Islamophobism as a Form of European Governmentality

The aim of this study is to try to understand the social, economic, political and cultural background of the increasing fear of Islam in Europe, especially after the September 11 attacks in 2001, and to argue that Islamophobia has actually become an ideology produced by the merchants of fear, conservative governments and right-wing populist parties. The phenomenon of Islamophobia, which has its roots in the 1973-74 Oil Crisis and then deepened with events such as the Bosnia-Herzegovina war, the September 11 attacks, the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre, the 2019 Hanau Massacre, the Global Financial Crisis that has had a great impact in some parts of Europe since 2008, and the so-called refugee crisis since 2015. However, there are questions about whether the fear in question is a real one or an ideological one with its own discursive elements. In order to explain the fear of Islam, or Muslims, in contemporary Europe, it can be said that the fear in question is not real, but a narrative that is being discursively produced. Therefore, in this article, it is suggested to use a more descriptive concept of Islamophobism instead of Islamophobia. While making these evaluations, many other similar studies are used by tracing the scientific research nourished by the field studies carried out by the author since the beginning of the 2000s. In short, in this article, it is examined how the issues revolving around immigration and Muslims in Europe have become issues that threaten national, social and cultural security, and thus how anti-Muslim racism has been turned into a form of governmentality. The article concludes that many Muslims in Europe have become more engaged in legitimate forms of political representation in parliamentary democracies during the age of Islamophobism. 

Published on June 28, 2022 in Turkish on Marmara Üniversitesi Avrupa Topluluğu Enstitüsü Avrupa Araştırmaları Dergisi

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