This essay examines resistance to Islamophobia in the form of Europhobia produced by Islamists in Europe. By "Europhobia" I mean essentializing and distorting depictions of Europe (and the West) as thoroughly decadent, corrupt, and sadistic. In a process that I dub "inverted othering" Islamists emulate the discursive strategies of Islamophobes but invert their negative stereotypes of Muslims to portray (non-Muslim) Europeans as a menacing threat to the umma, or Arabic community. I spotlight three forms of "inverted othering" through systematic comparison of both Islamophobic and Europhobic discourse in Europe (including in cyberspace): Islamists invert the claim that Islam is incompatible with democracy by contending that European democracy is a hypocritical sham when it comes to equal rights for Muslims; Islamists invert the claim that Islam is misogynistic by arguing that Europe sexualizes and thereby represses women; Islamists invert the claim that Islam is inherently expansionist by insisting that Europe continues to harbor (neo)imperialist aims and attitudes toward the Islamic World.
Center for Race & Gender
O'Brien, P. (2016). Islamophobia & Europhobia: Subaltern discourse & its limits. Islamophobia Studies Journal, 3(2), 101-115.
Islamophobia Studies Journal