Farid Hafez at the Bruno-Kreisky-Anerkennungspreis 2010
Farid Hafez at the Bruno-Kreisky-Anerkennungspreis 2010

Farid Hafez (born 23 December 1981) is an Austrian political scientist at the Department of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Salzburg,[1] and the Center Associate at Georgetown University's The Bridge Initiative.,[2] which is lead by John L. Esposito.

Early life

Hafez was born in Ried im Innkreis, Austria on 23 December 1981. After moving to the capital city Vienna, taking his first degree in political science, he finished his studies and earned his PhD at University of Vienna in 2009.[citation needed]

Academic career

Shortly before submitting his dissertation, in which he analyzed parliamentary debates on the ban of mosques and minarets in two Austrian counties,[3] he published his first book ‘Islamophobia in Austria’ together with Middle East scholar John Bunzl.

Since then, Hafez published widely on Islamophobia. In 2010, he founded the Islamophobia Studies Yearbook [4] In 2015, he created the European Islamophobia Report,[5] which he now edits along with political scientist Enes Bayrakli for the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, SETA, based in Ankara, Istanbul, Cairo and Washington DC. Farid Hafez has also published on Islam and the Far-Right for one of Washington D.C.'s most prestigious think tanks, Brookings Institution.[6]

He is a Faculty Affiliate of the Rutgers University's Center for Security, Rights and Race [7] and a member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) at University of California, Berkeley. He is also Affiliated Faculty and Scholars-member of the Center for Right-Wing Studies at the University of California, Berkeley [8] and the editor of numerous works on Islamophobia.[9]

From 2008 to 2010, Hafez did research at the Department of Law of Religion and Culture at the University of Vienna, before he started teaching at the Muslim Teachers Training College in Vienna (2009 to 2014). In 2014, he was Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.[10]

Currently, he conducts research at the Department of Political Science at the University of Salzburg.[11]

During the academic year 2016/17, he was Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor of Austrian-American Studies [12] at UC Berkeley.[13] Hafez had taught at the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Vienna as well as at the University of Klagenfurt.

His current research focuses on Muslim youth movements in Europe.[14]

Hafez was a guest lecturer at University of Istanbul, Istanbul 29 Mayıs Üniversitesi, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University Jakarta, and Columbia University in New York. As a visiting lecturer, he taught at the University of Chicago,[15] Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, Queensborough Community College in New York, City University of New York, and the Amerika Haus in Vienna. He also teaches at a number of academic non-universitarian institutions such as the Global Citizenship Alliance [28]. In 2015, he was part of the faculty of The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship. Dr. Hafez also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Austrian-American History.


In 2020, Farid Hafez was awarded the "Islam on the Edges"-price by Shenandoah University's Center for Islam in the Contemporary World (CICW).[16]

In 2009, Farid Hafez was awarded was awarded the Bruno Kreisky award (Anerkennungspreis) of the Dr. Karl-Renner-Institut [17] for the political book of the year 2009 for his book ‘Islamophobia in Austria’.

The Austrian Culture Magazine named Farid Hafez as one of 100 „Austrians with a special future“.[18]

Public appearances

Hafez publishes regularly in Austrian and international news media like Haaretz,[19] Daily Sabah,[20] Der Standard and Die Presse. He is a frequent interview partner for international media, among them BBC,[21] The Washington Post [22] and Democracy Now [23]

Main scientific positions

Farid Hafez has criticized the securitization of Islam by Western nation states:

"In many Western European countries, the Ministries of the Interior have institutionalized 'dialogue platforms' to discuss issues of Islam, society, inclusion and extremism with Muslim actors. This reveals the implicit assumptions of these governments when talking to Muslims. The underlying message is that Muslims pose a security threat to the state and society, a perception that is manifested in many countries, and that Muslims are seen simultaneously as a threat and an ally". [24]

Dr. Hafez identifies with what he calls the "racism studies-informed postcolonial approach" in studying Islamophobia.[25]

"Many of the measures taken to regulate Islam-state relations reveal an approach that on one side attempts to give Islam a place in their society, while on the other side clearly refers to a stereotypical imagination of the Muslim, where the notion of Europe stands for enlightenment, modernity and progressiveness, while Islam and Muslims represent the opposite. Hence, we can observe a notion of ‘civilizing’ Islam that goes back to colonial times and introduces a division between the good and the bad Muslim; the former who submits to the state and its rules, versus the latter, who remains the uncivilized, barbaric, alien Muslim, prone to extremisms and fanaticism and incapable of fitting into modernity. The Islam dispositives revealed here show that the states legitimize their interference based on this implicitly reproduced imagination of the bad Muslims, and thus endeavor to ‘civilize’ Muslims subjects, reminding us again of the “white man’s burden.”"[26]

