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Legal scholar Khaled Beydoun says it’s time to finally define Islamophobia

Author Khaled Beydoun and his book, “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear.” Images courtesy of University of California Press

(RNS) — The past few years have seen several high-profile debates about the word “Islamophobia.” Can someone be phobic about a religion the way they can have a phobia of a race or ethnicity? Is it just a buzzword that gets thrown at anyone and anything critical of Islam and Muslims?

“American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear” by Khaled Beydoun. Image courtesy of UC Press

“There’s no controlling definition of Islamophobia,” said Khaled Beydoun, an associate  law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. “So that leads to the idea that there’s a disjointed understanding of it in the popular sphere.”

In his new book “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear,” Beydoun develops a framework for grasping the phenomenon.

His work is one of the first scholarly examinations of Islamophobia’s ties to American law, policy and profiling by the state. Beydoun, who also works with the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley, draws on his scholarship as a lawyer and critical race theorist to document the institutionalization of Islamophobia in the U.S., from the antebellum South, when Muslims from Africa were among those enslaved, to the post-Muslim ban era.

His conclusion? Islamophobia is complex, multifaceted and deeply embedded in American history and law.

Beydoun spoke to Religion News Service about Islamophobia’s roots in “Orientalism” —  the theory that Europeans historically viewed Middle Easterners as backward and uncivilized — and anti-blackness, the Islamophobia of the political left and the controversial scene involving the rescue of girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in the film “Black Panther.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Some critics, such as author Sam Harris, say the term Islamophobia is invalid and meaningless. But you run with it in your book. Why did you choose to stick with the word?

I’m less concerned with the absolute term itself and more with what it, as an instrument, enables scholars and advocates to do. The term isn’t perfect, but neither are words like homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, even racism. There’s much debate as to whether those words are effective as well. For me, it’s just a label I use as an expedient.

Around 2007, the word started catching a lot of resonance, particularly surrounding public outcry around the Ground Zero mosque and the emergence of anti-Sharia legislation during the height of the Tea Party movement. That’s when the word started gaining popular purchase, which of course skyrockets during the rise of Trump because of the rhetoric he engaged in.

There are legitimate scholarly critiques of the word, and some of them I actually agree with. But Sam Harris is an Islamophobe and not a scholar. His arguments are coming from a place of considerable bias and venom. So a critique from him doesn’t hold much weight with me.

In your own definition of Islamophobia, you discuss personal prejudices and vigilante violence as well as the codified, state-enforced policies and programs that contribute to the othering of Muslims. Can you explain the interplay between the two?

The third dimension of my definition is what I call dialectical Islamophobia. You have private Islamophobia by individuals and citizens, and then there is structural, or state-sponsored, Islamophobia. Dialectical is the process whereby the law, policing policies and programs, effectively endorse the ideas that there’s a correlation between Muslim identity and terrorism. By virtue of the law being built upon that baseline, it’s essentially authorizing the popularly held stereotypes by private individuals — Muslims are tied to radicalization, terrorism, subversiveness.

The state-sponsored policy effectively endorses those stereotypes, and during times of crisis it might embolden violence in private individuals. The U.S. government is really rubber-stamping that anger and backlash. So they’re tightly linked in that way.

Discussions of the Muslim-American experience often focus on Arab identity. You instead look at Islamophobia’s roots in anti-blackness. Why?

The Muslim-American narrative is tied to the construction of whiteness, which in turn is heavily reliant on anti-black racism in the sense that white identity was constructed to be the opposite. For a long time in this country, whiteness was a prerequisite for citizenship. When non-black Muslims came from abroad, they had to demonstrate that they were in fact white to become naturalized citizens.

So the Muslim-American experience is rooted in the black experience, because the first Muslim communities in this country were in fact black. There were enslaved populations in the antebellum South, largely, who practiced Islam and tried to persevere in their faith against persecution by slave masters and against the letter of the law. And these communities have been erased and forgotten in our history. And today, as well, we forget that three of the seven Muslim-majority countries listed on the Muslim ban are in Africa.

What do many young activists working against Islamophobia today not understand about Islamophobia?

