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11 Nov, 2016

Istanbul to host Global Symposium on Islamophobia in Europe

Istanbul, (IRCICA media release) – Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) of the OIC, and Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies (BALKAR) of Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, are to organize a joint international symposium on “Islamophobia in Europe: Past and Present” on 13-14th January, 2017.

-Call for Papers- International Symposium on “ISLAMOPHOBIA IN EUROPE: PAST AND PRESENT” 13-14 January, 2017 Istanbul

Islamophobia in Europe has a long tradition and history. Many of the first German leaflets in the 16th century, the early forms of newspapers, dealt with the Ottoman advance in Southeast Europe and propagated a major Islamic threat for Christianity and Europe. This propaganda helped the German Emperor to collect a “Türkensteuer” (Turks tax) from all principalities within the Empire, which was the first common tax in German history.

Many of the European nations define their historical role as “antemurale christianitatis” (Bulwark of Christianity) against the Turkish (which means: Islamic) threat. At the beginning of the 20th century, British Foreign Minister Edward Grey described “Panislamism” in a speech in the House of Commons as the “biggest threat for the civilized world” which provoked a Panislamism debate.

Many of the Ottoman intellectuals felt the necessity to take part in this debate and to defend the “East” and the Ottoman Empire against the accusation of an Islamic threat. In the second half of the 20th a large number of Muslim workers, mainly from Turkey and Northern Africa, emigrated to Germany and other western European countries.

The existence of Muslims in Europe provoked the establishment of anti-Muslim organizations and parties, which propagated that Europe is under threat of an Islamic occupation. Finally, political instability in the Middle East and the intervention of Western powers in the region provoked the establishment of terrorist organizations defining themselves as “Islamist”. The refuge of millions of Muslims from the conflict ridden regions in the Middle East to Europe and the refugee crisis caused the revival of an Islam debate and the Islamophobia reached its peaks again in Europe.

The aim of this international symposium is threefold:

1- to examine the extent to which Islamophobia has been a subject of academic research;

2- to bring together experts of the topic; and

3- to encourage young academicians to carry out research on the subject.

The symposium will examine the Islamophobia from different angles:

1. Image of Islam and Islamic empires / states in Europe (press, historiography, school education, textbooks, literature, art etc.)

2. Muslim communities and minority groups in Europe and their religious organizations, the minority policies of European countries, status of Islam in Europe,

3. Instruments of anti-Muslim propaganda, publications, nationalist or racist political organizations and parties and their propaganda against Islam and Muslims.

4. Attacks and repression against Muslim communities and minorities in Europe in the past and present.

5. Activities and responses in the Islamic world against the Islamophobia in the West.

Scholars willing to participate in the symposium shall send the title of their presentation with an abstract of 200-300 words as a Word document to the organizing committee by November 30th, 2016. Among the applications those papers which are based on primary sources or field work, and particularly those of young scholars writing a master thesis or PhD dissertation on this theme will be given priority.

Following the symposium, the papers will be published in an edited book.

Symposium Chairs: Dr. Halit Eren (General Director of IRCICA); Prof. Dr. Mehmet Hacısalihoğlu (Director of BALKAR)

Organization Committee: Mehmet Hacısalihoğlu (Prof. Dr., Director of BALKAR): balkar@yildiz.edu.tr or mehmethacisalihoglu@gmail.com
Cengiz Tomar (Prof. Dr., IRCICA): congress@ircica.org