chapter  9
16 Pages

Islam at issue: anti-Islamic mobilization of the extreme right in Austria

BySieglinde Rosenberger, Leila Hadj-Abdou

Since the 1990s, taking issue with Muslim immigrants in a fear-laden way and constructing Islam as a threat to European and national communities has become one of the core mobilizing themes for right-extremist parties in Europe (Mudde 2007: 85-6; Zúquete 2008). Most prominently, after the terrorist attacks in New York 2001, a widespread tendency in the discursive anti-immigration strategies of extreme-right parties has emerged in addition to the trope of the undesired ‘foreign other’: the element of ‘the alien Muslim’. Across Europe, extreme-right parties are denouncing Muslims as a minority lacking the willingness to integrate or, even worse, Muslims are being portrayed as a homogeneous group that cannot be inte - grated into a given national society owing to distinct ethnic, religious or tradi - tional lifestyles. Thus, Muslims are constructed, either way, as a threat to liberal values, European heritage, social cohesion and the cultural integrity of a nation (Bunzl 2007; Mudde 2007; Van der Brug and Fennema 2003).