Did you watch “Black Panther”? Before I saw the movie, I read some articles and Facebook posts that were calling the film Islamophobic (for a scene in which the main characters save a group of kidnapped Chibok girls from Boko Haram). And when I saw the movie, I was like, yes, there are some concerning elements. Why are they including Boko Haram in the movie when the group isn’t central to the plot? And I was uncomfortable with that scene being so early in the movie — it forces people to think about Islam in criminal or villainous terms throughout the rest of the film.

Author Khaled Beydoun. Photo courtesy of UC Press

But when I read the many criticisms of that scene from millennial activists, it showed me that there isn’t a real strong understanding of what Islamophobia actually means. Without a uniform consensus on a definition, people can make the indictment of Islamophobia against anything. So “Black Panther,” was indicted as Islamophobic because of a scene that some deemed to be problematic.

I want this book to show people that Islamophobia is complex. It’s blatant in the form we saw when three Muslim students were killed a few years ago in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s hidden in the way that counter-radicalization policies work in our most vulnerable communities. It’s unleashed by the biggest bigots coming from the right, but it’s also endorsed by individuals that we qualify as liberals and progressive allies. It’s a system and a dialectic that ties the action of the state to the actions of private people. That’s what I want young people to understand.

You’re not shy in pointing out Islamophobia among liberals. But many of your readers might expect to see Donald Trump’s presidency act as a foil to Barack Obama’s administration in terms of relations with Muslims. Why do many people, Muslims included, have trouble spotting liberal Islamophobia?

President Obama is pegged as a progressive president, and he engaged in rhetoric toward Muslims that might be seen as accepting or tolerant, but let’s not lose sight of the policies. He launched “Countering Violent Extremism” policing in 2011, which turned Muslim Americans against one another, and he expanded the surveillance state beyond the measure of the Bush administration. He flew drones in Yemen and other parts of the Arab world.

People of color were smitten by the kind of rhetoric Obama was engaged in. He went to Cairo in 2009; he gave a really beautiful speech about mending the wounds between the U.S. and the Muslim world. People loved that. In many ways, his words were unprecedented for a U.S. president. This was coming right after the Bush administration, which embraced “clash of the civilizations” rhetoric. It was viewed as a new day for Muslims, a watershed moment.

Seven years later in Baltimore, when he made his first visit to a U.S. mosque, it was really just a failed pitch for counter-radicalization policing. Throughout his presidency, his engagement of Muslims was done to advance counter-radicalization. You also see that with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. She never mentioned Muslims outside the context of the “war on terror.”

If people take issue with calling that Islamophobia, then they have a very flattened and narrow understanding of the term. Many people can agree that (HBO talk show host) Bill Maher is an Islamophobe, and I think they can agree that he’s a libertarian or a progressive. If a liberal pundit can engage in Islamophobic rhetoric on TV, then why can’t a liberal politician in the White House?

Your description of structural Islamophobia makes it seem impossible to defeat. So what gives you hope in your fight?

I don’t think Islamophobia can be vanquished, but it can be diminished. We’re dealing with centuries upon centuries of destructive histories, ideas and epistemologies against Islam and Muslims that can’t be defeated overnight. These Orientalist tropes that Muslim men are menacing, brooding, that Islam as a religion is a political ideology committed to decimating the West, that Muslim women are subordinate and disempowered — these stereotypes are not new. They’re reified in law. They’re perpetuated by media and on film. So we’re not going to defeat them. But I think we can curb them.

The most important thing for Muslims is that we have individual Muslims occupying spaces of power now. We have the agency and the empathy to develop stories about our religion and our people that can help erode demonization of our faith. We have a mounting generation of leaders in various sectors who can do that more successfully than ever. I see that as a big step.

About the author

Aysha Khan

Aysha Khan is a Denver-based journalist and the social media manager for RNS. She reports on American Muslims, digital culture and more. Her newsletter, "Creeping Sharia," focuses on Muslims in the U.S.

52 Comments

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  • Islam’s ideal is to be feared:
    Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”
    Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
    Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

    Boko Haram joined up with ISiS about 2 years ago, or more.
    You want to get rid of what you call “islamophobia” – deal with ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hesbola. They are the main reasons people reject Islam.

  • “Author Khaled Beydoun” isn’t “dialectical” enough in his critique of Islamophobia. How he can critique it without at the same time critiquing Gladio B, NATO, CIA, monopoly of oil & gas, and real state-sponsored Muslim assassins and massacre masterminds, the usefulness of Muslim terrorists to the Deep State in the West, shows how clouded – and cheap – his judgment is.

