Muslim Civil Society Under Attack: The European Foundation for Democracy’s Role in Defaming and Delegitimizing Muslim Civil Society
This chapter deals with the impact of one of the main drivers of what has been called the “organized Islamophobia Network” (OIN) in the USA or “Islamophobic elite movements from above”. It is one of the first studies to look at European based think tanks and their role in defining and excluding Muslim civil society organizations. It specifically looks at how the Brussels-based think tank “European Foundation for Democracy” (EFD), which has a transatlantic relationship, systematically produces knowledge to define vocal and representative actors of the Muslim civil society as potentially radical and Islamist, which then should lead to state and civil society exclusion. The strategy of constructing Muslim Brotherhood-affiliations to the aforementioned actors is analyzed as part of a larger strategy of defamation and delegitimization. Two cases, Austria and Sweden, are analyzed in detail.