The Multiculturalism Backlash and the Mainstreaming of Islamophobia Post-9/11

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In response to the failure of the assimilationist agenda of the early 1960s, the idea of multiculturalism had by the end of the twentieth century broadly come to be accepted as an effective strategy for managing diversity in British society. Since 9/11, however, it has sustained heavy attacks from a variety of antagonists. Increasingly, the multiculturalism backlash has come to be linked with critiques of Islam and Muslims and, in turn, with Islamophobia. This chapter examines the nexus, the parallel ebbs and flows, and the modalities of anti-multiculturalism and Islamophobia. Situating this discussion in ideological and historical contexts, it suggests that while the capacity of religious and cultural conflicts to transcend the specificities of particular geographical and historical settings must not be downplayed, it is more useful, especially from a policy perspective, to consider contingent material factors, the broader social and political influences, the complex circumstances, in which such conflicts re-surface, and then, with the passing of the conjuncture, tend to subside again.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIrish Religious Conflict in Comparative Perspective
Subtitle of host publicationCatholics, Protestants and Muslims
EditorsJohn Wolffe
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-35190-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-35189-0, 978-1-349-46898-0
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Publication series

NameHistories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

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