Experiences of Islamophobia: Living with Racism in the Neoliberal Era
Dr. James Carr contributes on Ireland for the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe and European Islamophobia Report. In terms of methodological skill, he is proficient in both quantitative and qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis. In his majority of research work he used mixed method approaches. In 2016, James published this book “Experiences of Islamophobia: Living with racism in the neoliberal era”; which fixated on anti-Muslim racism in Ireland and set to the international context. This book is based on empirical research on the issue of anti-Muslim racism in Ireland and the state’s approach to this phenomenon. The data was collected on racism from extensive fieldwork with Muslim communities in Ireland which were representatives of non-governmental organizations and retired police officers. The data of fieldwork has been demonstrated into the broader international context (pp. 1-2). After 9/11 the interest in Islamophobia has increased and numbers of academic publications debating on this phenomenon have been published. By contrast, James Carr recognizes the importance of this imbalance in his book and provides theoretically informed analyses alongside everyday testimonies of anti-Muslim racism.
There are eight chapters in this book. In Chapter-1 Carr gives the introduction of all the chapters. In Chapter-2 he presents and elaborates the theoretical framework that supports the work of Michel Foucault and later Foucauldian theorists in this study (p. 31). In this chapter he contends the development of Foucault’s theories of the art of government and the relationship between ‘truth and power’ (p. 11). Carr argues that “race and racism are at the core of contemporary neoliberal forms of governmentality and the rationalities associated with this form of government.” Carr states that, Michel Foucault allows research to understand how neoliberal ‘truths’ inform and underpin ‘lived’ racism and the rationalities of government that challenging anti-Muslim racism (p. 21).
In the Chapter-3 Carr discusses the concept of Islamophobia. He replaces the term of Islamophobia as anti-Muslim racism by arguing that “I draw theoretically from the concept of racialization to emphasize the processes at play in constructing Muslims as ‘other’” (p.12). In this chapter he puts the sentiment of different authors and philosophers about Islamophobia as discrimination and exclusion of Muslims and Islam (p. 34). He also discussed the concept of racism, anti-Muslim racism and neoliberalism with viewpoints of different writers in the cultural, religious, geographical and biological domain (p. 38). Moreover, Carr contends that, Islamophobia as a concept is not fit for; if the purpose is to challenge the racism experienced by Muslim men, women and children (pp. 48-51).
Chapter-4 is based on literature review, in which Carr focuses to discuss the manners in which the neoliberal Irish State records or fails to record data on anti-Muslim racism. He mentions that, Ireland scores poorly when it comes to recording racism and broader form of hate crime (p. 70). In this chapter author has developed the theoretical arguments that have been made in previous chapters (pp. 56-59). In this book fourth chapter also provides the empirical bedrock from which recommendations have been made and author explores how states could recognize and records anti-Muslim racism (p. 66). In Chapter-5 Carr presents unknown insights into anti-Muslim racism in Ireland that are derived from the quantitative and qualitative data of this study (p. 74). The findings of this chapter provide a platform from which an understanding of anti-Muslim racism in Ireland can emerge based on the local ‘subjugated knowledge’ of Muslim communities (p. 75). Carr contends that, neoliberal individualism challenges ‘other’ group identification to make ‘them’ like ‘us’ (p. 79). He clinched this chapter by saying that, “statistical analysis identified that, Muslim men and women both experienced high levels of discrimination in areas where they become apparent (p. 90).”
In 6th and 7th Chapter, Carr focuses to analyze the both quantitative and rich narrative data on the perceptions and practices of reporting anti-Muslim racism by Muslim Communities in Ireland (p. 101). The voices of Muslim participants were added in these chapters from retired members and representatives of Irish based non-governmental organizations (p. 130). He also mentions that, anti-Muslim racism operates in Ireland as like it does in abroad, Muslim men, women and children are being targeted here (p. 135). Carr says that, the importance of signifiers of Muslimness and gender on experiences of anti-Muslim racism in the Irish context becomes clear (p. 136).
In the last chapter author concludes and theorizes the primary data that emerges in both qualitative and quantitative phases of this study. Carr putts the argument by saying that, the neoliberal Irish state feel fears to record racism specially ant-Muslim racism (p. 139). In this chapter Carr gave the recommendations in terms of opportunities for positive change in relation to the recognition of anti-Muslim racism in Ireland that also fits for International context (p. 137). Moreover, by taking help from Foucault’s work and his concepts of counter conduct and subjugated knowledge Carr debates that, “this book can be perceived as an ‘insurrection of subjugated knowledge’ of those who live anti-Muslim racism in Ireland” (pp. 140-141). Carr suggested that, “Irish or indeed any state is serious about policing racism, and then effective actions should be taken to change this normalization as described by the participants” (p. 97).
This book can help and support the research students. They will enjoy and understand the new techniques and methodologies of research that have been used by James Carr. Author fought beautifully for anti-Muslim racism and tries to present the true picture of the Irish Muslims. This book is the comprehensive manuscript for the debate of Racism, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism within the context of Ireland. However, the idea remains debatable whether ani-Muslim racism is regarded as Islamophobia or not.