnomer. "A phobia describes an irrational fear, and it is axiomatic that fearing the effects of radical Islam is not irrational, but on the contrary very well-founded indeed, so that if you want to speak of a legitimate phobia... ...we should speak instead of Islamophobia-phobia, the fear of and revulsion towards Islamophobia."[72]

Public discourse

Efforts against Islamophobia

There have been efforts against Islamophobia by many organizations in many countries; some of these are detailed below.

  • In 2006 the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) set up an observatory on Islamophobia which will monitor and document activities perceived as Islamophobic around the world.[73]
  • A radio talk show host from 630 WMAL on November 26, 2006 exposed the prevalence of Islamophobia by seeming to advocate a government program to force all Muslims to wear "identifying markers."[74] The hoax was revealed at the end of the program.
  • During the accession talks regarding Turkeys possible entry to the EU, then Prime Minister of Holland, Jan Peter Balkenende, said Islamophobia must not affect the possibility of Turkey's entry to the European Union.[75]
  • 50,000 people signed a petition urging French President Jacques Chirac to "consider Islamophobia as a new form of racism, punishable by law. The statement reads that the publishing of insulting cartoons of Muhammad by the French press hurt and offended the feelings of French Muslims."[76]
  • In Tower Hamlets, a densely populated area in London with a large Muslim community, a crime reporting scheme called "Islamophobia - Don't Suffer in Silence" has been set up which police hope will raise awareness of Islamophobia and help them to understand the extent of the problem.[77]
  • The British National Union of Teachers (NUT) has issued guidance to teachers in the union advising that teachers have to "Challenge Islamophobia", and that they have a "crucial role" to play in helping to "dispel myths about Muslim communities."[78]
  • Following an Islamist demonstration outside the Danish Embassy in London organized by the Al Ghurabaa organization in response to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, the Muslim Association of Britain organized a peaceful rally in Trafalgar Square. Organizers made available placards and T-shirts bearing the rally's official slogan, the phrase, "United against Islamophobia, united against incitement."[79][80]
  • Following the July 7 bombings, the British government set up a number of initiatives aimed at combating Islamophobia, including the "National Forum against extremism and Islamophobia".[81] There was also plans by the British government to ban incitement to "religious hatred", however, this failed to get through the House of Commons.[82][83]
  • The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan issued a call in 1999 to world leaders to combat Islamophobia.[84] Abdel-Elah Khatib, the Jordanian foreign minister said "The international community must consider how to confront this phenomenon of Islamophobia in order to prevent its proliferation".
  • The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) held a seminar on how to combat Islamophobia.[85]

Islamophobic acts


In the 1990s, the Bosnian Genocide and Kosovo War, both of which involved the "mass murder of innocent Muslims," have been linked to Islamophobia.[86] According to the ICRC data on the Bosnian Genocide, "200,000 people were killed, 12,000 of them children, up to 50,000 women were raped, and 2.2 million were forced to flee their homes."[87]


In January 2006 the Dutch parliament voted in favor of a proposal to ban the burqa in public, leading to accusations of Islamophobia.[88] Filip Dewinter, the leader of Vlaams Belang bloc has said his party is "Islamophobic." He said: "Yes, we are afraid of Islam. The Islamisation of Europe is a frightening thing."[89]


Halima Mautbur, from the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations called an attack on a hijabi Muslim woman "an Islamophobic incident".[90] On January 4, 2010, in Hamilton city of Ontario, Canada the largest mosque of the city on Stone Church Road was firebombed.[91] Hamilton police’s hate crime unit and chief arson investigator discovered "evidence of vandalism at the property as well as an incendiary device"[92]. Attackers had used a large rock, lighter and Molotov cocktail.[93]


Doudou Diène in a report prepared by the UN Commission on Human Rights released on March 7, 2006 mentioned the publishing of the cartoons at the heart of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy regarding, "The development of Islamophobia or any racism and racial discrimination ..."[94]


