‘Ta-Ta Qatada’: Islamophobic Moral Panic and the British Tabloid Press

  • Anneke Meyer
  • Scott Poynting
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


The racialised ‘Muslim Other’ has since 9/11 become the pre-eminent ‘folk devil’ in the global ‘West’. Morgan and Poynting (2012) argue that the moral panic framework, suitably developed to recognise the contemporary globalisation of the process, can usefully comprehend this construction of the global Muslim figure of evil and moral threat. This chapter examines the media-driven furore in 2012 over the detained London-based Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, as a case study exemplifying this. The so-called hate preacher and supposed fundamentalist Islamist proponent of terrorism is quite a stock figure in the global iconography of Islamophobia, and Abu Qatada provides a clear instance. The symbiosis between crusading populist media and political leaders determined to outbid each other in their tough profile in the ‘war on terror’ is well demonstrated by this case. It also illustrates the ideology of purported ‘failed multiculturalism’ and supposed excessiveness of ‘human rights’ promoted in recent neo-conservatism, as well as some characteristic ideological elements of contemporary global Islamophobia.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anneke Meyer
    • 1
  • Scott Poynting
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Western Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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