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Open AccessArticle

Right-Wing Populism and Religion in Europe and the USA

School of Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University, London N7 8DB, UK
This paper draws on and updates material in several chapters of Haynes 2019c.
Religions 2020, 11(10), 490;
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 11 September 2020 / Accepted: 25 September 2020 / Published: 27 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Nationalism and Populism across the North/South Divide)
The aim of this paper is to examine comparatively the growth and political effectiveness of right-wing populism in Western Europe, Central Europe, and the USA since 9/11. The focus is on such politicians’ vilification of Islam as a faith and Muslims as a people. The paper examines the following research question: how and why do right-wing populists in the USA and Europe use an ideological form of “Christianity”, known variously as “Christianism” or “Christian civilizationism”, to vilify Muslims and Islam? The political purpose seems obvious: to influence public perceptions and to win votes by questioning the desirability of Muslims in both the USA and Europe, claiming that Muslims’ religious and cultural attributes make them unacceptable as neighbors. As Muslims are not capable, so the argument goes, of assimilating to European or American norms, values, and behavior, then they must be excluded or strongly controlled for the benefit of nativist communities. Right-wing populists in both the USA and Europe pursue this strategy because they see it as chiming well with public opinion at a time of great uncertainty, instability, and insecurity. View Full-Text
Keywords: right-wing populism; Europe; USA; Christianism; Christian civilizationism; Muslims; Islam right-wing populism; Europe; USA; Christianism; Christian civilizationism; Muslims; Islam
MDPI and ACS Style

Haynes, J. Right-Wing Populism and Religion in Europe and the USA. Religions 2020, 11, 490.

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