This article delineates a number of conceptual-normative, analytical and political concerns, characterized as matters of (1) ‘semantics’, (2) ‘scales’ and (3) ‘solidarities’, in the ways in which we can approach an understanding of the relationships between antisemitism and Islamophobia. As such it takes its cue from Goldberg's (2009) insistence that in addition to comparativist methodologies employed in the study of race and racism, we also need relational methodologies. That is to say that where the former compares and contrasts, the latter also seeks to connect. In so doing, the article harnesses the explanatory power of long-established organizing concepts within the study of race and racism, to explore how racial categories of religious minorities continue to be formed. Taking its cue from the introduction to this special issue (Meer this issue), this article explores what purchase the ideas of ‘cultural racism’ and ‘racialization’ can bring to bear on our conceptualization of each.