The Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North


Since the 9/11 attacks, Muslims have been more openly vilified and targeted. Statistics Canada data on police-reported hate crimes between 2009 and 2019 revealed a steady increase of anti-Muslim incidents across the country.

White nationalist terror in Canada has specifically targeted Canadian Muslims. There have been unprecedented attacks against Muslims first at a mosque in Québec City on January 29, 2017, killing six men after evening prayers and then four years later, on June 6, 2021, in London, Ontario, where four members of a Muslim family were intentionally mowed down by a truck and killed.

Within this context, understanding how Islamophobia manifests and is purveyed is more important than ever. In addition to the impact that state policies and systemic anti-Muslim racism have on perpetuating a climate of Islamophobic animus, Islamophobic networks operate in orchestrated ways to support and sustain an industry of hate.

The “Islamophobia industry” is comprised of media outlets; political figures; far-right, White nationalist groups; Islamophobia influencers and ideologues, pro-Israel, fringe-right groups; Muslim dissidents, think tanks, security experts, and the donors who fund their campaigns. These individuals, groups, and institutions comprise a network that supports and engages in activities that demonize and marginalize Islam and Muslims in Canada.

The objectives of this study were to (a) map the political, ideological, institutional, and economic networks that foment Islamophobic fear and moral panic in Canada; (b) examine strategies employed by Islamophobia agents and highlight the ties among players within the Islamophobia industry; (c) create profiles of key public figures, media outlets, and organizations who produce and distribute Islamophobic ideologies and propaganda, and (d) identify the dominant Islamophobic discourses that circulate through these networks.

A social network analysis was performed to examine relevant media articles, websites, public commentary, and videos from Islamophobia influencers and ideologues, organizations, media outlets, and other anti-Muslim special-interest groups that promote Islamophobic campaigns.

Jasmin Zine
Publication date: 
October 6, 2022
Publication type: 
Research Report