Criminalisation of the Muslim community and the fight for the presumption of innocence

Publication date:
Iker Barbero González, profesor adjunto, Universidad del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV-EHU)

In parallel to the strategy of neo-Orientalising the Muslim community in Europe, acts of resistance emerge to condemn it. This article considers neo-Orientalisation not only as a strategy for exoticising and/or undermining the community, it demonstrates that it may be understood as an “agonistic Government strategy”. To this end, the paper presents the case of the “Raval 11” and bases its analysis on the interpretation of the resistance by family and activists to the arrests of 11 Pakistanis and Indians on charges of terrorism in Barcelona in 2008 as “acts of citizenship”. New political subjects were engaged: women, young people and children burst onto the scene demanding both freedom and the presumption of innocence for their relatives and dignity for the wider Muslim and migrant community criminalised by the dominant political and media discourses.

Keywords: migration, acts of citizenship, neo-Orientalism, anti-terrorist legislation, Barcelona

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