Charlie Hebdo shooting may deepen ‘normalized Islamophobia’

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Experts warn against deepened Islamophobia in the wake of the murderous attack on Paris-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo (Matt Kwong, “Charlie Hebdo Paris shooting may deepen ‘normalized Islamophobia’,” CBC News, 8 January 2015):

[Patrick Simon, the Paris-based director of research at the International Demographics Institute,] warned that concerns about diluting the country’s white, French stock could be inflamed by France’s far-right movement after the mass shooting at Charlie Hebdo.

“This is a nightmare,” he said. “Not only because it’s a horrible massacre. It will also create more stigmatization of Muslims. It’s destroying years of support to try to create more understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in French society.”…

“The majority of Muslims feel a huge solidarity with the people who were killed, and they’re saying we feel this way as French [people], not only as Muslims,” said Amel Boubekeur, a researcher with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs who specializes on Islam in Europe.

Boubekeur worries about what she calls a “normalized Islamophobia” taking hold in France, bolstered by policymakers “who might feel they have to be quite harsh with Islamic figures and point to [the shootings] because they think this is what France wants to hear.”

That would be a tragedy even from the point of view of Charlie Hebdo, said Laurence Grove, a Glasgow-based historian on French comics who has worked with some of the journalists who were targeted at the Paris weekly.

“Charlie Hebdo is a very left-wing paper. A paper that stands against racism,” he said. “It goes out to break every taboo going.”

Any fear-mongering political reactions out of France likely would have made great fodder for the publication, Grove said.

“I think that’s exactly the type of reaction the journal would have made fun of.”

Read the article here: Charlie Hebdo Paris shooting may deepen ‘normalized Islamophobia’

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Tags: Charlie Hebdo, France, Islamophobia, Terrorism