An Empty Signifier: The Blue and Yellow Islam of Sweden

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An Empty Signifier: The Blue and Yellow Islam of Sweden

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title An Empty Signifier: The Blue and Yellow Islam of Sweden
Author(s) Carlbom, Aje
Date 2006
English abstract
This article argues that multiculturalism, as an ideology, is a problem when it comes to understanding Islam and Muslims in contemporary Sweden. The ideology, which is built upon powerful norms that demand acceptance and tolerance of the Muslim Other, forms an ideational structure that makes Swedish scholars describe all Muslim individuals and groups in terms of Blue-and-Yellow Islam (the colors of the Swedish flag). In the article, with the help of empirical examples mainly from Sweden, it will be shown how the politically good intention to include Muslims and Islam in a new imagined community may have the consequence of silencing social processes among Muslims that would hamper integration. The notion of Blue-and-Yellow Islam has no fixed content. It is an empty signifier used in the ideological struggle of Muslims against Islamophobia. However, scholars use this category in a way that neglects the real problems for Muslims and thus they are creating a situation that has serious consequences for policymaking. The knowledge produced may seem morally/politically correct, but in the end it may be counterproductive for the integration of Islam and Muslims in the Swedish nation-state.
Swedish abstract
En kritisk analys av hur mångkulturalismen försvårar en förståelse av muslimers integrationsproblem i Sverige.
DOI (link to publisher's fulltext)
Host/Issue Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs;2
Volume 26
ISSN 1306-2004
Pages 245-261
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Islam
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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