Monday, August 23, 2010

What is Islamophobia?

Here are some definitions of Islamophobia, taken from the islamophobia-watch website, based in England.

Islamophobia: A Definition

Runnymede Trust:

The Runnymede Trust has identified eight components that they say define Islamophobia.

This definition, from the 1997 document 'Islamophobia: A Challenge For Us All' is widely accepted, including by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. The eight components are:

1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
2) Islam 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) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilisations'.
5) Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
6) Criticisms made of the West by Islam 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 or normal.

For a summary of the 1997 report, see here

For the follow-up report from 2004, 'Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges, and Action', see here

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