Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 - Religion - 181 pages
7 Reviews
In the minds of many Americans, Islam is synonymous with the Middle East, Muslim men with violence, and Muslim women with oppression. In the post-9/11 world, a clash of civilizations appears to be increasingly manifest and the War on Terror seems a struggle against Islam. These are symptoms of Islamophobia. The term "Islamophobia" accurately reflects the largely unexamined and deeply ingrained anxiety many Americans experience when considering Islam and Muslim cultures. Historically, Americans have seldom given voice to these anxieties since they have had, until the last half-century, few connections to Muslim cultures and a small domestic Muslim minority. However, in times of crisis, such as the Iranian hostage situation or, most recently, the September 11th attacks, the long-simmering resentments, suspicions, and fears inherited along with a Christian European heritage manifest themselves most directly in conditions that appear to affirm Americans' darkest concerns. Like a vicious cyclone feeding off of its own energy, Islamophobia takes uncommon events as evidence fitting its worst expectations and turns these into proof that perpetuates those ill-informed expectations. Islamophobia explores the presence of these anxieties through the political cartoon the print medium with the most immediate impact. This book shows graphically how political cartoons dramatically reveal Americans' casual demonizing and demeaning of Muslims and Islam. And the villainizing is shown to be as common among liberals as conservatives. Islamophobia also discusses the misunderstanding of the Muslim world more generally, such as the assumption that Islam is primarily a Middle Eastern religion, where as the majority of Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia, and the misperception that a significant portion of Muslims are militant fundamentalists, where as only a small proportion are."

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Review: Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy

User Review  - Erdoan A. - Goodreads

For a long time i haven't read such an interesting book. very clear and precise, focusing on a very specific part of media covering of Islam. this books covers the discourse on Islam through the caricatures drawn in the US media. VERY INTERESTING and a "can't put it down" book Read full review

Review: Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

An interesting look at how editorial cartoons depict stereotypes and perpetuate islamophobia. A quick read but really well thought out and executed. would recommend to anyone who consumes editorial ... Read full review


Overview of Western Encounters with Muslims
Symbols of Islam Symbols of Difference
Stereotyping Muslims and Establishing the American Norm
Extreme Muslims and the American Middle Ground
Common Denominators versus Essential Difference
Note on Terms and Names
About the Authors

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Peter Gottschalk is associate professor of religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He is the author of Beyond Hindu and Muslim. Gabriel Greenberg is a recent Wesleyan graduate specializing in history.

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