148 French Muslim graves were desecrated near Arras. A pig's head was hung from a headstone and profanities insulting Islam and Muslims were daubed on some graves.[95] Dalil Boubakeur, a director of a Paris mosque described the vandalism on a Mosque in Paris, France as Islamophobic.[96] On December 13, 2009, The Mosque of Castres in southern France, was vandalized in the night.[97] Swastika in black paint, "Sieg Heil" in German, "France for the French" in French, and "White Power" in English were scrawled on the mosque.[98] Additionally, a pig's foot was hung on the mosque.[99]

The Islamic headscarf ban at schools in 2004 has been accused of being Islamophobic. As a consequence, the years following the ban has seen an increasing number of Islamic secondary schools being established, French Muslim female students increasingly choosing to study at home, some shaving their hair, and others migrating away from France with their families.[100] Muslim students have also increasingly enrolled at Catholic schools, which are usually more tolerant towards Islam than the secular public schools.[101] In 2010, a study entitled, Are French Muslims Discriminated Against in Their Own Country?, has shown that "Muslims sending out resumes in hopes of a job interview had 2.5 times less chance than Christians" with similar credentials "of a positive response to their applications."[102]


On July 1, 2009, Marwa El-Sherbini was stabbed to death in a courtroom in Dresden, Germany. She had just given evidence against her attacker who had used racist insults against her because she wore an Islamic headscarf.


During the Yelwa massacre on May 2, 2004, a Christian militia killed hundreds of Muslims in Yelwa, Nigeria, and thousands of Muslims were forced to flee the area.[103]

United Kingdom

Vandalism of Muslim Graves in Charlton cemetery in Plumstead, London.[104] In March 2006, Jamia Masjid mosque in Preston was attacked by gangs of white youths using brick and concrete block. The white youths damaged a number of cars outside the mosque and stabbed a 16 year-old Muslim teenager. In the same town, a 20 year-old Muslim, Shezsan Umarji, was killed by three youths in July 2005.[105] On July 6, 2009, the Glasgow branch of Islamic Relief was badly damaged by a fire which police said was started deliberately, and which members of the Muslim community of Scotland allege were Islamophobic.[106]

In 2005, The Guardian commissioned an ICM poll which indicated an increase in Islamophobic incidents, particularly after the London bombings in July 2005.[107][108] Another survey of Muslims, this by the Open Society Institute, found that of those polled 32% believed they had suffered religious discrimination at airports, and 80% said they had experienced Islamophobia.[109][110] In July 2005, a Muslim man, Kamal Raza Butt, was beaten to death outside a corner shop in Nottingham by a gang of youths who shouted anti-Islamic abuse at him.[111]

On the 26 August 2007 fans of the English football club Newcastle United directed Islamophobic chants at Egyptian Middlesbrough F.C. striker Mido. An FA investigation was launched[112] He revealed his anger at The FA's investigation, believing that they would make no difference to any future abuse.[113] Two men were eventually arrested over the chanting and were due to appear at Teesside Magistrates Court.[114]

In January 2010, a report from the University of Exeter's European Muslim research centre noted that the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes has increased, ranging from "death threats and murder to persistent low-level assaults, such as spitting and name-calling," for which the media and politicians have been blamed with fueling anti-Muslim hatred. The Islamophobic incidents it described include: "Neil Lewington, a violent extremist nationalist convicted in July 2009 of a bomb plot; Terence Gavan, a violent extremist nationalist convicted in January 2010 of manufacturing nail bombs and other explosives, firearms and weapons; a gang attack in November 2009 on Muslim students at City University; the murder in September 2009 of Muslim pensioner, Ikram Syed ul-Haq; a serious assault in August 2007 on the Imam at London Central Mosque; and an arson attack in June 2009 on Greenwich Islamic Centre."[115][116] Other Islamophobic incidents mentioned in the report include "Yasir, a young Moroccan," being "nearly killed while waiting to take a bus from Willesden to Regent's Park in London" and "left in a coma for three months"; "Mohammed Kohelee," a "caretaker who suffered burns to his body while trying to prevent an arson attack against Greenwich Mosque"; "the murder" of "Tooting pensioner Ekram Haque" who "was brutally beaten to death in front of his three year old granddaughter" by a "race-hate" gang; and "police officers" being injured "during an English Defence League (EDL) march in Stoke-on-Trent."[117]