  • Psalm 137:9: “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

    Leviticus 25:7: “You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.”

    Deuteronomy 13:15: “You shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.”

    Deuteronomy 17:2-7: 2 “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

    One can play the dueling scripture verses until the cows come home. Should the Judaeo-Christian religion and all Jews and Christians be judged as violent because of these and other similar scriptures — which are not in the Quran, but in the Bible?

    Why are you fixated on the violence you think you detect in some other religion and not within your own religious tradition — violence that may well dwell inside your own heart?

    Fixating on the perceived sins of others allows us to imagine that we ourselves are sinless — a dangerous thing to imagine, don’t you agree?

  • Except you are quoting Old Testament where Christ was cleansing the area for His people, and you really should have checked your first scripture because it is not saying what you hope it will. I suggest you read the verses around it for clarity. Your comment will have more credibility then.
    Christ taught: Matthew 7:12 – English Standard Version
    “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
    Even if Christianity were as bad as you hope it is, it does not lessen the fact that Islam is mean spirited.

  • Christianity is a Judaeo-Christian religion, founded by a Jewish rabbi. It is rooted in Judaism, which is its mother religion. Just as in Quran, there are many passages in the Jewish scriptures that counter the strands of violence also found in those scriptures — and in the Christian scriptures, too. And in Christian history . . . .

    Apparently you are unaware that for centuries, Christians subjected Jews to pogroms and placed the Jewish people in ghettoes, and in the 20th century, millions of Jews were murdered in Christian nations. You may also not know that Christians in the past mounted “holy wars” in which they slaughtered Muslims.

    In case you don’t know it, Christians also carried the cross to the new world along with the sword, putting countless numbers of native peoples to death as they “Christianized” those peoples.

    You may also not know that Christians practiced and blessed slavery for many centuries, quoting bible passages to support that practice.

    For your information, Christians also developed something called the Inquisition that tortured and executed “witches,” “heretics,” “sodomites,” and others targeted by the Inquisition.

    Mean-spirited? Why are you focused on the mean-spiritedness you see in a religion to which you not belong while you are oblivious to the mean-spiritedness of your own religious tradition — mean-spiritedness of which our Christian religion can obviously be capable today, if it has been capable of such cruelty in the past?

    And I beg your pardon, but it’s you who are failing to see what Psalm 137 quite plainly says.

  • You can counter his “claim” by stating “Jew” is not synonymous with “Israelite”. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was most likely dealing with 50% true Israelites; and 50% Edomites. Why Jesus referred to them as “serpents” and accused them of being of their father the devil. Revelation 2:9;3:9

    The Historian Flavius Josephus writes in “Antiquities of the Jews” Book 13: Chapter 9, Section 1: “Hyrcanus took also Dora, and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and of the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befel them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.” http://www.perseus.tufts.ed

    The Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian Strabo further testifies to the colonisation of Judea by Edomite converts to Judaism in Geography [Book 16 Chapter 2 Section 34]. http://www.perseus.tufts.ed

    Historical(written) and contemporary Jewry does NOT descend from the Biblical 12 Tribes of Israel.
    Modern Jewry is largely descended from Edomites who converted to Judaism in 130BC, not from the Biblical 12 Tribes of Israel. See Jewish Virtual Library — the most comprehensive online Jewish encyclopedia in the world.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallib
    “The distinction between Edomites and Jews was blurred by Johanan Hyrcanus’ forced conversion of Edom/Idumea to Judaism in 130BC. During the 1st c. BC. Pressure by the Arab Nabateans pushed the territory of the Edomites to within 15 miles of Jerusalem.”

    Archaeological discoveries — inscriptions found on the Black Obelisk, Assyrian Cuneiform Tablets and the Behistun Rock, strongly support the argument that today’s White European people are the descendants of these “Lost” Tribes of Israel. (It’s not by coincidence that the Lord God of Israel chose Europe to be the place where Christianity would first take hold, entrusting the Native White European people to nurture Christianity for its first 1500 years.)

