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The Islamophobic Normative Unconscious: Psychoanalytic Considerations

Abstract

This chapter contends that an Islamophobic normative unconscious exists as an extension of Islamophobia and has the potential to ideologically inform clinical work. The chapter makes reference to and expounds upon this divisive ideological profile that has the potential to be activated when we work with or think clinically about Muslims. The analysis is offered from a psychoanalytic perspective highlighting the theory as uniquely positioned to metabolize, hold, and further the growing ability of ethical clinicians to name and address Islamophobia, especially in what otherwise might be thought of as unanalyzable spaces. Clinical and non-clinical examples are utilized to explicate the working tenets of the Islamophobic normative unconscious.

Keywords

  • Islamophobia
  • Islam
  • Muslim
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Unconscious
  • Enactments
  • Ideology

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Found at: https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/09/politics/donald-trump-islam-hates-us/. Retrieved March 12, 2018.

  2. 2.

    Found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c-Ijky95dc. Retrieved March 18, 2018.

  3. 3.

    See, for example, Junaid Rana whose work is on South Asian Muslims.

  4. 4.

    For specific examples, please see Stephen Sheehi’s [18] Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims or Deepa Kumar’s [8] Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire: The Cultural Logic of Empire.

  5. 5.

    More specifically, she seemed to deploy excessive questions to deflect from the consequence of taking a decided stance about a politically complex issue, in this case, Palestine. I felt the same about the footnote that seemed to provide an “out” about how Palestinians left their homes in 1948, as well as her problematic overview of Lebanese history.

  6. 6.

    This is especially the case in incidents involving anti-Black Muslim violence. For example, see Stephen Sheehi’s account of the murder of Black Muslim Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah in Detroit, MI ([18], p. 163).

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Sheehi, L. (2019). The Islamophobic Normative Unconscious: Psychoanalytic Considerations. In: Moffic, H., Peteet, J., Hankir, A., Awaad, R. (eds) Islamophobia and Psychiatry. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00512-2_14

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00512-2_14

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