What exactly is Islamophobia? How can we best define this cultural force and ideological technique? Is it an anachronistic cultural construct emerging out of the old engines of the colonial apparatus, amongst them economicism, culturalism and what Mignolo calls the ‘imperial racial matrix’? Is it a contemporary phenomenon shaped by the Huntigtonian ‘clash of civilizations’ hypothesis and the events of 9/11? Or, is it as some claim, the case of an individualized prejudiced logic, one amongst many in society and the existing mode of cultural production? This paper addresses these questions by exploring Islamophobia while decoding contemporary ideology in Michel Houellebecq’s oeuvre. Houellebecq’s bestsellers, as cultural artefacts, allow us to map out how culture, in conjunction with the ideological apparatus, is able to produce power-saturated politico-ontological typologies. Typologies which are indexed to the existing status quo, which in turn assigns them metaphysicalized attributes, a certain value and a predetermined fate.
- Political Economy