United States of America

In the aftermath of 9/11, hate crimes against people of Middle-Eastern descent increased from 354 attacks in 2000 to 1,501 attacks in 2001.[118] Among the victims of the backlash was a Middle-Eastern man in Houston, Texas who was shot and wounded after an assailant accused him of "blowing up the country"[119] and four immigrants shot and killed by a man named Larme Price who confessed to killing them as "revenge" for the September 11 attacks.[120] Although Price described his victims as Arabs, only one was from an Arab country. This appears to be a trend; on account of stereotypes of Arabs, several non-Arab, non-Muslim groups were subjected to attacks in the wake of 9/11, including several Sikh men attacked for wearing their religiously-mandated turban.[121] According to a report prepared by the Arab American Institute, three days after the Oklahoma City bombing, "more than 200 serious hate crimes were committed against Arab Americans and American Muslims. The same was true in the days following September 11."[119]

Zohreh Assemi, an Iranian American Muslim owner of a nail salon in Locust Valley, New York, was robbed, beaten, and called a "terrorist" in September 2007 in what authorities call a bias crime.[122] Assemi was kicked, sliced with a boxcutter, and had her hand smashed with a hammer. The perpatrators, who forcibly removed $2,000 from the salon and scrawled anti-Muslim slurs on the mirrors, also told Assemi to "get out of town" and that her kind were not "welcomed" in the area. The attack followed two weeks of phone calls in which Iranian-American Zohreh Assemi was called a "terrorist" and told to "get out of town," friends and family said.[122]

While en route to Chicago, Shahrukh Khan, a well-known Bollywood actor, was held for what he described as "humiliating" questioning for several hours in Newark Airport, New Jersey because of his common Muslim surname Khan, released only following the intervention of the Indian embassy.[123][124]

