Islamophobia in Online Arab Media

Author(s) Ruth Tsuria
Contact Ruth Tsuria, Texas A&M University, 102 Bolton Hall, 4234 TAMU College St., TX 77843, USA. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 9, Iss. 1, 2015, pp. 57-83
Published May 10, 2015
Type Article
Abstract What is Islamophobia? A popular term among many newspapers articles, politicians’ speeches and scholarly texts, it is rarely clearly defined. Although the concept of ‘Islamophobia’ is difficult to define it has been a source of heated discussion in academic work, public diplomacy, government policy and news media. Governments, social think tanks and various scholars have attempted to define Islamophobia in order to counter incidents of physical, legal or verbal abuse of Muslims, Islamic artifacts and symbols, etc. Those attempts tend to present Islamophobia as a global phenomenon, similar in all its occurrences and definable as a concrete observable fact. This article supports a move from Islamophobia singular to Islamophobia(s) plural by exploring notions of Islamophobia in Arab and Muslim online media. It is suggested that multiple, localized “Islamophobias” exist and that varying uses and understanding of the term may occur in that media. Furthermore, the article problematizes the emergence of the term and its sometimes over-simplified uses, stepping away from an ‘Us’ against ‘Them’ dichotomies. Through careful and thematic analysis of the sources, the political and religious apparatuses of “Islamophobias” are crystalized.
Keywords identity, Islamophobia, Islam, media studies, religion online