In one of his major recent essays,[27] Dr. Hafez also states that

“Islamophobia constitutes a major racist discourse today and illustrates how we can make sense of this global relevance of Islamophobia. The author explains the centrality of the ‘religion line’ in the current global world system by drawing on the post-Cold War era. Through a decolonial reading of Islamophobia, three empirical cases are chosen to discuss differences and commonalities between various forms of Islamophobia in the Xingjiang/China, Egypt, and the USA exploring the effects of this global phenomenon on the discursive construction of identities, citizenship rights, and governance.”

For Hafez, there is a central role of Islamophobia by referring to the works of scholars who advise the US political elite and regularly inform the US public in regard to US politics in the Middle East such as Bernard Lewis and Fareed Zakaria.” [28]

With the American scholar Stephen Sheehi,[29] Dr. Hafez believes that an additional reason why

“Islamophobia has become engrained in American culture and its political unconscious is that Islamophobia operates in a society with its own troubled history of racism. The United States has a sustained history not only of the dehumanization, disenfranchisement and occupation of Blacks, Native Americans, and Asians but also of transforming this racist hate into political action, with hunts and pogroms to control dissent and discontent. Islamophobia has now been interwoven within this same history.” [30]

For Hafez, the conclusion is:

“To conclude, we can argue that Islamophobia is a means of gaining, stabilizing, and widening power for the US empire. Through this lens, 9/11 was only a confirmation of the clash of civilizations-theory that had already preceded the terrorist attacks on the Manhattan Twin Towers. It allowed for an expansion of this colonial structure. “[31]

European Islamophobia Report

The flagship publication, co-edited by Dr. Hafez and authored by a collective of more than 40 authors.[32] from across Europe is the annual European Islamophobia Report.[33] Authors include Prof. of English literature Olivier Esteves from France, sociologist Dr. James Carr from Ireland, political scientist Dr. Ineke van der Valk from the Netherlands, anthropologist Dr. Sindre Bangstad and Holocaust-studies Professor Cora Alexa Døvingfrom Norway, Polish social scientist Konrad Pędziwiatr,[34] historian Hikmet Karčić from Bosnia, sociologist Aleksandra Lewicki from Germany,[35] Italian sociologist Alfredo Alietti, social scientist Ana Frank from Ljubljana, religious studies Professor Mattias Gardell from Sweden, and historian Aristotle Kallis from Greece.[36]

Its 2015 edition was presented by MEP Josef Weidenholzer and MEP Afzal Khan, who belong both to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.[37] The 2017 edition was presented by Wajid Khan.[38] Its 2018 edition was presented by the British member of the European Parliament for the British Green Party, the Rt. Honorable Magid Magid.[39] The report has been presented at different venues and international organizations such as the OSCE,[40] and the Council of Europe.[41]

12 signatories from the academia and civil society, who were all mentioned in the report,[42] wrote a public letter of protest to EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, calling on her not to co-finance anymore the report.[43] Signatories included Saïda Keller-Messahli [44] Ahmad Mansour [45] or Seyran Ateş.[46]

The signatories received an answer from Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who argued that "transparency and equal treatment were respected in the selection process".[47]

Citations and global library presence

As of mid-October 2020, Google Scholar citations lists 713 citations of the works of Dr. Hafez; the H-Index is 11. OCLC Worldcat Identities currently lists 48 works of the author; and three achieved a global library presence of more than 100 libraries, but as yet, none is present at more than 300 libraries.[48] 17 of his essays are included in Scopus.[49]


Dr. Hafez has an extensive publication record. He has authored, co-authored or edited > 100 publications, including many article in high ranking academic journals[50]

As single author:

As (co-)editor:

Articles in peer-reviewed journals (extract):


