Zia-Ebrahimi builds on recent comparative research on antisemitism and Islamophobia to argue that the two display similar dynamics in representing their target population as a different and antagonistic race (a process referred to as ‘racialization’). His research suggests that conspiracy theories of the ‘world Jewish conspiracy’ type, and their Islamophobic equivalent, the ‘Islamisation of Europe’ type, are powerful enablers of racialization, something that the literature has so far neglected. To show the similar dynamics of what he calls ‘conspiratorial racialization’, Zia-Ebrahimi provides a textual comparison between The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903) and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab axis (2005).
Reza Zia-Ebrahimi is a Senior Lecturer in History at King’s College London. His work is situated at the juncture between global intellectual history and ethnic studies. He has worked on the development of dislocative nationalism in Iran in the period 1860-1979, focusing on the hybridisation of European ideas of nation and race by Iranian intellectuals. Currently, his research centres on a parallel study of antisemitism and Islamophobia from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. The incidence of conspiracy thinking on strategies of racialisation is at the heart of this new research agenda.
This event is part of a series of public talks from the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy.