The history of contemporary European Islamophobia starts with the fall of the iron curtain and the appearance of a new challenger to western capitalist hegemony. In a still self-consciously Christian Europe, this ideological competition has been grafted on to the legacies of the Crusades and Ottoman-Christian rivalries, and the perceived demographic and cultural threat posed by a growing Muslim population.
Intoxicated by this poisonous brew, Austrians swept Jörg Haider’s Freedom party into power in 1999. The party had campaigned on an anti-Muslim platform, drafting a political catch-all for its hate politics, Uberfremdung (“foreigner-swamping”) into the electoral vocabulary. But despite symbolic sanctions, no EU state took concrete steps to combat Islamophobia.
Faisal Bodi in the Guardian, 14 May 2002