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ (http://jahrbuch-islamophobie.de/).
  5. ^ (http://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/)
  6. ^ https://www.brookings.edu/author/farid-hafez/
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ (http://crws.berkeley.edu/people)
  9. ^ https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=PYKDme4AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
  10. ^ (http://www.ihrc.org.uk/news/articles/10994-watch-live-the-fifth-annual-conference-on-the-study-of-islamophobia)
  11. ^ (https://www.uni-salzburg.at/fileadmin/multimedia/Politikwissenschaft%20und%20Soziologie/documents/hafez_CV_2016_11.pdf)
  12. ^ (www.fulbright.at/going-to-the-usa/scholars/programm/fulbright-botstiber-visiting-professor-of-austrian-american-studies-in-the-united-states/)
  13. ^ (http://www.uni-salzburg.at/fileadmin/multimedia/Politikwissenschaft%20und%20Soziologie/documents/hafez_CV_2016_11.pdf)
  14. ^ http://universitaet-salzburg.ac.at/index.php?id=202291&L=1
  15. ^ http://gender638.rssing.com/browser.php?indx=6029447&item=18
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ [6]
  18. ^ (http://www.thegap.at/100-oesterreicher/politik-und-gesellschaft/ Archived 2016-11-28 at the Wayback Machine) The Gap
  19. ^ [7]
  20. ^ [8]
  21. ^ https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=442311390070994
  22. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/gdpr-consent/?next_url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.washingtonpost.com%2fnational%2freligion%2faustrian-bill-would-ban-foreign-funding-for-mosques-imams%2f2014%2f11%2f20%2f8ad73496-70d6-11e4-a2c2-478179fd0489_story.html
  23. ^ https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/15/white_supremacist_kills_49_muslim_worshipers
  24. ^ "Engineering a European Islam: An Analysis of Attempts to Domesticate European Muslims in Austria, France, and Germany." Insight Turkey Quarterly Research and Information Journal with Focus on Turkey. 20.3 (2018): 131-56.
  25. ^ "Engineering a European Islam: An Analysis of Attempts to Domesticate European Muslims in Austria, France, and Germany." Insight Turkey Quarterly Research and Information Journal with Focus on Turkey. 20.3 (2018): 131-56.
  26. ^ "Engineering a European Islam: An Analysis of Attempts to Domesticate European Muslims in Austria, France, and Germany." Insight Turkey Quarterly Research and Information Journal with Focus on Turkey. 20.3 (2018): 131-56.
  27. ^ Hafez, F. "Unwanted Identities: The ‘Religion Line’ and Global Islamophobia." Development. 63.1 (2020): 9-19.
  28. ^ Hafez, F. "Unwanted Identities: The ‘Religion Line’ and Global Islamophobia." Development. 63.1 (2020): 9-19.
  29. ^ https://stephensheehi.com/
  30. ^ Hafez, F. "Unwanted Identities: The ‘Religion Line’ and Global Islamophobia." Development. 63.1 (2020): 9-19. and Sheehi, Stephen. 2011. Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims. Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press. Sheehi is the Sultan Qaboos Professor of Middle East Studies and Professor of Arab Studies at the College of William and Mary.
  31. ^ Hafez, F. "Unwanted Identities: The ‘Religion Line’ and Global Islamophobia." Development. 63.1 (2020): 9-19.
  32. ^ (https://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/authors/2018-authors/)
  33. ^ https://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/
  34. ^ https://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/authors/2015-reports-authors/
  35. ^ https://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/authors/2016-authors/
  36. ^ https://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/authors/2017-authors/
  37. ^ http://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/events/presentation-of-islamophobia-report-2015/
  38. ^ https://www.setav.org/en/events/panel-countering-anti-muslim-racism-in-europe/
  39. ^ https://www.kismetonline.at/islamophobiebericht-im-europaeischen-parlament-praesentiert/
  40. ^ https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/a/1/321636.pdf
  41. ^ http://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/events/panel-the-state-of-anti-muslim-racism-in-europe/
  42. ^ http://www.islamophobiaeurope.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/EIR_2018.pdf
  43. ^ https://www.diepresse.com/5736354/offener-brief-an-von-der-leyen-unterstutzen-sie-den-islamophobia-report-nicht
  44. ^ https://bridge.georgetown.edu/research/factsheet-saida-keller-massahli/
  45. ^ https://bridge.georgetown.edu/research/factsheet-ahmad-mansour/
  46. ^ https://bridge.georgetown.edu/research/factsheet-seyran-ates/
  47. ^ (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/P-9-2019-003384-ASW_EN.html)
  48. ^ https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no2010003109/
  49. ^ Vienna University Library, July 9, 2020
  50. ^ (https://www.uni-salzburg.at/fileadmin/multimedia/Politikwissenschaft%20und%20Soziologie/documents/CV_Hafez_English.pdf)