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.
Chris Allen, Research Fellow, The Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham, UK
'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