Allegations of Islamophobic views

  • Carl Ernst, a scholar of Islamic studies, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations has alleged that Robert Spencer is "Islamophobic".[125][126] Spencer responded to this labeling, and invited Ernst to debate.[127]
  • The Council on American-Islamic Relations has stated that the views of Ann Coulter are Islamophobic.[128]
  • Oliver Duff of The Independent said in 2006 that the British National Party attempted to use increasing Islamophobia to make gains in local elections.[129]
  • Liz McGregor and John Hooper of The Guardian, has alleged that the views and writings of Oriana Fallaci, an Italian journalist and author of "The Force of Reason", was "Islamaphobic" [sic].[130]
  • The Islamic Human Rights Commission gave U.S Attorney General John Ashcroft a nomination for their 2003 "Islamophobe of the year" award for publicly saying, "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you"[131][132]
  • The Islamic Human Rights Commission made Daniel Pipes a nominee for their 2004 and 2005 "Islamophobe of the year" awards.[133]
  • A December 2005 interview by Vlaams Belang frontman Filip Dewinter with the American-Jewish newsweekly The Jewish Week included a question if "Jews should vote for a party that espouses xenophobia". Dewinter responded by saying: "Xenophobia is not the word I would use. If it absolutely must be a ‘phobia,’ let it be ‘Islamophobia.’"[134]
  • The UK Minister Peter Hain's statement that Britain's Muslim community is "isolationist" was met with accusations of Islamophobia, as well as Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's public claim that Western civilization is superior to Islam.[135]
  • Some suggestions in the United Kingdom debate over veils (which concerned the circumstances in which Muslim women should be required to remove the Niqab) were considered Islamophobic by MP John McDonnell.[136]
  • CAIR and the Associated Press called United States Rep. Virgil H. Goode, Jr. (R-VA) islamophobic for his Dec. 2006 letter stating that Rep-elect Keith Ellison's desire to use the Qur'an during the swearing in ceremonies was a threat to "the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America" and for saying "I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies."[137][138]
  • Concerning the US state of North Carolina’s position (as expressed by their attorney general’s office) in the ongoing case of ACLU of N.C. & Syidah Matteen v. State of North Carolina that the only swearing-in for testimony in court that was valid had to be on a Christian Bible (and that all others must choose to affirm), CAIR's Legal Director in Washington D.C, Arsalan Iftikhar, said “This shows there's a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment, especially here in the United States.”[139]
  • Statements that incite Islamophobia from Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn, according to John Esposito.[140]
  • In 2004, Professor Richard E. Johnson wrote a book entitled (Mis)representing Islam: the racism and rhetoric of British broadsheet newspapers, criticizing the British media for propogating negative stereotypes of Muslims and fueling anti-Muslim prejudice.[141] The media has also been criticized for under-reporting hate crimes against Muslims.[142] The Western media has also been criticized for over-reporting a few Islamist terrorist incidents but under-reporting the much larger number of non-Islamist terrorist attacks carried out by non-Muslim white extremists.[143] A Europol report showed that, contrary to media representation, more than 99% of terrorist attacks in Europe from 2006 to 2009 were, in fact, carried out by non-Muslims.[144][145] An FBI report has also shown that, contrary to popular opinion, only a small minority of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamist extremists.[146]
  • British cabinet ministers had been criticized in October 2006 for helping to "unleash a public anti-Muslim backlash" in the United Kingdom by blaming the Muslim community over issues of integration despite a study commisioned by the Home Office on white and Asian-Muslim youths demonstrating otherwise: that Asian-Muslim youths "are in fact the most tolerant of all" and that white British youths "have far more intolerant attitudes," concluding that intolerance from the white British community was a greater "barrier to integration" in the United Kingdom.[147][148] A Europe-wide survey by Gallup in May 2009 also found that the Muslim communities in Britain, Germany and France felt more patriotic towards those countries than the general populations in those countries,[149][150] while another survey found that Muslims supported the role of Christianity in British life more so than Christians themselves.[151]
  • The British Social Attitudes Survey in January 2010 found that the British public "is far more likely to hold negative views of Muslims than of any other religious group,"[22] with "just one in four" feeling "positively about Islam," and a "majority of the country would be concerned if a mosque was built in their area, while only 15 per cent expressed similar qualms about the opening of a church."[152]

ABC News has reported that "[p]ublic views of Islam are one casualty of the post-Sept. 11, 2001 conflict: Nearly six in 10 Americans think the religion is prone to violent extremism, nearly half regard it unfavorably, and a remarkable one in four admits to prejudicial feelings against Muslims and Arabs alike."[153] They also report that 27 percent of Americans admit feelings of prejudice against Muslims.[153] According to Gallup polls, 40 percent of Americans admit to prejudice against Muslims, and 39 percent believe Muslims should carry special identification.[154]

Incidents on aircraft

Some incidents with Muslim passengers on aircraft have given rise to the expression "Flying while Muslim".[155]

