Published In

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

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Law, Islamophobia, security, forced marriage, gender


This paper examines two recent developments in immigration law in Western liberal democracies: security exclusions and forced marriage provisions. It aims to consider how both of these settings are influenced by a pernicious Islamophobia and by gender. And, of course, by the intersection that creates a gendered version of Islamophobia. The overarching aim of the work is to consider whether and how human rights arguments are likely to be effective in immigration law. The work proceeds by developing the ideas of ‘unknowability’ and ‘unintelligibility’ as two ways to describe how Western law responds to Islam, and in so doing, contributes to Islamophobia.