    I recommend reading, “Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets,” written by biblical archaeologist, Professor E. Raymond CAPT. https://www.amazon.com/Miss

    What happened to the 12 Tribes of Israel? ~ Professor E. Raymond CAPT. https://www.youtube.com/wat

  • I remember growing up my parents forced me to eat this silver dollar sized squash. I hated it.
    I am SquashOphobic.
    I detest Liars. I am LiarOphobic.
    I hate poisonous snakes…they threaten my dogs. I am SnakeOphobic.
    I detest criminals. I am CriminalOphobic.
    Question — Can I get help to cure my phobias??? Like Meds or something. Help me please.

  • “Deep State” means blame experienced and professional functionaries for the incompetence of the current president. It’s a term which invites derision and ridicule.

    But back to the article. The idea that American Muslims are collectively responsible and subject to punishment under the law for what goes on in autocratic nations is as much an expression of bigotry one can get.

    If you think the Bill of Rights has “except Muslims” written in the margins, you are an islamaphobe.

  • “Jew” is not synonymous with “Israelite”.
    Jesus was not a “jew” as we understand ‘jew’ today. He was a Galilean from the TRIBE of Judah.
    Just as a black man with an Irish Driver’s License is not Irish. A “Judean” does not necessarily designate a person living in Judea as an Israelite.

  • Funny thing is one can see vile intent on your brand of Christianity from your posts.

    Since you never read the Koran and just copied and pasted quotes you are in no position to speak to anyone about context of scriptures.

  • How can we tell people not to be afraid of something?

    I have a fear of many things, and religions are TOP of my list! …I think people are right to be afraid of Islam and many Christian organizations also – in particular ‘Mormonism’ …in my opinion.

    I was a mormon child, and my mind was ruined by what they pushed into my thoughts.

    My life was and has been ruined by ridiculous, fantastical religious indoctrination.

    Don’t tell people not to be scared of something, because most of the time, that fear is justified!

  • “For a long time in this country, whiteness was a prerequisite for citizenship.”
    We need a footnote of authority for this. Freeman status was once a prerequisite, and that excluded black slaves but not all people of color. Even that prerequisite has been dead letter for more than 150 years.
    By the way, I wonder whether it is fair to call any scholar today a critical race theorist or to say that he finds the roots of an American disaffection in “Orientalism”. Both critical race theory and the theory of Orientalism are now derided by all respectable scholars.

  • It’s fascinating how a certain brand of American Christianity, richly represented in its hard right wing, wants to talk about context and looking at the broader message of the bible when anyone points out the many passages in Old and New Testament that have been used for centuries to foster violence.

    But those very same Christians want to quote passages from the Quran that are ripped out of context to claim that the entirety of the Quran is about fostering violence.

    It’s almost as if they don’t really care about interpreting any scripture at all in a contextual way, or in light of the entirety of its meaning. It’s almost as if all they care about is using scripture to foster hatred — the very thing they want to accuse all Muslims of doing.

  • Because the violence in the Bible is history. The Quran is current. They advocate violence.

  • Still trying to get your sociology and history lessons from Stormfront. Oh well.

    You are as Christian as they come. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • If the author is Muslim we have to assume they are biased. Just as a Christian author is biased. That conflict of interest should be stated at the start. Of course a Muslim author will find the West wanting, and somehow be able to ignore the widespread Christianophobia in Muslim-majority nations. Because Islam must be correct. It cannot be otherwise.

  • “Because the violence in the Bible is history.”

    I can’t think of an execution in the U.S. in recent years in which I have not seen people — so-called Christians — citing bible verses in news reports and online to justify the killing of someone by the state.

    Scott Roeder’s wife stated to the media after her ex-husband killed George Tiller that religion — right-wing Christianity — radicalized him and was the root of his violent action.

    Erik Rudolph cited biblical passage after biblical passage to justify his terrorist actions that resulted on the deaths of many people.

    Anders Breivik stated, prior to his mass shooting in Norway, that he condemnded Pope Benedict for his willingness to dialogue with Islam, an action he saw as the abandonment of a Christian vision of Europe.

    One violent act after another is done in this nation and elsewhere by white Christian men citing scripture as their justification for their violence.

    You live in a world that seems strangely devoid of information about the country in which you live, and who poses a much more serious threat of violence to you and other Americans as you fantasize about Islam as the only religion in the world that incites people to violent acts in the world today.

  • It still does not justify a murderous Islam. People misquoting scripture does not justify Islam.

