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Islamophobia in France offers a stimulating review of existing research conducted in

France and abroad on the social phenomenon of Islamophobia and opens new avenues

for critical thinking. It provides a rigorous description of Islamophobic discourses and

acts and thoroughly examines the current debates around the concept of Islamophobia.


Our book also offers an analysis of the construction of the "Muslim problem" in France,

drawing comparisons with historical precedents such as colonial history and Anti-


Contrary to the myth widespread in the French mainstream media, the term “Islamophobia”

was not invented by the Iranian mullahs: it appeared in France in the early twentieth century, during the colonial period and was already used to define a violent anti-Muslim discourse… While

hostility against Muslims lead almost daily to a stigmatizing discourse, to discriminatory practices

and even physical assaults, we (with Abdellali Hajjat) reveal in this salutary work how Islam was gradually constructed as a “problem” and how Islamophobia became the favoured weapon of racism that dare not speak its name. We provide the intellectual tools to understand the specificity of the French case, where the word “Islamophobia” has been banned from the public sphere and the wearing of Muslim symbols have been demonised by both state and non-state actors.


Updating the discussions around the concept of Islamophobia, the book provides a rigorous

historical and sociological analysis of key Islamophobic discourses and acts, linked to the long

history of colonial racism, and their articulation alongside Anti-Semitism. Emphasising the

importance of strategies employed by key actors we dissect the process of othering “Muslims”, widespread in the media and society, that explains the social reality through the religious factor. Finally, they analyse the response of Muslims to islamophobic discourse through collective action and campaigns for anti-discriminatory laws.

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