This study is a socio-cultural analysis of Islamophobia in South Korea as well as an examination of the representations of Islam by Korean online media. By tracing the development of Islamophobia in Korea, I will attempt to examine how discussions of Islam have both evolved and are currently taking place in Korea. Furthermore, by determining the intricate relationship between Islamophobia and Korean Protestantism, I will identify one of the major drivers of this discourse. While Islamophobia has spread noticeably after a series of terrorist attacks by an armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), the rapid spread of Islamophobia can be partly attributed to the general Korean public's limited and distorted understanding of Islam and Muslims. This study aims to combat prejudice and discrimination against Islam and reduce the resultant social conflict by determining the cultural logics behind the images of Islam in Korean society. Judging from the comments on social media and in Korean news articles, Islamophobia can be viewed as an aspect of a larger backlash against multiculturalism. In such discourses, Islam acts as an agent of uncertainty and uncontrollable "liquid fear" (Bauman 2013). This work ultimately proposes that certain steps need to be taken to promote respect for the otherness of Islam in a multicultural, globalized Korean society.


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pp. 159-192
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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