Flying while Muslim

Should we be concerned about Islamophobia at the airport?

Authored by: Leda Blackwood

The Routledge International Handbook of Islamophobia

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815353751
eBook ISBN: 9781351135559
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The phrase ‘flying while Muslim’ has in recent years entered our lexicon. It is used as short-hand to capture an experience of scrutiny and humiliation common among Muslims travelling in non-Muslim countries. Increasingly, travel companies and airport authorities are being challenged to account for these experiences and to address discriminatory policies and practices that may contribute. Yet, some commentators (including Muslims) question both the feasibility and the desirability of doing so; surely the ‘hurt feelings’ of a few is the price we must pay for the security of the many? This chapter draws on research conducted with airport authorities and British Muslims as well as wider reportage of Muslim experiences to examine what is wrong with this argument and why we should indeed be concerned about Islamophobia at the airport. What is presented is a social psychological analysis of how airport authorities and Muslims themselves understand the nature of Muslims experiences of Islamophobia in the airport; and the consequences for Muslim–authority relations both inside the airport and beyond.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.