Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia

Peter the Hermit preaching the First Crusade, (c. 1823-1904)

Background and Scope

The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University Qatar has launched a research initiative titled Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia. Led by Georgetown University Qatar Professors Abdullah Al-Arian and Karine Walther, this project aims to contribute to important scholarly conversations on Islamophobia by examining its historical roots in diverse global contexts.

With Islamophobia becoming a household word in the past decade, it is incumbent upon scholars to investigate the historical origins and the development of this modern concept.  Only by illuminating and deconstructing the history of this phenomenon can we fully understand its relationship to current iterations.  Although the term ‘Islamophobia’ has a relatively recent origin, scholars of the past have long known that fear and hatred of Islam and its followers has a long and unfortunate history that can be traced back across time and space.  From premodern Christian theological hostility to the Islamic faith emerging in medieval times and the papal discourses that helped prompt the first crusades through the Orientalist scholars of the Age of Empire and through to the contemporary period, expressions of Islamophobia have had world-altering results.  Nor has this phenomenon been limited to Europe and the United States; global expressions of Islamophobia have emerged elsewhere, including India, Israel, Russia, Myanmar and China. Its effects have even been internalized within Muslim-majority societies across the Middle East and North Africa. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, this CIRS initiative will aim to bring scholars and specialists together from around the world and from across the disciplines to analyze the global, historical, theological and political dimensions that drive practices of Islamophobia. The project will draw scholars working on a broad range of topics with global, thematic and chronological breadth.  Themes will include but are not limited to: historical practices of Orientalism, the impact of theological disputes with Islam within faith traditions, state policies on immigration, gender and Islamophobia, empire, post-colonialism, state-led policies of discrimination against Muslims, practices of ethnic cleansing, and the relationship between Islamophobia and the rise of the national security state.  

The project on the Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia, with the goal of identifying and reaching the broadest group of multidisciplinary international experts and scholars, issued a Call for Papers (CFP). Authors of selected submissions are invited to commence working on this group effort, that we hope will contribute new and original research on an important and previously understudied subject. CIRS hosted an initial virtual working group in the early Fall of 2022, where scholars presented their paper ideas and extended abstracts for feedback and review. An in-person workshop was organized in Doha, Qatar the early Spring of 2023 where contributors honed and developed their papers for publication as an edited volume.


Call for Paper Abstracts

The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University in Qatar invites papers from scholars and researchers interested in contributing original scholarship on the topic of “Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia.”‎

The call for paper abstracts has now closed. Applicants will receive a response by April 15.

Working Group Meetings

Working Group Meetings

As part of its Research and Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups that convene in Doha to examine a variety of international issues. The primary purpose of CIRS…