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Religious otherness. Defining boundaries of contemporary racism


Religion, race or ancestors provide alternative elements to national identities and to nationalisms. They constitute, in different contexts, in different times and in different ways elements of inclusion and exclusion drawing real or symbolic boundaries of Otherness. On a national level these boundaries find an institutional echo with the representation of the Other in terms of religious identities, along with a narrative that reflects the difficulties to legitimize its inscription as Otherness into a political and juridical account along with the principles of secularism. In Europe, many studies and analyses have underlined the unprecedented character of Muslim migration to Europe in comparison with other waves of migration questioning the compatibility of Islam with secularism and universal democratic values. At the same time, the emergence of Islam as a transnational political force, as a global religion, redefines new boundaries of Otherness on a global level, forming a form of political community guided by a de-territorialized “imagined geography” that gives rise to a form of transnational nationalism around religion. Home and host countries develop strategies to fight and reject global religions by praising diaspora politics linking religion and nationalism of home countries, and nationalizing religions as a part of inclusive diversity for European countries.
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hal-02951321 , version 1 (28-09-2020)



Riva Kastoryano. Religious otherness. Defining boundaries of contemporary racism. John Solomos (Ed.). Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Racisms, Routledge, pp.378 - 388, 2020, 9781138485990. ⟨hal-02951321⟩
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