Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred: influencing policy at the government level


Lead investigator: Chris Allen


Dr Chris Allen’s research into Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred has had a direct influence on the political thinking and emerging policy developments of central government in the United Kingdom. Having been recognised as a leading expert in his field at the political level, his research has helped to encourage engagement, raise awareness and facilitate public and political debate. Allen’s expertise and knowledge has been drawn upon in establishing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group and the recently launched, Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) third party reporting initiative that was recently noted in the Coalition’s new integration strategy.

Research objectives

The purpose of this research was to highlight the inadequacies of existing notions of Islamophobia and the need for an improved understanding of the impact anti-Muslim hate has at the community level.

Research output

Dr Chris Allen's research found that Islamophobia is an extremely complex and contested concept, one that in part has been caused by the overly simplistic definitions and theories that had been widely appropriated and employed.

Following this, the need for a new theoretical and conceptual model for Islamophobia was deemed necessary, especially if Islamophobia as a discriminatory phenomenon was to be responded to and tackled via policy. Islamophobia was argued to be distinct and contemporary, it also has many significant similarities and overlaps with other discriminatory phenomena including racism and anti-Semitism.

Research impact

At the political and policy levels, Chris Allen’s research has informed political thinking, encouraged engagement, and seen him established as a key adviser to the British Government on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate. At the public and community levels, he has raised awareness and facilitated debate across broad audiences whilst sharing research findings and policy developments.

In trying to ensure that research findings and policy developments are shared at the public and community levels, in November 2012 Allen facilitated an ESRC Festival of Social Science event in Birmingham entitled, “From Pavement to Parliament: Shaping the policies to tackle Islamophobia”.

Learn more

Chris Allen also draws on his research to inform his teaching. View the Policy, Politics and Economics course.

View more research from the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS)

View more research from the Global Communities Research Group

View more about the Institute of Applied Social Studies (IASS)

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