chapter  28
Far-right Islamophobia
From ideology to ‘mainstreamed’ hate crimes
WithMatthew Feldman, Paul Stocker
Pages 11

The far right in Britain have long denounced ethnic minorities as conspiring, subversive threats to the nation. A striking feature of the 21st-century far right in Britain is their populist embrace of anti-Muslim prejudice. This is apparent in a number of the far-right’s contemporary ‘faces’, including the British National Party and the more recent ‘defence leagues’. Yet anti-Muslim prejudice also extends to more mainstream right-wing circles, in parties such as UKIP as well as the right-wing press, in print and online, which will also be touched upon in this chapter. While rhetorical attacks upon the Muslim community are commonplace in far-right discourse, its more insidious consequences come in the form of increased hate crimes and ‘licensed’ political violence. This chapter will examine the nature of anti-Muslim prejudice by different far-right groups, before turning to the issue of their manifestation as hate attacks. In outlining the diverse nature in which ‘Islamoprejudice’ is presented by the far right, including both conspiratorial anti-Muslim prejudice and the linking of Islam with terrorism, it will demonstrate that a nuanced appreciation of the various ways in which Muslims are scapegoated. In making use of the Tell MAMA data, this chapter argues that rather than being mere ‘rhetoric’, far-right Islamophobia has been an important factor in the rise of new forms of far-right extremism.