  • When you do not live in an Islamic country, but in a so-called Christian nation in which the violent people and violent acts I’ve just listed all have their roots in appeals to Judaeo-Christian scriptures, why are you obssessed with Islam, and with depicting it as violent?

    The kind of Christianity preached today by some Americans is so full of hate that it is causing people to leave the churches by droves. Perhaps paying attention to the way in which some American Christians are perverting Christianity, turning it in the direction of hate and not love, would be a much better use of your time and energy.

    If you care at all about the Christian message, that is, and what it’s all about.

  • Ending Islam and Islamophobia in less that two minutes:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi————–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    “1. Belief in Allah”

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    “2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to P) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.

    “3. To believe in the existence of angels.”

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented.

    “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allahimm gifts of Free Will and Future.

    “5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone.”

    Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the “two-minute” cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

  • I see. You don’t intend to answer my question about why you’re obssessed with the threat you imagine Islam poses, when you’re a Christian and want to ignore the threat that Christianity poses when people use the Judaeo-Christians to justify murderous violence towards others.

    Easier to point the finger at that far-away religion than to examine the one to which you and I belong — and which you consistently misrepresent as a religion of hateful judgement targeting people you don’t like, while you go on and on and on and on about how hateful and violent Islam is.

    Your lack of concern for the many people, especially young ones, that folks like you are driving from the Christian fold speaks loudly about your unwillingness to examine the way in which you yourself distort the Christian message to foster hate.

  • Still does not make Islam less murderous. I’m surprised ISIS hasn’t tried to retroactively claim responsibility for this also.

  • He certainly didn’t follow Christ, and, it still does not make Islam less murderous;

  • Actually, it was Christians who pushed for the end to slavery and it does not make Islam less murderous

  • It still does not make Islam less murderous. Are you seeing a thread here, William?

  • James Alex Fields

    Dylann Roof

    Nikolas Cruz

    Adam Lanza

    Curtis Allen

    Patrick Eugene Stein

    Gavin Wright

    Adam Purinton

    Eric Harris

    Dylan Klebold

    James Holmes

    Stephen Paddock

    MUSLIMS?

  • The common thread of our discussion, William, Islam is a murderous cult, and nothing you can say, will change that. They need Jesus.

  • It must be nice to follow a religion that demands nothing at all of YOU as its follower, while you fixate on the perceived sins of others.

    Unfortunately, that religion is not Christianity. As a Christian, I’d be grateful if you’d stop fomenting hate in the name of Christ.

  • Islamophobia is hard to define, but Sam Harris “is an islamophobe”. I stopped reading after that.

  • Oh you didn’t hear about that monstrosity from the Monmouth University Poll, while too busy ranting & flaming around here?

    Here you go, then, and you can thank The Islamophobe Club later.

    – “Public Troubled by ‘Deep State'”, Monmouth University Polling Institute, March 24, 2018.

    – “American Public Troubled by ‘Deep State'”, Consortium News, March 22, 2018.

    – “The Deep State”, WWL First News (AM870 & FM105.3), March 21, 2018.

    – “Poll finds majority of Americans concerned about ‘Deep State'”, WJLA (ABC), March 21, 2018.

    – “Majority of Americans believe ‘Deep State’ controls Washington: Poll”, Washington Times, March 20, 2018.

    – “Poll: 74 percent of Americans believe ‘deep state’ exists”, Syracuse Post-Standard, March 20, 2018.

    – “A Bipartisan Majority of Americans Believe the ‘Deep State’ Is Running the Country”, MintPress News, March 19, 2018.

    – “Majority of Americans fear surveillance & ‘deep state’ power – poll”, RT, March 19, 2018.

    – “Majority in new poll: ‘Deep state’ is manipulating policy”, The Hill, March 19, 2018.

    – “74% of Americans Believe the ‘Deep State’ Is Running the Country”, ZeroHedge, March 19, 2018.

  • The NT disavows all violence on the part of Christians (Jesus and Jehovah will shed blood, though). The OT and Quran are full of violence committed by the participants with the blessing of the deity. That’s her point. That countless numbers have committed atrocities in the name of Christianity over the millennia doesn’t detract from its message nor should it condemn Christianity just as the Left claims ISIS doesn’t represent true Islam. For Jews the OT is history that is no longer relevant; unfortunately Islam -as practiced in too many Muslim-majority countries – is still a primitive and dangerous religion.

