Islamophobia: ignorance, imagination, identity and interaction
Pratt, D. (2011). Islamophobia: ignorance, imagination, identity and interaction.Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, 22(4), 379-389.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6050
In much of Western society it remains regrettably the case that contemporary perception – or the imaging – of Islam is dominated by misrepresentation and distortion that derive, by and large, from misunderstanding and ignorance. Fear of the ‘other’, when the ‘other’ is Muslim, is fear of Muslims per se, and also often of their religion, Islam – so Islamophobia. In this article I shall examine what is meant by and what is the effect of, such ignorance and outline an analysis of the process of imaging Islam – a process that arguably lies at the heart of Islamophobia. I shall also address the question of identity, specifically the issue of ‘exclusive identity’ and problems that relate thereto. I shall conclude with a discussion of dialogical ‘interaction’ as a relational modality that may yet challenge and ameliorate the rising tide of Islamophobia.