Securitization of Islam and religious discrimination: Religious minorities in Western democracies, 1990-2008

Jonathan Fox, Yasemin Akbaba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This study draws substantially on 'securitization' theory to examine whether religious discrimination against Muslims as compared with other religious minorities is disproportionately higher in Western democracies. We explore variation in the treatment of religious minorities in the West using a special version of the Religion and State-Minorities Round 2 (RAS2-M) data set. We analyse the extent and causes of 29 different kinds of religious discrimination against 86 religious minorities in 27 Western democracies (coded yearly from 1990 to 2008). The results support the securitization argument showing that Muslims suffer from higher levels of discrimination in comparison with other religious minorities, especially since 2001.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-197
Number of pages23
JournalComparative European Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 896/00), the Sara and Simha Lainer Chair in Democracy and Civility, and the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.


  • Islam
  • Western democracies
  • discrimination
  • minorities
  • religion
  • securitization


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