Countering Islamophobia through the development of counter-narratives


Countering Islamophobia through the Development of Best Practice in the use of Counter-Narratives in EU Member States

Full Project Description:

The overall aim of the Action is to compare the operation of counter-narratives to Muslim hatred in eight EU member states in order to examine their use and effectiveness in terms of providing alternatives to prevailing narratives of hate and hostility and reducing racism. This will involve assessing prevailing narratives of Muslim hatred and the local, national and international environments in which they operate, identifying the content, utilisation and impact of counter-narratives in each member state context and comparing their operation and outcomes in order to identify best practice in the form of a Toolkit of Counter-Narratives.

The Action will collate empirical information about the operation of counter-narratives in eight member states (the UK, Belgium, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Greece, plus France and Germany) providing the first comprehensive comparative picture of the use of counter-narratives and will for the first time compare these data to explore what works in the use of counter-narratives utilising a range of indicators.This project is funded with support from the European Commission.

This communication reflects the views only of the CPS and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

University of Leeds, UK (Prof. Ian Law)
Islamic Human Rights Commission, UK
University of Liege, Belgium
University of Coimbra, Portugal
American College of Greece Charles University, Czech Republic
Alba Graduate Business School, Greece

Project status: Ongoing
Funding body: European Commission DG Justice and Consumers
Duration: Jan, 2017 - Dec, 2018

Center for Policy Studies
Counter-Islamophobia Kit


French Muslims: a History of Incomplete Citizenship - Dr Andrea Bila

Economic crisis of the early 1970s, growing unemployment that hit hard mainly the low-skilled working class immigrants and eventually laws restricting immigration voted to stop the influx of no longer needed foreign labour, changed the way the immigrants from the countries of the former French colonial empire were perceived by the public. Populations of Maghrebi origin were often framed in the political and media discourse as having been unable to integrate into the French society (Brouard & Tiberj 2005). This was so on account of their ethnic and cultural identity as well as their religious affiliation, using unemployment, poor academic achievement and delinquency rate as evidence (Muxel 1988). As Bertossi (2007) remarks, while in the 1980s, the notion of integration still referred to a process by which foreigners became citizens, at the end of the 1990s, this notion no longer concerned foreigners but their descendants who were already French citizens. the full entry

Germany, We Need to Talk about Islamophobia - Dr Luis Manuel Hernandez Aguilar

The recent federal elections and the rise of the far-right Islamophobic political party Alternative for Germany (AFD) as the third most influential political force in the parliament, not only preoccupied social commentators as it presented a tangible threat to German democracy (given that it is the first time in six decades in which a party with overtly nationalist and racist discourses has secured representation in the Bundestag), but also because the AFD’s success revealed the growing currency of Islamophobic discourses in German politic and social life. As such, the AFD’s presence in the Bundestag transformed the already well-cemented and disseminated racial discourses on Muslims and Islam into a political program which, undoubtedly, will be part of the political discussion and system of Germany in the years to come. the full entry

The Wrong Side of Britishness: Anti-Muslim Narratives in the UK - Arzu Merali

The end of the first workstream of the CIK project in the UK saw the publication of the ten key narratives of Islamophobia. These represented only the most prevalent and potent rather than the sum. The level of impact vis-à-vis the prevalence of a narrative within or as a precursor in media and political discourse to policy and law were the final determiners of what were the more impactful narratives.

Counterposed with existing research into experiences of Muslims in the UK, these narratives have several counterproductive and in some cases counter-intuitive (based on stated policy aims) outcomes. the full entry