Schools of Thought in Islamophobia Studies: Prejudice, Racism, and Decoloniality

Anti-Muslim racism and Islamophobia are not just phenomena—they have increasingly become the focus of a new field of research: Islamophobia studies. Frequent national and international conferences and publications in this area bear witness to this. This article discusses the different prominent approaches to the concepts of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism that can be found in academic literature. It discusses the different theoretical strands within Islamophobia studies rather than the commonalities they share. In broad terms, three “schools of thought” can be identified in Islamophobia studies. The first conducts research on Islamophobia in the context of prejudice studies, the second is informed by racism studies and draws on the postcolonial tradition, and the third contributes to the second through the addition of a decolonial perspective.

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