Discourses on antisemitism and islamophobia in arab media

  • Webman E
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ABSTRACT This paper discusses the relationship between antisemitism and Islamophobia, focusing on debates in Arab newspapers in the wake of the Second Intifada and 9/11 and then in response to two issues of contention for Muslim communities in Europe, the Danish cartoon crisis in 2006 and the Swiss referendum on building minarets in 2009. The paper relates these debates to major UN and EU resolutions for combating racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism. The aim of this paper is to explore how far discussion of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the Arab world is dominated by those who see Islamophobia as the real danger in today's Europe and antisemitism as a Zionist ploy, and how far antisemitism and Islamophobia have become two competing terms relating to two communities that perceive themselves as victims of prejudice and racism and also of each other. The paper seeks to qualify this image. It acknowledges that the entanglement of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict adds a political aspect to the discussion of the two terms, intensifies competition between them for recognition as unique forms of racism and discrimination, and curtails the creation of positive ground for dialogue. However, it also demonstrates the presence of other voices which are more open to addressing both forms of exclusion.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Danish cartoons
  • Islamophobia
  • Swiss ban on minarets
  • UN resolutions
  • antisemitism
  • racism

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  • Esther Webman

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