Global Populism: Its Roots in Media and Religion| Triggers and Tropes: The Affective Manufacturing of Online Islamophobia

Mona Abdel-Fadil


Islamophobia, the idea that Islam is an insurmountable cultural threat to Christianity and “the West,” is widely circulated online. Right-wing populists, affectively perform their identities and Islamophobic worldviews in ways that trigger fear, rage, and a range of other emotions in both themselves and sets of significant others. Here I examine typical online Islamophobic metanarratives, emotional triggers and tropes, and the ways in which they are designed to spread and heighten negative emotions and orchestrate collectives of political emotion. Using a Norwegian right-wing alternative media platform as an empirical example, I demonstrate how Ruth Wodak’s seminal work on “the politics of fear” can be paired with my conceptual framework “the politics of affect” to make better sense of affective performances of Islamophobia on social media.


Islamophobia, right-wing populism, politics of affect, emotional triggers, fictionalization, social media

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