  • On 16 August 2006 British passengers on-board a flight from Malaga to Manchester requested the removal of two men of Asian descent from a plane. According to a spokesman for the Civil Guard in Malaga, "These men had aroused suspicion because of their appearance and the fact that they were speaking in a foreign language thought to be an Arabic language, and the pilot was refusing to take off until they were escorted off the plane." A security sweep of the plane found no explosives or any item of a terrorist nature. Monarch Airlines booked the men, who were Urdu speakers, into a hotel room, gave them a free meal and sent them home on a later plane. The men later responded, "Just because we're Muslim, does not mean we are suicide bombers." The Islamic Human Rights Commission blamed "ever-increasing Islamophobia" related to the "war on terror" for the incident.[156][157][158]
  • A passenger traveling to the British Virgin Islands on a plane bound for the United States from Manchester in the UK was forced off the plane prior to takeoff. The man, a British-born Muslim residing in the United States, said he was singled out because he was a Muslim pilot and was left feeling "demoralized and humiliated. I must have met the profile on the day. I have an Arabic name, I am a Muslim, I'm from Britain and I know how to fly."[159][160]
  • On 21 November 2006, six imams were forcefully removed from a US Airways flight at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport for security reasons. The event led to an outcry from Muslim organizations in America saying that what happened showed the growing prejudice against Muslims in America.[161] Investigations by the airline and police so far have reported that the airline and ground crews responded to security concerns properly in removing the men from the plane.[162]
  • In 2009 AirTran Airways removed nine Muslim passengers, including three children, from a flight and turned them over to the FBI after one of the men commented to another that they were sitting right next to the engines and wondered aloud where the safest place to sit on the plane was. Although the FBI subsequently cleared the passengers and called the incident a "misunderstanding," AirTran refused to seat the passengers on another flight, forcing them to purchase last minute tickets on another airline that had been secured with the FBI's assistance. A spokesman for AirTran initially defended the airline's actions and said they would not reimburse the passengers for the cost of the new tickets. Although the men had traditional beards and the women headscarves, AirTran denied that their actions were based on the passengers' appearance.[163] The following day, after the incident received widespread media coverage, AirTran reversed its position and issued a public apology, adding that it would in fact reimburse the passengers for the cost of their rebooked tickets.[164]

In video games

  • Muslim Massacre: The Game of Modern Religious Genocide is a controversial 2008 amateur shoot 'em up computer game, as the aim of the game is to kill all Muslims that appear on the screen. The game's creator took down the game's download site with a statement of apology on his personal website, claiming his original intention in releasing the game, to "mock the foreign policy of the United States and the commonly held belief in the United States that Muslims are a hostile people to be held with suspicion", had backfired and not been understood by the wider public, and that its release "did not achieve its intended effect and instead only caused hurt to hospitable, innocent people."[165]. However it later emerged that the apology was indeed fake.[166] Thereafter, the LA Times Middle East blog Babylon & Beyond printed a comment from an anonymous contributor to an article on the website of the Arab TV channel Al Arabiya about the game, which stated, "if it were a game showing Muslims killing Israelis, the whole world would have sought revenge."[167]

