Comparing Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Asylophobia: The British Case
By Thomas Linehan
Volume 12, Issue 2, pages 366-386
This article examines how far discourses on the ‘Other’ and immigration in contemporary Britain resemble antisemitic discourses in Britain during and between the two World Wars. The article contends that there was a particular British species of antisemitism in evidence during the wartime and interwar periods which was made up of a number of key elements, defined here as ‘conspiratorial’, ‘cultural’, ‘religious’, and ‘economic’ forms of anti-Jewish animosity. The article then considers whether similar elements can be discerned in responses to ‘Other’ maligned groups in the contemporary period, particularly in relation to anti-Muslim sentiment or Islamophobic discourses. The article then investigates whether we can identify symmetry in relation to another group which has experienced high levels of discrimination in twenty-first-century Britain, asylum seekers. Here, the article considers whether one needs to situate contemporary ‘asylophobia’ in a wider explanatory framework which both takes account of the possible ‘re-cycling’ of earlier stigmatising representations of Jews, and more contemporary influences and developments relating to neo-liberal globalisation.
Read the full article here.