Unveiling the phantom of the "Islamic takeover"
A critical, cognitive-linguistic analysis of the discursive perpetuation of an Orientalist
This paper examines the linguistic and pictorial representation of Muslims and Islam in a Swiss right-wing populist party’s campaign for a federal minaret ban. Using a methodology that combines Conceptual Metaphor Theory with Critical Discourse Analysis we explore two interacting levels of the discourse under examination. Firstly, we show that the discourse is centrally informed by the metaphorical Idealized Cognitive Model of an islamic takeover, with its two metaphorical subframes of conquest and organic growth. Secondly, we describe the discursive strategies – such as categorization, indexing, semantic reframing, the exploitation of intertextual links – used to (re)activate and perpetuate this cognitive model.