The attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015 once again brought to the fore the place of Islam in Western secular democracies, and the questioning of Muslim citizenship. The hyper-mediatisation of jihadist terrorism and its subsequent conflation with Muslim communities in general, has led to both an increase in widespread popular fear of Islam and its followers, and the further marginalization and stigmatization of Muslim communities living in Western societies.
This book brings together a range of studies and reflections pertinent to the contemporary issues surrounding religious citizenship and Islamophobia. Sentiments of insecurity and uncertainty, which far-right populist movements focus on, are increasingly finding resonance among ordinary citizens. Some traditional political parties are now flirting with demagogic discourse with respect to matters Islamic to the point where there is a hardening within Western democracies, manifested in the adoption of illiberal policies, the narrowing of the conception of secularity, and the alienation of a younger generation of Muslims. Yet there can still be found both glimmers of hope and slivers of sanity. This book was originally published as a special issue of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.