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Western Europe, Islamophobia in
“Islamophobia” is a relatively new word that is used to describe a contemporary phenomenon that encompasses myriad expressions of anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and hatred. It is, however, an extremely complex and contested phenomenon. The most likely reason for this is the lack of consensus in trying to define and understand what Islamophobia might or might not be.
Definitions and Contestation
Typically, definitions of the word refer to or are rooted in the 1997 report of the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia (CBMI) titled Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All. Commonly referred to as the Runnymede Trust Report, the document is widely acknowledged as the first to raise the issue of Islamophobia in contemporary Western political spaces. In doing so, the report defined Islamophobia as a shorthand term to describe the dread or hatred of the religion of Islam and, by consequence, the fear of or dislike of all or most Muslims without differentiation. To illustrate this, the report identified a number of “closed views” through which Islamophobia could be evidenced. These closed views depict Islam as monolithic and static, as other and separate, as inferior, as an enemy, and as manipulative.
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