Dutch politician Geert Wilders smiles at the camera.

Meet the Network Behind Europe’s Anti-Muslim Hysteria

Published on 23 Apr 2015

In Switzerland, politicians call for a ban on minaret construction. In France, legislators prohibits Muslim headscarves in public schools. In Germany, a massive anti-immigrant movement lashes out at Muslims.

Over the course of the past decade, Islamophobia in Europe has been on the rise. While there are many factors that contribute to this growing hostility, few people have paid serious attention to the tight-knit network of individuals and groups that are behind some of the continent’s ugliest displays of prejudice.

While you may have heard of the American “Islamophobia industry,” the existence of its European counterpart is lesser known. Yasmine Taeb and Sina Toossi acquaint us with these players and their tactics in “Meet the European Islamophobia Network,” an article that was published in Think Progress on March 12, 2015.

This network has relied on many of the same tactics and in some cases even consists of the same individuals and organizations as its ideological compatriots in the United States. In fact, many groups stoking an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims in the United States draw inspiration from progenitor groups hailing from Europe, where wild theories of “Islamization” have for some time taken root amongst fringe sectors of European society. The agenda of these groups, whether in the United States or Europe, remains the same: to stigmatize and marginalize Muslims in order to prevent them from becoming assertive members of social and political systems.

Read more of Yasmine and Sina’s piece, where they offer a compact and punchy description of this network, making connections between those who comprise it, and showing the havoc it has wreaked on the values of pluralism and the rights of European citizens.