Capitalizing on Fear: The Politicization of Xenophobia and Islamophobia

This session discussed the current upsurge of xenophobia and Islamophobia in Europe and North America. Both problematic discourses operate at various levels of intensity, from outright anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant political campaigns to depict any disadvantaged or marginalised segment of society – including women, as the ‘other’ through film, media or numerous educational platforms. The potency of this session was that it incisively investigated the diverse factors contributing to the escalating pervasiveness of Islamophobia and the far-right populist discourse that targets a wide spectrum of minorities. In conclusion, this session put forward concrete measures – including political activism and grass-roots activism, that would reduce anti-Muslim hysteria, anti-immigrant bullying and numerous other manifestations of Islamophobic or xenophobic narratives.