Ideological Islamophobia: Conception and Function, â€˜Normative Truthsâ€™ and â€˜New Realityâ€™
This article is a theoretical case study that explores the notion of ideological Islamophobia and its function at the global level in the contemporary setting. As scholarly inquiry into this topic remains relatively embryonic, this article seeks to contribute new thinking and ideas about how to better conceive, conceptualise and subsequently understand Islamophobia. This article is premised on the basis that Islamophobia can be positioned within what Zemmi (2011) describes as a ‘new reality’. Providing an overview of the emergence of Islamophobia in the political and spaces of the United Kingdom as a means to challenge existing notions of contestation, this article continues by presenting an overview of the existing academic literature. Setting out how the phenomenon has – to date - been conceived, conceptualised and understood, Allen’s (2010) notion of an ideological Islamophobia is given particular consideration. Exploring the resonance that exists between ‘new reality’, ‘normative truths’ and ideological forms and functions of Islamophobia, the complexity required to better understand global and ideological Islamophobia is considered from a theoretical perspective. Utilising recent developments in the context and discourses of the political mainstream in the United States to illustrate theoretical thinking and application, this article concludes by considering what additional thinking might be required as regards ideological Islamophobia. In sum, this article can be positioned within the newly emergent field of critical Islamophobia studies.