The aim of the yearly ‘European Islamophobia Report’ (EIR) is to document and analyze trends in the spread of Islamophobia in various European nation states. Every year at the beginning of February before the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March), reports will be published online and hardcopy and disseminated among leading stakeholders, politicians, NGO’s, and anti-racist organizations.
EIR will be authored by leading experts in the field of Islamophobia Studies and/or NGO-activists committed to the documentation of racism in respective nation states. One person will author one report of his/her country of expertise. These reports will be also published online to be easily accessible. The full report will also be translated into Turkish. The executive office will disseminate the reports among key policy makers, journalists and NGO activists from the local, national and European level.
When talking about Islamophobia, we mean anti-Muslim racism. As Anti-Semitism Studies has shown, the etymological components of a word do not necessarily point to its complete meaning, nor how it is used. Such is also the case with Islamophobia Studies. Islamophobia has become a well known term used in academia as much as in the public sphere. Criticism of Muslims or of the Islamic religion is not necessarily Islamophobic. Islamophobia is about a dominant group of people aiming at seizing, stabilizing and widening their power by means of defining a scapegoat – real or invented – and excluding this scapegoat from the resources/rights/definition of a constructed ‘we’. Islamophobia operates by constructing a static ‘Muslim’ identity, which is attributed in negative terms and generalized for all Muslims. At the same time, Islamophobic images are fluid and vary in different contexts, because Islamophobia tells us more about the Islamophobe than it tells us about the Muslims/Islam.