See also


    • Sandra Fredman, Discrimination and Human Rights, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0199246033, p.121.
    • Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Muslims in the West: From Sojourners to Citizens, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195148061, p.19
    • Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, Runnymede Trust, 1997, p. 1, cited in Quraishi, Muzammil. Muslims and Crime: A Comparative Study, Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2005, p. 60. ISBN 075464233X. Early in 1997, the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, at that time part of the Runnymede Trust, issued a consultative document on Islamophobia under the chairmanship of Professor Gordon Conway, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex. The final report, Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, was launched in November 1997 by Home Secretary Jack Straw
  1. Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, Runnymede Trust, 1997, p. 1, cited in Quraishi, Muzammil. Muslims and Crime: A Comparative Study, Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2005, p. 60; Annan, Kofi. "Secretary-General, addressing headquarters seminar on confronting Islamophobia", United Nations press release, December 7, 2004.
    • Casciani, Dominic. "Islamophobia pervades UK - report", BBC News, June 2, 2004.
    • Rima Berns McGowan writes in Muslims in the Diaspora (University of Toronto Press, 1991, p. 268) that the term "Islamophobia" was first used in an unnamed American periodical in 1991.
  2. Runnymede 1997, p. 5, cited in Quraishi 2005, p. 60.
  3. Roald, Anne Sophie (2004). New Muslims in the European Context: The Experience of Scandinavian Converts. Brill. pp. 53. 
  4. Benn, Jawad (2004) p. 111
  5. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Steven Vertovec, "Islamophobia and Muslim Recognition in Britain"; in Haddad (2002) pp. 32-33
  6. See:
    • Greaves (2004) p. 133
    • Allen, Chris; Nielsen, Jorgen S.; Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001 (May 2002), EUMC.
  7. 9.0 9.1 Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic studies p. 218, Routledge 2003. Routledge. 2003. pp. 218. "The Runnymede Trust has been successful in that the term Islamophobia is now widely recognized and used, though many right-wing commentators either reject its existence or argue that it is justified." 
  8. "Islamophobia". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Draft Entry Sept. 2006.
  9. Corrina Balash Kerr (2007-11-20). "Faculty, Alumnus Discuss Concept of "Islamophobia" in Co-Authored Book". Wesleyan University Newsletter. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  10. "Images of Muslims: Discussing Islamophobia with Peter Gottschalk". Political Affairs.. 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  11. Annan, Kofi. "Secretary-General, addressing headquarters seminar on confronting Islamophobia", United Nations press release, December 7, 2004.
  12. 14.0 14.1 Encyclopedia of Race and Ethics, p. 215
  13. Islamophobie?, Caroline Fourest & Fiammetta Venner; in prochoix, no.26/27, 2003.
  14. :: Minorités ::
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  17. The Times: Fascism fears: John Denham speaks out over clashes
  18. SvD: Reinfeldt: Kärnan i partiets idé
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  21. "Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All"PDF (69.7 KiB), Runnymede Trust, 1997.
  22. Benn; Jawad (2004) p. 162
  23. 25.0 25.1 Benn; Jawad (2004) p. 165
  24. See:
    • Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic studies, p. 216
    • Miles; Brown (2003) p. 163
  25. Miles; Brown (2003) p. 163, 164
  26. Johnson; Soydan; Williams (1998) p. 182
  27. Johnson; Soydan; Williams (1998) p. xxii
  28. 30.0 30.1 Miles; Brown (2003) p. 163
  29. Miles; Brown (2003) p. 166
  30. Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic studies, p. 217
  31. See Egorova; Tudor (2003) pp. 2-3, which cites the conclusions of Marquina and Rebolledo in: "A. Marquina, V. G. Rebolledo, ‘The Dialogue between the European Union and the Islamic World’ in Interreligious Dialogues: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Annals of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, v. 24, no. 10, Austria, 2000, pp. 166-8. "
  32. Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic studies, p. 218
  33. Benn; Jawad (2004) p. 111
  34. Naina Patel, Beth Humphries and Don Naik, "The 3 Rs in social work; Religion,‘race’ and racism in Europe", in Johnson; Soydan; Williams (1998) pp. 197-198
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  50. Michelle Malkin » Critics of Islam under fire…again
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  66. Fighting Islamophobia: A Response to Critics - Deepa Kumar, MRZine, February 2006
  67. He writes: "If Muslim women and Muslim gays are going to have any kind of decent life, the [Muslim] liberals need to receive solidarity and support – but slap-dash charges of Islamophobia intimidate people who could offer it ... While Islamophobia Watch talk about defending Muslims, they end up defending the nastiest and most right-wing part of the Muslim community – the ones who are oppressing and killing the rest."- Hari, Johann. "Don't call me an Islamophobe", June 6, 2006.
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  72. Islam 'must not cloud Turkey bid' BBC -Wednesday, 21 July 2004
