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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2019

Religion and Terrorism

Per-Erik Nilsson
Pages 27-43
DOI: 10.5840/jrv201942264

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The Discourse on Islamic Terrorism and the Politics of Extremization in Sweden

This article analyzes a minor event in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden that rose from being a local scandal to become a national mediatized political affair. It is argued that local articulations of the discourse on Islamic terrorism function as a way of regulating access to the public sphere by the politics of extremization, i.e., the performative identification of certain Muslim subjects as threats to the established order by their very presence in the public sphere. It is also argued that the polarization of political debate brought about by the mediatization of politics, coupled with the dichotomous logic of the discourse on Islamic terrorism, poses serious challenges to any sound and deliberate political debate.

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