Iselin Frydenlund receives Norwegian Research Council funding for project on Islamaphobia

MF Project on Islamophobia Recieves Funding from the Research Council

Iselin Frydenlund at MF has been awarded funding for the project «Intersecting flows of Islamophobia («INTERSECT»)».

"It is a great accomplishment to reach this level of competition," says Rector Vidar L. Haanes. Among 246 applications for project support in the Humanities and Social Sciences, INTERSECT was one of 14 applications awarded. On the day that the Norwegian Research Council project "Tracing the Jerusalem Code" had its closing day, MF received a new Research Council project.

A Good Team
Iselin Frydenlund is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at MF. She is also the head of MF CASR, MF's Center for the Advanced Study of Religion. She has been awarded a grant in connection with this project for the amount of 10 million NOK given over three years from the Norwegian Research Council.

Frydenlund is joined by recognized researchers like Torkel Brekke and Cathrine Moe Thorleifsson from UiO/C-REX, Sindre Bangstad from KIFO og Göran Larsson from Gothenburg University. The project also includes 1 PhD and 2 postdoc positions.

Global Concerns About Islam
The project "Intersecting Flows of Islamophobia (" INTERSECT ")" is based on the recent increase in anti-Muslim feelings and practices (Islamophobia) throughout the world.  This Islamaphobia can be found both in traditional media and in social media. Concerns over Islam and Muslim practices (such as female veiling, halal slaughter and public displays of religion) have become a prominent feature of public debate in Europe and North America in recent years. However, Islamophobia is not confined to the West. Anti-Muslim sentiments and violence are high in other parts of the world as well, particularly in India and Buddhist Asia, where violence against Muslim minorities is on the rise. The 2017 ethnic cleansing of more than 700 000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh is the most extreme and violent expression of Buddhist fears of Islam so far.

Little Academic Attention
In current research, the global aspects of Islamophobia have received surprisingly little scholarly attention, and Islamophobia is mostly treated as a series of parallel, local phenomena. However, there is empirical evidence demonstrating that Islamophobia travels across local contexts.  In order to address this gap in research, INTERSECT researchers will study Islamophobia as a global phenomenon transmitted beyond local communities of origin through tropes, persons and artefacts, and as a phenomenon negotiated at various levels.

The Goals of this Project
The aim of INTERSECT is three-fold: 1) to explore Islamophobia as a global phenomenon through the analysis of intersecting flows and levels, 2) to theorize about Islamophobia as a global phenomenon, and 3) to theorize how Islamophobic dystopias re-configure notions of nationhood. By bringing together scholars from a wide range of disciplines (Religious Studies, Anthropology, Media Studies, and Online Research) this project seeks to break new theoretical and methodological ground in the study of nationalism, religion and globalization.

Frydelund says, “We believe INTERSECT has the potential to lead to important academic innovation.”