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Volume :43 Issue : 1 2015      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Discrimination and Immigrant Identity: Fundamentalist and Secular Muslims Facing the Swiss Minaret Ban

Auther : Peter Holtz Wolfgang Wagner Mohsmmad Sartawi

The 2009 Swiss minaret ban was widely regarded as a blatant act of discrimination against Muslims. We analyzed postings in threads related to the minaret ban in two German language internet forums for young Muslims. The first forum was hosted by a fundamentalist group whereas the second represented a more secular or moderate segment of German Muslims. We expected the fundamentalists to employ more essentializing discourses in face of discrimination, whereas we hypothesized the moderate Muslims to rather employ de-essentializing discourses. Although the fundamentalists expressed their disgust at the referendum's outcome, they also welcomed it as confirming the West's hostility towards Islam in general and their identities as fighters in an inevitable global jihad. They displayed a strongly essentialized insular identity with impermeable boundaries that excluded moderate Muslims as well as non-Muslims. On the other hand, the discourse in the moderate forum disclosed the users' dominant hyphenated identity, which the minaret ban puts a strain upon. They felt the need to strike a balance between their desire to integrate in German society and their outrage about the minaret ban. The results are discussed in terms of the dynamics between minority and majority groups' identity constructions.
Key words: Discrimination, Fundamentalism, Essentialism, Hyphenated Identity, Muslims, Identity Construction.

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Aug 09, 2020

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