Open Access Article of the Week: Islamophobia in Australia: From Far-Right Deplorables to Respectable Liberals by Poynting and Briskman

In Australia since about the turn of the millennium, discrimination against Muslims has been increasingly normalized, made respectable, and presented as prudent precaution against violent extremism. Vilification of Muslims has posed as defending ‘Australian values’ against those who will not integrate. Liberal political leaders and press leader-writers who formerly espoused cultural pluralism now routinely hold up as inimical the Muslim folk devil by whose otherness the boundaries of acceptability of the national culture may be marked out and policed. The Muslim Other is positioned not only as culturally incommensurate, but dangerously so: dishonest, criminally inclined, violent, misogynist, homophobic, backward, uncivilized. On the far right, extremist nationalist organizations incite racist hatred under cover of this rhetoric, often cloaked as reasonable common sense. This paper undertakes an ideology analysis of political and media discussion, and examines the forms of social control that they advance and sustain.

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