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The Headscarf ControversySecularism and Freedom of Religion$
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Hilal Elver

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769292.001.0001

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Anti-Islamic Discourses in Europe

Anti-Islamic Discourses in Europe

(p.101) 5 Anti-Islamic Discourses in Europe
The Headscarf Controversy

Hilal Elver

Oxford University Press

This is the introductory chapter of the Part II, the Headscarf Debate in Europe and the United States. The preoccupation with Islam reached its heights as a result of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and the atmosphere of fear in the West led to the open expression of anti-Islam sentiments, which had lain dormant form for a long time. Despite the enormous cultural and theological differences among Muslims and their Islamic practices, Islam is presented to the European public as a monolithic block. In this discourse, Islam is viewed as incompatible with Europe’s fundamental values, such as democracy and individual freedom. Diverse political, theological, ideological, and historical reasons combined to cultivate opposition to Islam in Europe. Muslims are not only considered different from Europeans and their religion incompatible with European culture, but their presence is also regarded as a threat to the health of Europe.

Keywords:   islamophobia in europe, islamic practices in europe, from headscarf to burqa, european media

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