INTERSECT webinar: Flows of Islamophobia in Transatlantic Far Right Digital Publics
by Bharath Ganesh, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Groningen
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Islamophobic discourse plays a fundamental role in garnering attention for far right parties, leaders, and social movements online. Islamophobia is ubiquitous in far right political communication in this geography: actors in far right digital publics consistently portray Muslims as a threat to Western culture, as violent criminals, and incapable of respecting European values. These racist tropes in far right political communication flow between North America and Western Europe. Imaginaries of “no-go zones” in European cities, representations of Muslim men as sexual predators, and nonsense fears of “Islamisation” drive transatlantic far right political communication today. The flow of these tropes depends upon sociotechnical systems, including social media platforms, alternative media and extremist influencers, populist radical right politicians, and distributed networks of users united in a transnational white racial project. By drawing on recent publications focusing on the far right on Twitter and ongoing work on far right spatial imaginaries, this talk will explore the discursive and affective flows in far right digital that reinforce racist constructions of nationhood and whiteness in North America and Western Europe.