Professor S Sayyid Lecture: Neo-nationalism and the Islamophobic Imaginary

Professor Salman Sayyid will be giving a lecture on Thursday 19th November, 4 – 5pm, on “Neo-nationalism and the Islamophobic Imaginary”. The lecture will be hosted by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures as part of Islamophobia Awareness Month.

Find out more Join the online lecture at 16:00 on 19/11/2020

Polling data, crime surveys, measures of social inequality have consistently and for many decades indicated that those perceived to be Muslims often encounter hostility which interdicts their ability to be citizens. But despite the wealth of evidence, the significance of Islamophobia remains underplayed. A reason for this is that Islamophobia (when acknowledged) is seen as primarily a descriptive category that highlights and assembles a range of attitudes and actions against Muslims or those who are mistaken for Muslims. It may include micro- aggressions, media misrepresentations, and murders. It may raise questions of freedom of speech vs hate speech, minority rights and individuals’ rights. It may intersect gender, ‘race’ and class. All these manifestations of Islamophobia continue to frame it within conventional patterns of discriminatory practices that occur inside discreet nation-states, and imply that its appearance can be effectively traced to the aftershock of 9/11.

This common understanding of Islamophobia does not acknowledge its role in the contemporary grammar of governance, and the development of a global neo-nationalism which is transforming the relationship between all citizens, states and societies. Nor does it register the emergence of the concept of Islamophobia in the early part of the 20th century. What does the re-appearance of Islamophobia, a hundred years after its initial coinage tell us about the world now?