A quick post to announce the publication of my new article, “Passing the Dinner Table Test Retrospective and Prospective Approaches to Tackling Islamophobia in Britain”. As it is ‘open access’, despite being published in a peer reviewed academic journal – SAGE Open – you can still download a pdf of the article for free. To do so, click here.
If you want to know what the article is about before downloading, I’ve pasted the abstract below:
“Through establishing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia and Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred, the Coalition government has afforded significance to Islamophobia. Focusing on definition, evidence, and politics, this article considers British governmental policy approaches to tackling Islamophobia over the past 15 years. Tracing religiously based discrimination from the 1980s to the publication of the Runnymede Trust’s 1997 groundbreaking report into Islamophobia, this article explores how the New Labour government sought primarily to address Islamophobia through a broadening of the equalities framework. Against a backdrop of 9/11 and 7/7, a concurrent security and anti-terror agenda had detrimental impacts. Under the Coalition, there has been a marked change. Considering recent developments and initiatives, the Coalition has seemingly rejected Islamophobia as an issue of equalities preferring approaches more akin to tackling Anti-Semitism. In conclusion, definition, evidence, and politics are revisited to offer a prospective for future British governmental policy.”
I recently participated in an ESRC Conference held at the University of Warwick on 7th & 8th March 2013. Entitled, “Whose Security? Migration-(In)security Dilemmas Ten Years After 9/11″ I had been invited to present a paper on the way in which Muslim communities had become increasingly seen as ‘suspect communities’ and how this had begun to play out in the public and political spaces. My paper was titled, “All Muslims are the Same: from external Others to homegrown bombers and beyond”.
From the title alone, you might be surprised to see how the image of Zayn Malik from One Direction is relevant to the paper. Well so that you can find out, I’ve pasted a rough transcript of my paper below including relevant links where appropriate:
“All Muslims are the Same: from external Others to homegrown bombers and beyond”
Events over the past few weeks have reminded me just how important the discussions taking place in this conference continue to be.
To view the actual page, click here.
Alternatively, you can read it below:
Chris Allen’s research into Islamophobia has been publicly praised by two high profile politicians.
At an event in London on the evening of 24th January 2013, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – Minister for Faith and Communities and former Chair of the Conservative Party – and Simon Hughes – Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark – not only drew on findings from his research into Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred but also praised him for its timeliness and impact.
Following on from my previous post, some of you might be interested in a ‘Storify’ I pulled together which tracks Warsi’s speech: from when its content first broke in the media through other articles and commentators to the speech itself and the reaction that ensued.
If interested, you can find it by clicking here.
Apologies for being a bit late on posting this but as this blog brings together a lot of resources relating to Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred I think it’s still appropriate (albeit behind the times…!).
As most of you will know, last week Baroness Sayeeda Warsi gave a speech at an event on behalf of TELL MAMA where she highlighted the ongoing problem of anti-Muslim hatred. The speech coincided with the second anniversary of her ‘dinner table test’ speech.
To read the speech on the Government website, you can do so by clicking here.
Alternatively, the speech is reproduced below (this is the text of the speech as drafted, which may differ slightly from the delivered version):
It’s nearly 2 years to the day since I made that speech about Islamophobia.
At the time I talked about the scourge of anti-Muslim hatred.
From violence on the streets to vitriol online.
And, dare I say it, derogatory comments at the dinner table…
When I said that Islamophobia had ‘passed the dinner table test’.
I meant anti-Muslim sentiment had become so socially acceptable, it could be found even in the most civilised of settings.
In preparation of my public lecture in Preston tomorrow – details available here - as part of Interfaith Week, the Lancashire Evening Post yesterday published a very good interview and feature about my research. This can be read by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can read the article below which is reproduced from the Lancashire Evening Post’s website:
Islamophobia: Myth or Reality?
Discrimination is a daily reality for many Muslims – but the vast majority of abuse goes unreported.
Dr Chris Allen, lecturer at the at the School of Social Policy at University of Birmingham, says a lack of a clear definition of what constitutes the discrimination that Muslims face, known as Islamophobia, contributing to the problem.
What many people fail to recognise, he says, is the difference between disagreeing with Muslim beliefs and promoting hatred.
“Islamophobia is not about disagreeing, criticising or condemning,” he explains. “But as a rule of thumb, when that disagreement, criticism or condemnation – including promoting stereotypes and mistruths – is used to intentionally promote, encourage or justify discrimination, hatred, bigotry or even violence, it is likely that this will be motivated and driven by Islamophobia or manifested and expressed as Islamophobia.”
One of the main problems, Dr Allen says, is while other forms of discrimination have precedents in law, there is still no legal definition of what Islamophobia is.
As a result, data about the levels and prevalence of Islamophobia is lacking.