Over the past 20 years, not only has Europe witnessed an increasing prominence of right-wing political groups, European governments have also moved to regulate Muslims and how they practice their faith.
Contrary to this negative form of regulation, I propose through drawing on the theoretical insights of Michel Foucault that the agencies of European governments—focusing here on the government of Ireland—can regulate the societal position of Muslims in a manner that protects against Islamophobia. Islamic communities in Ireland are rich in their cultural and religious diversity. Nevertheless, there exists a paucity of data vis-à-vis
Muslims and their experience of racism in Ireland. Put in an international context, Muslims are increasingly vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination on the basis of their faith and the ascribed negative imagery. I contend that the effective collection of data by State agencies is not only necessary to gauge levels of Islamophobia in Ireland, but that this data would also increase the effectiveness of State policies. Furthermore, I contend that if Islamophobia is to be challenged, moves must be made to pathologize this form of racism. This can be achieved by the systematic collection of disaggregated data that illuminates the levels of Islamophobia that exist in society. Effective data collection of this sort could be instrumental in increasing the utility of future State policies designed to combat racist sentiment directed towards Muslims as propagated by right-wing groups and others.