IS THE world under threat by Muslims?
A new book launched at Parramatta's University of Western Sydney campus last week argues many in the west are afraid of the religion.
The book, Global Islamophobia: Muslims and Moral Panic in the West, was edited by Dr George Morgan who believes Islamophobia is the first "global moral panic".
"Other eruptions of moral alarm, those provoked by youth cultures, for example, are largely contained within the nation or society in which they occur," Dr Morgan said.
"In contrast, Muslims in the west are under intense scrutiny and are vulnerable to the perception that they form part of a global threat that cannot be contained by individual governments."
Dr Morgan, a lecturer at the university's Institute for Culture and Society, and his colleague Ryan Al Natour, contributed a chapter about community reactions to an Islamic school in Camden.
Other lecturers and researchers at the university, Professor Kevin Dunn, Dr Selda Dagistanli and Alanna Kamp, also contributed chapters examining fear mongering in contemporary Australian society.
Dr Morgan said local outrage about events, such as a prayer hall opening in Guildford, were largely a consequence of negative media coverage of Islamic communities from around the world.
"Islamophobia sanctions the view that the Muslims are intent on undermining western values," he said.
"So the building of a mosque in Manhattan or a ban on the hijab in France may resonate with popular fears in distant societies like Australia."