  73. FRANCE: 50,000 SIGN UP AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA - ADN Kronos - June 2, 2006
  74. Scheme to fight faith hate crimes BBC - Wednesday, 17 November 2004
  75. Teaching tolerance amid tension BBC - Friday, 15 July 2005
  76. Prayer mats lined the pavements BBC - Saturday, 11 February 2006
  77. Muslims fly flag for peaceful protest against cartoons The Guardian - Sunday February 12, 2006
  78. Call for Muslim scholars to tour BBC - Thursday, 10 November 2005
  79. Racial and Religious Hatred Bill BBC - Friday, 27 January 2006
  80. Religious hatred: How MPs voted BBC - Wednesday, 1 February 2006
  81. Jordan: Stop attacking Islam BBC - Tuesday, September 21, 1999
  82. Kuwait News Agency: Drive to combat Islamophobia
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  84. Statement by Dr. Haris Silajdžić Chairman of the Presidency Bosnia and Herzegovina, Head of the Delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. at the 63rd Session of the General Assembly on the occasion of the General Debate, Summary, 23 September 2008.
  85. Madell, Mark. "Dutch MPs to decide on burqa ban", BBC News, January 16, 2006.
  86. "Belgian Establishment Fears Crack-Up", The Flemish newsletter, April-June 2006.
  87. Muslim groups want action from U of T, University of Toronto News, March 16, 2006
  88. "Hamilton mosque firebombed". CBC News (Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). 04 Jenuary 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-06 15:08:17. 
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  91. Racism and racial discrimination on rise around the world, UN expert warns, UN NEWS CENTRE, March 7, 2006
  92. French Muslim war graves defaced, BBC, April 6, 2008
  93. Vandals target Paris mosque The Guardian - Tuesday February 22, 2005
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  99. "Study shows French Muslims hit by religious bias". Otago Daily Times. 26 Mar 2010. Retrieved 2020-04-09. 
  100. Tume Ahemba (8 May 2004). "Nigerian Muslims struggle to cope after village massacre". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  101. Appalling Desecration of Muslim Graves in Plumstead Mulsim Council of Britain - 19 Mar 2004
  102. "Muslim teenager stabbed during attack on UK mosque". Arabic News. 10/3/2006. Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  103. Islamic charity fire 'deliberate' BBC News, 6 July 2009
  104. Two-thirds of Muslims consider leaving UK The Guardian - Tuesday July 26, 2005
  105. ICM-Guardian poll Poll of Muslims in the UK. The Guardian - Tuesday July 26, 2005
  106. Spiraling Islamophobia Alienating British Muslims: Report Islam Online - Nov 22 2004
  107. ... And why we urgently need new answers Sarfraz Manzoor - The Guardian - November 30, 2004
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  117. 'Vibes Made Man Kill... and Confess, Police Say
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  119. 122.0 122.1 Muslim Biz Gal Beaten
  122. CA Synagogue That Hosted Islamophobe Urged to Invite Muslim Speaker, CAIR News Releases, November 8, 2005
  123. Notes on the Ideological Patrons of an Islamophobe, Robert Spencer by Carl W. Ernst - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
  124. An open letter to Carl Ernst, August 27, 2006
  125. Ann Coulter says Muslims 'Smell Bad', Council on American-Islamic Relations, March 10, 2004
  126. Rising Islamophobia makes Birmingham fertile ground for BNP, The Independent, April 8, 2006
  127. Obituary of Oriana Fallaci - The Guardian, 16 September 2006. "Controversial Italian journalist famed for her interviews and war reports but notorious for her Islamaphobia"
  128. Annual Islamophobia Awards, 2003
  129. "The gospel according to John (Ashcroft)" San Francisco Chronicle
  130. Winners of Islamophobia Awards 2004, Islamic Human Rights Commission, June 26, 2004. *Winners of the Islamophobia Awards 2005, Islamic Human Rights Commission, December 17, 2005.
  131. Filip Dewinter interview, Jewish Week, December 9, 2006
  132. Who's afraid of Islamophobia?, Spiked, July 2, 2002
  133. See, e.g., "Wave of Islamophobia", a blog post by John McDonnell MP from October 6, 2006.
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  137. "Unlearning Intolerance". UN Chronicle Online Edition. 2004-07-12. 
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  151. "Islamophobia Felt 5 Years after 9/11", Good Morning America, September 9, 2006.
  152. Airline checks claim of 'Muslim while flying' discrimination CNN November 21, 2006.
  153. Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed - Mail on Sunday. 20 August 2006
  154. Exclusive: Malaga Jet mutiny pair's shock at plane ejection - The Daily Mirror. 23 August 2006.
  155. Removal of men from holiday flight condemnedThe Guardian. 21 August 2006
  156. Muslim pilot kicked off jet in terror alert - Manchester Evening News. 11 August 2006
  157. Muslim pilot reveals shock at being ordered off flight - The Independent. 22 August 2006
  158. "U.S. Muslims outraged after imams kicked off plane", The Washington Post, 22 November 2006.
  159. Probes dismiss imams' racism claim
  160. 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet
  161. Airline Offers Apology Over Detained Muslim Passengers
  162. 'Muslim Massacre' Creator Tucks Tail, Apologizes, 14 September 2008, accessed 29 September 2008
  164. MIDDLE EAST: "Muslim massacre" game stirs debate


