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Islamophobia in France: The Construction of the “Muslim Problem”

In this groundbreaking book, Hajjat and Mohammed argue that Islamophobia in France is not the result of individual prejudice or supposed Muslim cultural or racial deficiencies but rather arose out of structures of power and control already in place in France.

In 2004 France banned Muslim women from wearing veils in schools. In 2010 France passed legislation that banned the wearing of clothing in public that covered the face, mainly to target women who wore burqas. President Emmanuel Macron has stated that the hijab is not in accordance with French ideals. Islamophobia in France takes many forms, both explicit and implicit, and often appears to be sanctioned by the governing bodies themselves. These cultural biases reveal how the Muslim population acts as a scapegoat for the problematic status of immigrants in France more generally.

Islamophobia in France is an English translation of Abdellali Hajjat and Marwan Mohammed’s Islamophobie: Comment les e´lites franc¸aises fabriquent le “proble`me musulman.”

In this groundbreaking book, Hajjat and Mohammed argue that Islamophobia in France is not the result of individual prejudice or supposed Muslim cultural or racial deficiencies but rather arose out of structures of power and control already in place in France.

Hajjat and Mohammed analyze how French elites deploy Islamophobia as a state technology for contesting and controlling the presence of specific groups of postcolonial immigrants and their descendants in contemporary France. With a new introduction for U.S. readers, the authors unpack the data on Islamophobia in France and offer a portrait of how it functions in contemporary society.

About the Authors

Abdellali Hajjat is associate professor of sociology at the Université libre de Bruxelles. He is the author of The Wretched of France: The 1983 March for Equality and against Racism.

Marwan Mohammed is research fellow at CNRS in France and teaches sociology at Science Po Paris. He is the author of La formation des bandes: Entre la famille, l’école et la rue.

Table of Contents 

Part 1, Realities of Islamophobia

Islamophobia as a Social Ordeal

Measuring Islamophobia

From Negative Opinions to Discriminatory Acts

Part 2, A History of the Concept of Islamophobia

From Anti-Orientalism to the Runnymede Trust

Academic Research

Part 3, The Construction of the “Muslim Problem”

The Postcolonial Immigration “Problem”

(Lake of) Knowledge about Islam

The Islamophobic Political Cause

Legal Discrimination by a Capillary-like Process.

The Depoliticization of Violence and the Politics of Compensation

Part 4, Compiling an “Anti-Muslim Archive”

Construction and Circulation of European Representations of Islam and Muslims

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

Part 5, Islamophobia: Denial versus Recognition

The Denial of Islamophobia

The Struggle for the Recognition of Islamophobia

Lawyers in the Fight against Islamophobia

Against Islamophobia Hegemony

Bibliographic Information

Title: Islamophobia in France: The Construction of the “Muslim Problem”

Author (s):  Abdellali Hajjat & Marwan Mohammed

Translator: Steve Garner

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Length: 306 pages

ISBN:‎ 9-780-8203-6325-7

Pub. Date: January 15, 2023

Click Here to Buy the Book.

About Ali Teymoori

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