This chapter describes the emergence of the term Islamophobia in the British context, and deconstructs this term in order to better understand the elements that may be interacting in shaping people's perception of contemporary events, and possibly driving feelings of antipathy and even hatred. Next, it explores the internal dynamics of Islamophobia. The populist anti-Muslimism can clearly draw on social imaginaries that have their roots in centuries of stereotype formation and in concrete relations of dominance and subjugation. Anti-Muslimism serves contemporary personal and political needs, and its power lies not in the internal coherence of its discourses, but rather in the eclectic possibilities for co-option to different agendas that this semi-ideology provides contemporary British society with. The fusion of the sociopolitical and the social-psychological dynamics provides a qualitatively different understanding of the resilience and potential political potency of anti-Muslimism.
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