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Joseph Downing - "Blurring European and Islamic values or brightening the good – bad Muslim dichotomy ? A critical analysis of French Muslim victims of Jihadi terror online on twitter and in Le Monde newspaper"

par Sylvie Chiousse - publié le

en ligne

Victimhood remains under analysed in the Critical Terrorism Studies literature, including the abilities of Muslim victims of terror attacks to blurring social boundaries and possibly de-securitise Muslims in Europe. This is of specific importance in France, which has not only suffered the most terror incidents in Europe in the past five years but also is a country where Muslims have been securitised for decades. This paper uses a mixed methods approach to analyse twitter data for the #jesuisahmed hashtag used to commemorate the Muslim police officer killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and the le monde online memorials created in the wake of the Paris and Nice terror attacks. This analysis demonstrates French Muslim victimhood attacks blur Muslim social boundaries, influences the way that terror events are constructed and also present opportunities for the de-securitisation of Muslims in France. Muslim victimhood does this through three key themes – Muslims being situated as defenders of European values on twitter, Muslim biographies demonstrating “banality” in the le monde online memories and visual nuances of group identity through victim photos included in the le monde memorial. However, these narratives also can re-enforce a problematic good/bad Muslim dichotomy.

KEYWORDS : Terrorism, France, jihad, twitter, Muslims, Victimhood, ISIS

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 703613H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions [703613].