- Chris Allen, University of Birmingham, UK
Despite numerous sources suggesting that Islamophobia is becoming both increasingly prevalent and societally acceptable in the contemporary world, there remains a lack of textual sources that consider either the phenomenon itself, or its manifestations and consequences. There is no authoritative text that attempts to understand or contextualise what might be seen to be one of the most dangerous prejudices in the contemporary climate.
Chris Allen begins by looking at ways of defining and understanding Islamophobia. He traces its historical evolution to the present day, considering the impact of recent events and their aftermath especially in the wake of the events of September 11, before trying to understand and comprehend a wider conception of the phenomenon. A series of investigations thematically consider the role of the media, the contemporary positioning of Muslims throughout the world, and whether Islamophobia can be seen to be a continuum of historical anti-Muslimism or anti-Islamism, or whether Islamophobia is an entirely modern concept. The issue of Islamophobia is considered from the perspective of the local, regional, and global
The incidence of Islamophobia, and the magnitude of the phenomenon and its consequences, is one that warrants a greater investigation in the world today. This book is both academically and socially relevant and necessary.
Contents: Part 1 Introduction: The first decade of Islamophobia; Part 2 History in Context: Revelation to reformation, orientalism and colonialism; From revolution to revival, Rushdie and the clash of civilisations. Part 3 A Decade of the Runnymede Report: Recognition: a new reality that needed naming; Runnymede: an open and closed case. Part 4 Islamophobia in Context: 'They're all the same': Islamophobia in the context of the UK; Different forms of discourse, speech and acts: Islamophobia in Europe. Part 5 Towards a New Theory and Definition of Islamophobia: What is Islamophobia?; Islamophobia: comparisons and correlations; Islamophobia: a new ideology for a media generation; Towards a new definition of Islamophobia. Part 6 Conclusion: Tentative steps in the 21st century; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Christopher Allen, Research Fellow, The Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham, UK
Reviews: 'Christopher Allen has been a dominant voice in debates on 'Islamophobia". His book is both timely and relevant and provides the depth of enquiry and investigation needed to deal with a highly contested phenomenon.'
Ron Geaves, Liverpool Hope University, UK and Chair of the Muslims in Britain Research Network
'This timely and accessible book rests upon many years of careful research by a scholar whose early career has been devoted to understanding and critically evaluating the complex notion of Islamophobia. It will become a standard work of reference, as well as stimulating future discussion. There are insights in Allen’s work that deserve to be appreciated by students from a variety of disciplines, as well as a more general readership'.
Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Director, Islam-UK Centre, Cardiff University, UK
’Over the last couple of decades “Islamophobia" has become common currency in public arguments about Islam and Muslims. It has been used unquestioningly by Muslims and others to score points in national and international political debates. Does any critique of Islam amount to “Islamophobia”? Does an accusation of “Islamophobia” amount to an attempt to suppress freedom of expression? Or is “Islamophobia” a form of hate speech or even racism, similar to anti-semitism? In this thoughtful and critical study Chris Allen looks at the origins of the term and its insertion into the British public debate in the 1990s sparked by a report from the Runnymede Trust. He follows the term’s adoption by the media and places it in a broader discussion of racism and xenophobia, relating it also to the debate on “Orientalism”. In conclusion he seeks a redefinition of “Islamophobia” designed to make the concept both credible and useful. Allen has been a participant in much of the debate around Islamophobia since the 1990s and here takes a critical distance which allows him to make a substantial contribution to clearing up much of the confusion around a term which is usually emotionally and politically loaded.’
Jørgen S. Nielsen, Centre for European Islamic Thought, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
'The author explores the genealogy of the term [Islamophobia], the extent to which it captures the phenomenon of anti-Muslimness, and whether there is empirical proof of such systemic prejudice. On each of these topics, Chris Allen has interesting things to say.' Church Times
'This work will serve as an invaluable model of careful and methodical use of terminology and will be particularly helpful to scholars who study anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment in Western contexts. It establishes a strong foundation for future research that applies its definition to the real world occurrences of Islamophobia, which may allow it to fulfil its self-proclaimed aspirations of timeliness and relevance.' In-Spire
'… Chris Allen has written a comprehensive study…' Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies
'This volume is the result of a decade of thoughtful analysis which examines the phenomenon of Islamophobia both chronologically, by tracing the derivation and coining of the word through its historiography, from ancient to contemporary times, and in terms of a shifting concept, as the author attempts to understand and contextualise it as an exponentially global prejudice within the dichotomy of ‘the West’ and ‘Islam’. …[A] comprehensive and detailed study…' Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World
‘…this book provides a comprehensive overview and discussion of Islamophobia…’ Critical Race and Whiteness Studies
‘Islamophobia is a text of critical significance for all concerned in understanding the operation and effects of this phenomenon within contemporary society, the impact of which should not be underestimated.’ Fieldwork in Religion
The 'Islamophobia by Chris Allen' Facebook page
Chris Allen discusses his book, Islamophobia on Birmingham University's Ideas Lab podcast
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