Islamophobia in Belgium

A Constructed but Effective Phantasm?

in Journal of Muslims in Europe
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This article represents one part of a vast research project undertaken between 2013 and 2015 on the reciprocal views Muslims and non-Muslims in Belgium, and particularly in Brussels, have of one another, and the relationships they maintain. It is above all a question of understanding how reciprocal tensions and adjustments are constructed. The various treatments the topic of Islamophobia receives represent one of them. Hence this article tries to evaluate the attitudes on each side with respect to this societal phenomenal and this concept. In addition to year-long observations carried out in Brussels, it is based on three evenings during which ten privileged interlocutors discussed this topic in-depth. Carried out before the Brussels attacks of March 22nd, 2016, this study provides a better grasp of how anxieties, or even a spiral of reciprocal accusations, are able to develop, and questions the uses of the category Islamophobia and its counterproductive character.

Islamophobia in Belgium

A Constructed but Effective Phantasm?

in Journal of Muslims in Europe



  • 7

    Amnesty International (2012) “Choix et préjugés : La discrimination à l’égard des musulmans en Europe” (cf. This report concerns Belgium Spain France the Netherlands and Switzerland. We only consider what concerns Belgium aware that there have been no further publications of this sort by Amnesty in the last 4 years.

  • 14

    F. Bravo López“Towards a definition of Islamophobia: approximations of the early twentieth century” in Ethnic and Racial Studies2011 vol. 34 n°4 pp. 556-573.

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    F. Benyekhlef“Le djihadisme, ce chancre de l’islam” in La Libre27 Août 2013 pp. 46-47.

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    V. Yzerbit & G. SchadronConnaître et juger autrui—Une introduction à la cognition sociale (Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble1996) p. 116.


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