On the 29th of October 2015, Dr James Carr from the Department of Sociology launched his new book: Experiences of Islamophobia: Living with Racism in the Neoliberal era (London & New York: Routledge, 2016).
Professor Bryan Fanning from the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin offered his reflections on Dr Carr’s new book on the day, along with colleague from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies. This important book fills a number of lacunae. Since 9/11 interest in Islamophobia has steadily increased – as has the number of academic publications discussing the phenomenon. However, theoretical expositions have dominated the field. Lived experiences of Islamophobia, by contrast, have received little attention. In recognition of the importance of addressing this imbalance, this book provides theoretically informed analyses alongside everyday testimonies of anti-Muslim racism in Ireland. This book is original then in the insights it provides in the Ireland, all the while being set comparatively in an international context. Carr argues that the failure of the neoliberal state to collect data on anti-Muslim racism highlights the perpetuation of ‘race’ blindness within governance. Not only does this mean that the salience of racism is denied in the lives of those who experience it, but this also enables the state to absolve itself from challenging the issue and providing the necessary supports to Muslim communities.