This paper evaluates qualitative and quantitative evidence of Muslims’ European identification in France, Austria and the Netherlands while the far right mobilizes to exclude them from the national culture. In all these states, radical right parties stoked anti-Muslim sentiment during the run-up to the 2016-2017 national elections. The center ostensibly prevailed in each case, but these campaigns further legitimized exclusionary policies toward the religious minority. We assess the difficult political terrain faced by Muslims in Europe, their sense of discrimination, their attitude toward state institutions and their electoral participation. Political parties positioned against multiculturalism and immigration, state-level retrenchment of multicultural policies, and the regularity of terrorist attacks in Europe represent and exacerbate obstacles faced by Muslims in pursuing social, educational and economic progress for themselves and their families.
Thinking Through Islamophobia contains 27 essays examining the concept of Islamophobia through discussions that cut across continents and disciplines. The papers were originally developed for the 2008 workshop on this topic organized by the Center of Ethnicity and Racism Studies at the University of Leeds. Together the chapters provide a deep and comprehensive understanding of the history, impact and breadth of Islamophobia, even while their authors disagree on the utility and credibility of the term. Readers of the complete text will begin to appreciate the wide range of limitations on the life of Muslims imposed by the security lens through which Muslims have been viewed since 9/11 and by their historical “outsider” image in societies where they are represented as “the other”.