  • Most all religions suck and some suck more than others. Most all religions have “blood on their hands” some more than others. Religions as socio-political power brokers like capitalism will have to disappear from the faced of the earth if there is any hope for peace and or survival of our planet let alone our species! Whether it is koranic commands to kill unbelievers or Levitical mandates to do the same, whether it is the Crusades or the Islamic military conquest of the then Christian Middle East that proceeded them, whether it is Zionist nationalism that wants the destruction of Palestine or the Hamas directed edict to kill all Jews, or the science for hire and servant of state warfare, the end is the same.

  • LOL. No links? Oh well. I guess you really didn’t want to be taken seriously. So you have polls from people who believe in “the deep state”. As we all know from being on a religion news board, belief is not proof of existence. 🙂

  • If he is then I am too. I think little of many of the teachings of the Abrahamic religions and I criticize them freely. I strongly support our 1st Amendment and their right to delude themselves as long as they color within the lines. I try to withhold judgement on individuals from these religions until I communicate with them. Islamaphobe, Christianaphobe and Judaiaphobe – that’s me!

  • No, Spuddie, you are asking American Muslim intellectuals do the bare minimum that US law requires. Intellectuals have to do more than just that: they need to work with the optics as well.

    In your post, you wrote, “American Muslims … subject to punishment … for what goes on in autocratic nations”. The optics here is this: Is an American Muslim intellectual willing to discuss what the US foreign policy should be on what goes on in autocratic Muslim nations?

  • Collective guilt is neither a rational stance nor required by US law.

    It is frequently a tool of bigotry of all stripes. A white person committing acts of terror is a “lone wolf” or “disturbed”, but a minority is considered a terrorist and members of that class are held to task to account for their actions in a way not asked otherwise.

    “Is an American Muslim intellectual willing to discuss what the US foreign policy should be on what goes on in autocratic Muslim nations?”

    They do frequently. It is a pernicious and politically convenient myth to claim otherwise. In fact American Muslims have been far more effective at combating islamicist terror than outside efforts and profiling have done. Attacking the entire Muslim faith only enables terrorists. The most effective tools against them are upholding our own principles of liberty and civil rights.

  • You use words like “guilt”, “profiling”, and “combating islamicist terror”. These words are a bit close to police work, to security and even to outbreak of hostilities. For me that’s too late, too close to the outbreak of acts of violence.

    Perhaps I can make my attitude a bit more clear by speaking of how the US Civil War is covered in textbooks. Textbooks speak of the 3/5th rule and of the Missouri Compromise, i.e., intellectual discussions that took place one or two generations before the outbreak of hostilities. These textbooks make it clear that the war is the outcome of a failed intellectual discourse. (Jefferson himself wrote in 1820 that the Missouri Compromise would be the “knell of the Union”).

    That’s what I am missing with the coverage of non-Western issues. Take how the Rohingya crises is covered. The coverage always starts with the outbreak of hostilities. We don’t get to know what kind of intellectual discourse was going on one or two generations before the crisis started. We don’t get to hear what their 3/5ths rule was, what their Missouri Compromise was, who their Jefferson was.

    Or if you are willing to study the PhD thesis of Sufiya Pathan, you will see that optics were mismanaged around 1860 between Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and several Hindu leaders—they actually hammered out compromises, but those compromises never generated public confidence in bi-partisanship. All this was 3-4 generations before Hindu nationalism.

    One of the unpleasant characteristics of the social sciences is that non-Western cultures are put under the heading of “premodern” and then denied intellectual process. The wars of the non-western cultures are perhaps modeled as mere passions.

  • Understanding the roots of islamophobia? What about the tens of thousands of terrorist attacks around the world in the past 15 years or so?

    Christian communities are being cancelled in the middle east after 2000 years, churches are destroyed in Egypt, thousands of women are raped and killed in Africa, and your problem is: islamophobia?

  • Putting an end to Islamophobia, Christianophobia et. al.

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • If by “Islamophobia” one means the unreasoning fear that each and every Muslim one meets might be plotting to kill you, or the detestation of Muslims because they aren’t Christians, that’s fine. Just don’t include in that definition the perfectly reasonable fear that Muslims might be “radicalized” by the MAINSTREAM teachings of most of the major sects and so become terrorists or supporters of terrorists. Nor should the definition include the rejection of cultural values that come with many of the major sects.

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