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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful study analysing rise and respectability of new forms of racism., 6 May 2009
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This review is from: A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe (Paperback)
Readers who found Arun Kundnani's `The End of Tolerance' valuable will also value Liz Fekete's `A Suitable Enemy'. Like Kundnani, Fekete also researches for the Institute of Race Relations which is at the forefront of analysing and interpreting developments in racism and state policies on asylum and immigration.

Fekete starts by analysing the recent development of what has been termed xeno-racism - not simply xenophobia because not all foreigners are targeted but not classic racism because people who are white can be targeted but racism because it has a structured ideology, is institutionalised and borrows ideas and concepts from older forms of racism. It is the sort of racism directed at poor migrants and asylum seekers.

Fekete then looks at the way that a new `Enlightened fundamentalism' has arisen amongst many liberals in Europe. The notion that many immigrants suffer from a cultural deficit compared to Europeans - Europeans are tolerant, support gay and women's rights, are democratic. The immigrant, more specifically the Muslim immigrant lacks this civilised quality and is, in essence, a barbarian who can only be civilised by abandoning their culture and assimilating to the dominant and superior host culture. Fekete is here talking about the growth and respectability of anti-Muslim racism among European liberals.

Into the anti-migrant, anti-Muslim mix is added the growth of what Fekete terms `the European security state' whereby the state targets Muslims especially as a security risk and where many of the laws and practices used to combat immigration and asylum seekers mesh with those used to police what is perceived as a deviant community. Muslims are given a list of things they must do or believe in order that they, and only they, be accepted as equal `enlightened' citizens.

Fekete finishes by outlining ways in which anti-racist organisations and self organisation among ethnic minority and migrant groups can help combat the rise of this new form of racism.

The argument is persuasive and well presented. This book is recommended if you want to get up to speed with current debates about trends in racism.
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A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe
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