Islamophobia has been a controversial concept ever since it first gained popular currency. One of the main sticking points over the term is whether or not it refers to religion. For both detractors and advocates of the term alike, religion should be or is removed from the meaning of Islamophobia, which is conceived as a form of anti-Muslim racism. Islam, we might say, is thereby removed from Islamophobia. Yet, in doing so, it falls short on two of its key objectives, i.e., identifying the particular forms of discrimination that Muslims face in society and subsequently providing a positive basis from which to address this discrimination. In this article, the question asked is if we should put Islam back into Islamophobia and, if so, on what basis? According to the existing literature as well as a study of converts to Islam, it is suggested that Islam as a religion is both an important feature of Islamophobia as well as central to the identities of many Muslims, and then it is suggested why and how we should think about including religion into the scope of thinking on Islamophobia and how it is addressed.
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