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Contribution Round table
Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 1.43
Hating the absent Muslim Other. Islamophobia and the refugee crisis in Poland
The aim of the roundtable will be to examine a phenomenon of Polish "Islamophobia without Muslims" and to compare it to anti-Muslim attitudes that have developed in other parts of Europe. During the discussion we will particularly focus on the Islamophobic discourses, policies and incidents that dominated the public sphere in Poland in the context of the refugee crisis of 2015 and that have remained an important element of the political scenario in the country. While analysing the specificity of Polish Islamophobia we will pose questions regarding its links with other forms of xenophobia (e.g. anti-Semitism or Romophobia) and discuss political and economic factors responsible for the current resurgence of nationalist sentiments in the Polish society. We will problematize the role of the Catholic Church in shaping pro- and anti-refugee attitudes in Poland and try to determine to what extent the symbolic and material place that Poland occupies within Europe creates the conditions for "hating the absent Others". Our goal will be to situate present day anti-Muslim prejudices in a wider cultural context of historically entrenched Orientalist frameworks and to ask about the possible strategies that could be effective in countering rising wave of xenophobic hostility in Europe.