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 were Dr Silvia Maeso and Dr Marta Araújo*. Watch the research author Dr Marta Araújo present their findings at the European Parliament in September 2018.
Workstream 1 looked at the Ten Dominant Narratives of Islamophobia in Portugal, looking at the historical and contemporary roots of anti-Muslim thinking, policy and practice in the national context.
This report is divided in six sections: first, a summary of the literature produced in Portugal in the last two decades is presented. This focuses not so much on Islamophobia, which seems to lack academic relevance, but on the so-called presence of Muslims and Islam in Portugal.1 It should be noted though that such literature does acknowledge the existence of Islamophobia, which is most often not reported. Second, the report provides with estimates of the Muslim population in Portugal, situating its historical presence in Portugal, alongside a glimpse at its contemporary social and political significance. Third, the lack of available data on hate crime in Portugal – which would allow to make inferences as to how hatred has been manifested over time – is reflected upon. And, finally, following a performative approach to Islamophobia, the report analyses the range of expressions that Islamophobia seems to assume in: a) political discourse/policies; b) media content; c) experiences of discrimination in everyday life.
Download it here [29 pages].
Read a short commentary and summary on those findings [external link] – Happy, Happy, Happy: Tolerant Portugal and the “Good Muslims”
Workstream 2 looked at the Ten Dominant Counter-Narratives of Islamophobia in Portugal, based on interviews with practitioners, lawyers, academics, political actors, NGOs, journalists and others.
The preliminary findings of our analysis of counter-narratives show the impact of dominant understandings of Islamophobia as ‘hatred and fear of Islam’. This fear would be fuelled mainly by ignorance of Islam and, more broadly, a lack of an adequate education in the history of religions. Dominant understandings of Islamophobia tend to frame Muslimness in terms of a religious identity that is subjected to prejudiced representations. Overall, these ‘conventional strategies’ have more national significance – they are present in public commentary, academic discourse, prominent Islamic associations, journalistic work and official State rhetoric – than political strategies.
Download it here [33 pages].
Return to the IHRC index.
* This research was undertaken by a partner organisation in the project and not IHRC. All views expressed are the authors’ own and cannot be attributed to IHRC or the European Commission.