This page provides the key documents, video and links in the Countering Islamophobic Narratives project (CIK) that was undertaken in 2017 – 2018.
The author of research on Germany was Dr Luis Manuel Hernandez Aguilar*. Watch the research author Dr Luis Manuel Hernandez Aguilar present their findings at the European Parliament in September 2018.
Workstream 1 looked at the Ten Dominant Narratives of Islamophobia in Germany, looking at the historical and contemporary roots of anti-Muslim thinking, policy and practice in the national context.
In Germany, racism, and islamophobia as a form of racism, has politically and academically remained a highly controversial topic, more often than not treated as a taboo (Terkessidis 2004). While the acknowledgment of anti-Semitism and the guilt surrounding the atrocities perpetuated during the Second World War became prominent topics of national debate and national identity, racism— discursively detached from anti-Semitism—ideologically became a remnant of a distant past, allegedly, isolated in small fringes of society, i.e. neo Nazis groups in East Germany at best or inexistent at worst.
Download it here [46 pages].
Read a short commentary and summary on those findings [external link] – Germany, We Need to Talk about Islamophobia
Workstream 2 looked at the Ten Dominant Counter-Narratives of Islamophobia in Germany, based on interviews with practitioners, lawyers, academics, political actors, NGOs, journalists and others.
Before continuing with this outline is important to highlight the sociopolitical context in which the research took place, in particular the looming presence of Islamophobia as one the most significant political currencies to achieve political “success” in electoral processes, something that each one of my interlocutors worryingly voiced. I am referring to the rise of the far-right Islamophobic, anti-refugee political party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AFD). Germany held Federal elections on September 2017; I conducted almost all of the interviews (see below) informing this report between May and September, precisely at the peak of the political campaigns. The AFD, its hateful and Islamophobic political platform, and overall envisioning its success in the elections deeply shaped not only the conversions I had, but also preoccupied my interlocutors in regard to the prospect of escalating waves of violence and discrimination, funds being cancelled, or a backlash against their projects and initiatives.
Download it here [72 pages].
Read a short commentary and summary on those findings here [external link] – Denying Islamophobia Won’t Make it Go Away: Germany
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* All views expressed are the author’s own and cannot be attributed to IHRC or the European Commission.