Reports of Islamophobia: 1997 and 2017

Earlier this month the Runnymede Trust launched a new report, Islamophobia: Still a challenge for us all, to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of the landmark 1997 report, Islamophobia; A challenge for us all. The significance of the original Report is hard to over-estimate. While it is the case that it did not coin the term Islamophobia, it certainly gave it legs. And while it is also true that the report did not end Islamophobia, it did indict it.

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Islam as Transgression: Kekistan, the Alt-Right and Islamophobia

“Normies, out… Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” (Big Man Tyrone, 2017). With that quite bizarre war cry, my first experience of the nation known as Kekistan ended. I couldn’t believe what I had seen. A group of trolls and self-described shitposters had come together under the flag, religion and history of a completely fictional nation known as Kekistan. A little more investigation led me to the Youtuber who started the Kekistani meme: Sargon of Akkad.

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The Islamophobia of Buddhist Terror? Why Language Matters

Muslims in Myanmar are experiencing ethnic cleansing and Islamophobic violence. By whom and why? The history of the minority Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar goes back centuries. In recent years, there has been violence by non-state actors, the ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who are attempting to purify their country of the “impure” Rohingyan Muslims.They have been supported tacitly by the Myanmar state and their Noble Peace Prize-winning statesman, Aung San Suu Kyi.

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I am Not your Muslim

It was shortly after the murder that took place against journalists of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in Paris in January 2015, that I was invited to the famous Austrian TV debate on Sunday evening. They had invited a group of people to discuss ‘Europe in Fear: The End of Tolerance?’ following the attacks, which were perpetrated by what we commonly refer to today as Jihadist terrorism.

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The Meaning of Pakistan

Richard Bulliet observes that without the Islamic Revolution, Iran would be a very similar country to Pakistan. That is, Iran would be a country dominated by an elite that is globally integrated, internationally oriented and culturally separated from most of its population. This elite would present itself as being liberal and modern, but it would, at the same time, contrive to ensure that ordinary people would have minimal access to education, healthcare, public infrastructure, and justice (Bulliet, 2017).

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Coloniality and Liberal Angst in Pakistan

As Pakistan approaches the 70th anniversary of its independence, Nawaz Sharif Pakistan’ Prime Minister and leader of its leading political party stepped down last month. It was the third time that Shariff failed to finish his term of office as Prime Minister. The country’s Supreme Court launched an investigation on corruption charges against now ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family after the infamous Panama Papers were leaked in April 2016.

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