Islamophobia – a thoughtful and critical study

We’re pleased to say that Chris Allen’s new book: Islamophobia, is now available, both in hardback and paperback.

The book begins by looking at ways of defining and understanding Islamophobia. Chris Allen traces its historical evolution to the present day, considering the impact of recent events and their aftermath especially in the wake of the events of September 11, before trying to understand and comprehend a wider conception of the phenomenon.

He considers the role of the media, the contemporary positioning of Muslims throughout the world, and whether Islamophobia can be seen to be a continuum of historical anti-Muslimism or anti-Islamism, or whether Islamophobia is an entirely modern concept.

‘Christopher Allen has been a dominant voice in debates on ‘Islamophobia’ . His book is both timely and relevant and provides the depth of enquiry and investigation needed to deal with a highly contested phenomenon’.    Ron Geaves, Liverpool Hope University, UK and Chair of the Muslims in Britain research Network

‘This timely and accessible book rests upon many years of careful research by a scholar whose early career has been devoted to understanding and critically evaluating the complex notion of Islamophobia. It will become a standard work of reference, as well as stimulating future discussion. There are insights in Allen’s work that deserve to be appreciated by students from a variety of disciplines, as well as a more general readership’.    Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Director of the Islam-UK Centre, Cardiff University, UK

Over the last couple of decades ‘Islamophobia’ has become common currency in public arguments about Islam and Muslims. It has been used unquestioningly by Muslims and others to score points in national and international political debates. Does any critique of Islam amount to ‘Islamophobia’? Does an accusation of ‘Islamophobia’ amount to an attempt to suppress freedom of expression? Or is ‘Islamophobia’ a form of hate speech or even racism, similar to anti-semitism? In this thoughtful and critical study Chris Allen looks at the origins of the term and its insertion into the British public debate in the 1990s sparked by a report from the Runnymede Trust. He follows the term’s adoption by the media and places it in a broader discussion of racism and xenophobia, relating it also to the debate on ‘Orientalism’. In conclusion he seeks a redefinition of ‘Islamophobia’ designed to make the concept both credible and useful. Allen has been a participant in much of the debate around Islamophobia since the 1990s and here takes a critical distance which allows him to make a substantial contribution to clearing up much of the confusion around a term which is usually emotionally and politically loaded.    Jørgen S. Nielsen, Professor, Centre for European Islamic Thought, University of Copenhagen

Visit the Facebook page for Islamophobia

Visit Ashgate’s website for more information about the book

About the Author: Chris Allen is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham, UK. His personal website can be found at

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