This living on the threshold has taken a toll on us. Since the late 1990s, when the scales were first taken from our eyes, we have had to come to terms with new realities and battle for our faith in new and unfamiliar territories. My own journey, like that of many other Catholics, was one that made it impossible for me to consider myself a 'Roman' Catholic. The hierarchy had been – perhaps forever – tainted. It no longer held the moral authority, no matter what the Church taught, to hold my allegiance. The papacy was no longer the infallible and unassailable Rock it had once been.
Public discussion and media emphasis since 9/11 (2001), switching racial discourse from diverse racial signifiers to Islam, has been found to bear down heavily upon Muslim women. This essay will examine the use of women and the female body in Islamophobia as it is evidenced primarily in Ireland, critically analysing it through the framework of Said’s Orientalism, the Racial State of Goldberg, and Yuval-Davis’ thesis of women as the reproducers of the nation.
It is now ‘open season’ on any and all forms of religion in culture, in the academy, in the media, and in political life. A new atheism; now the social default, less prepared to engage with the philosophical and theological grammar of religious thought than its classical predecessor, has constructed walls to exclude as much religious expression as it can from the marketplace.
Muslim people in the West, as a result of politically opportunistic and security industry rhetoric, have been denuded of their rightful sense of safety and so exposed to the blatantly racist agenda of the media.
As a cultural, historical, and religious counterbalance to European civilization we have projected onto Islam – quite literally – our worse fears on this other; we have made it our very image of evil and all things dark and fearful.
It is estimated that there are presently eighty million Christians who practice their faith in China, and that by mid-century there will be more Christians in China than in any other country in the world.