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Symbols and Identity in Islamophobia


A symbol has been defined as a mark or character used as a conventional representation of an object, function, or process. Examples of religious symbols include the Cross in Christianity, the Wheel of Dharma in Buddhism, the Star of David in Judaism, and the Crescent and Star in Islam. Often it is a symbol that represents who we are and what we stand for, with both positive and negative consequences. For example, women who wear the hijab often bear the brunt of Islamophobia because this Islamic garment symbolizes a threat to Islamophobes; it can thus render veiled Muslim women vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse by those who harbor Islamophobic sentiments. Conversely, the hijab is also symbolic to Muslim women who wear it, conferring upon them a sense of identity and community which are established protective factors against psychological distress.


  • Islamophobia
  • Symbols
  • Identity
  • Language
  • Veil
  • Hijab
  • Beard

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Sharma, S., Ghafoor, S., Gogineni, R.R. (2019). Symbols and Identity in Islamophobia. In: Moffic, H., Peteet, J., Hankir, A., Awaad, R. (eds) Islamophobia and Psychiatry. Springer, Cham.

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