Like elsewhere in Europe, a discourse that is hostile to migrants in general and Muslims in particular has emerged in Dutch politics and media. Can we understand this Dutch migrant-hostile discourse as a kind of racism, i.e. cultural racism? The authors studied this discourse (Dutch political and media texts) and its impact on the lived experiences of Dutch Moroccan Muslims in work settings (21 interviews). They found little evidence of the concept of cultural racism as long as it maintains notions of biological or genetic hierarchy, while it becomes redundant once it abandons such notions. Alternative concepts like cultural essentialism and cultural fundamentalism are sufficient to understand this discourse as well as its impact on Moroccan Muslims’ lived experiences. Cultural fundamentalism has become successful because it belongs to a different category than racism.
- Cultural essentialism