Report shows 'Islamophobia industry' in Canada has become transnational
Report titled Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North lays out networks' funding that is influencing Islamophobia
A study conducted in Canada revealed the networks that influenced and funded Islamophobia, as it "has become a transnational sector."
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Jasmin Zine, a professor of Sociology, Religion and Culture, and the Muslim Studies Option at Wilfrid Laurier University, said the Islamophobia industry has a market of $1.5 billion in the US only.
Saying that the market is coordinated by 39 US-based organizations, Zine and her team concluded the 127-page report in four years.
"Islamophobia networks are transnational. They're not just in Canada or the United States. A lot of funding for this industry comes from the US, and some of the studies there show it's a $1.5 billion market in total. Some of this support is promoting anti-Islamic propaganda," Zine said, adding that it has also infiltrated Canada.
Noting that they were unable to do the same research done in the US to Canada because they were not allowed to have access to the types of documents needed, Zine said support to the "Islamophobia industry" has also found its support in Canada.
She further noted the transnational ties among actors influencing Islamophobia in Europe and elsewhere, adding that such ties also "strengthen the power of these networks and allow them to spread their disinformation and misinformation far more widely."
Citing her report, Zine affirmed that "media outlets" are one of the major actors in the "Islamophobia industry."
She said the "media outlets and Islamophobia influencers" in Canada contribute to "far-right media forums and use social media platforms to professionalize and monetize their propaganda and bigotry."
Zine continued by explaining that the "foot soldiers" are another major actor of the "Islamophobia industry," saying they are "far-right, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups and the agitators behind them who are active in promoting anti-Muslim hate online and through public protests and demonstrations."
"Soft-power groups ... leverage influence by promoting anti-Muslim campaigns to achieve specific political, ideological, and religious goals that drive Islamophobic subcultures," she said, adding that they also "engage in coercive tactics such as bullying, harassment, and intimidation to silence those who oppose them."
There are also "native informers," who are "Muslim dissidents and ex-Muslims who play the role of authoritative interlocutors, creating and validating Islamophobic narratives and conspiracy theories."
"They provide the 'political cover' for Islamophobic campaigns," she added.
The two other major actors are "think tanks and designated security experts" as well as "political figures and influencers."
Think tanks and designated security experts "create a 'cult of expertise' to promote Islamophobic conspiracy theories that brand Muslims as potential radicals and national-security threats," according to the report.
On "political figures and influencers," the report said, "the players in the Islamophobia industry are strengthened and enabled by politicians who authorize Islamophobic narratives and policies that promote anti-Muslim sentiments as part of the wider ecosystem that primes the ground for Islamophobic racism to take root and spread."
Zine stressed that "the industry is a term that's been used to represent the orchestrated organized nature of Islamophobia groups that have come together and are working in concert to orchestrate controversies to create propaganda to organize campaigns that promote Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism."
Noting that the Canadian Islamophobia industry has taken root in the country, Zine said that such industry has resonance in Canada such as some policies "that promote Islamophobia like Bill 21 in Quebec, which, you know, prohibits religious attire in the public sphere that has specifically targeted Muslim women security policies that through which Muslims have been considered potential radicals and terrorists."
"These policies and practices lead to an environment where Islamophobia can take root. We've seen in Canada the deadly consequences of this when we look at January 29, 2017 attack on a mosque in Quebec City, and then last year 2021 on June 6, the attack in London, Ontario, that killed four members of the Pakistani Canadian Muslim family who were out for a walk when evening and were mowed down by a truck and both of these attacks took place at the hands of white nationalists," she added.
According to her research, there are nearly 300 far-right and white supremacist groups active in Islamophobic incidents. The report can be found at "https://iphobiacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Canada-Report-2022-1.pdf".Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.