  • Cashmore, E, ed (2003). Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies. Routledge. 
  • Benn, T.; Jawad, H. (2004). Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond: Experiences and Images. Brill. ISBN 9004125817. 
  • Egorova, Y.; Parfitt, T. (2003). Jews, Muslims, and Mass Media: Mediating the 'Other'. London: Routledge Curzon. ISBN 0415318394. 
  • Haddad, Y. (2002). Muslims in the West: From Sojourners to Citizens. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195148053. 
  • Johnson, M. R. D.; Soydan, H; Williams, C. (1998). Social Work and Minorities: European Perspectives. London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415169623. 
  • Miles, R.; Brown, M. (2003). Racism. London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415296765. 

Further reading

  • Abbas, Tahir (2005). Muslim Britain: Communities Under Pressure. Zed. ISBN 978-1842774496. 
  • van Driel, B. (2004). Confronting Islamophobia In Educational Practice. Trentham Books. ISBN 1858563402. 
  • Gottschalk, P.; Greenberg, G. (2007). Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield publishers. ISBN 978-0742552869. 
  • Greaves, R. (2004). Islam and the West Post 9/11. Ashgate publishing Ltd. ISBN 0754650057. 
  • Kaplan, Jeffrey (2006). Islamophobia in America?: September 11 and Islamophobic Hate Crime, Terrorism and Political Violence (Routledge), 18:1, 1 - 33.
  • Kincheloe, Joe L. and Shirley R. Steinberg (2004).The Miseducation of the West: How the Schools and Media Distort Our Understanding of Islam. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Press. (Arabic Edition, 2005).
  • Pynting, Scott; Mason, Victoria (2007). The resistible rise of Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim racism in the UK and Australia before 11 September 2001. Journal of Sociology, The Australian Sociological Association. 43(1): 61–86.
  • Richardson, John E. (2004), (Mis)representing Islam: the racism and rhetoric of British broadsheet newspapers, John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 9027226997, 
  • Tausch, Arno with Christian Bischof, Tomaz Kastrun and Karl Mueller (2007), ‘'Against Islamophobia: Muslim Communities, Social Exclusion and the Lisbon Process in Europe'’ Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers
  • Tausch, Arno with Christian Bischof, and Karl Mueller (2007), "Muslim Calvinism”, internal security and the Lisbon process in Europe Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers
  • Tausch, Arno (2007), Against Islamophobia. Quantitative analyses of global terrorism, world political cycles and center periphery structures Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers
  • Quraishi, M. (2005). Muslims and Crime: A Comparative Study. Ashgate publishing Ltd. ISBN 075464233X. 
  • Ramadan, T. (2004). Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019517111X. 
  • Zuquete, Jose Pedro (2008), The European extreme-right and Islam: New directions, [Journal of Political Ideologies]

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Islamophobia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.