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Islamophobia in the United States

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Title: Islamophobia in the United States  
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Subject: Islamophobia, Islamophobia in Canada, Bosnian Genocide, Islamophobia by country, Eurabia
Collection: Islamophobia in the United States, Opposition to Islam in the United States
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Islamophobia in the United States

Islamophobia in the United States relates to the climate of anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States from the late 20th century onwards, and its associated ramifications.


  • Overview 1
  • Trends 2
  • Scholars, educators and historians 3
  • Hate crimes 4
  • Instances 5
    • Arson 5.1
    • Vandalism 5.2
    • Institutional discrimination 5.3
  • From atheists 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8


Zohreh Assemi, an Iranian American Muslim owner of a nail salon in Locust Valley, New York, was robbed, beaten, and called a "terrorist" in September 2007 in what authorities call a bias crime.[1] Assemi was kicked, sliced with a boxcutter, and had her hand smashed with a hammer. The perpetrators, who forcibly removed $2,000 from the salon and scrawled anti-Muslim slurs on the mirrors, also told Assemi to "get out of town" and that her kind were not "welcomed" in the area. The attack followed two weeks of phone calls in which she was called a "terrorist" and told to "get out of town," friends and family said.[1]


Some editorials have visualized the Islamophobia trends as one of xenophobic "waves" and that Islamophobia was part of a longer process of negative portrayals and images of Muslims in the Western world.[2] Edward Said expands on the concept to describe how the West is taught about the East through a Westernized lens, where most of the East's history is written in Europe by European historians, instead of specialized scholars of Eastern history.[3] When applied, Orientalism serves as a way of using demeaning representations of the East to assert the cultural and political superiority of the West over inferior Muslims.[4]

Scholars, educators and historians

Part of the study of Islamophobia has involved historians, scholars and educators writing about institutional violence against American Muslims and incitement of violence against foreign Muslims.[5] Since 9/11, thousands of published works using the term "Islamophobia" have emerged, as evidenced by an analysis of citations using the word on Google Scholar.[5]

Hate crimes

Some publishers have opined that the increase in hate crimes against Muslims was an Islamophobic abuse with an ethnocentric trait. This is because many of its proponents do not distinguish between Arabs and Muslims and think all Arabs are Muslim by shapeshifting the Muslim faith into an ethnoreligion.[6] This is in contrast to decreasing hate crimes against other racial groups, such as blacks, Asians and Latinos with the exception of Jews.[6] Ibrahim Hooper, the communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations attributes the spike in recent anti-Muslim attacks to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, as well as the coverage" 'radical Islam' on the news while not using the word "radical" for non-Muslim faiths.[7][8]



The Quba Islamic Institute in Houston, Texas, was set alight at 5am on the 13 February 2015. Some media reports described it as an Islamophobic attack.[9]


A Muslim school in the Northeastern U.S. state of Rhode Island was vandalised with graffiti bearing "Now this is a Hate crime", indicating that the perpetrators were wary of the hateful nature. The incident was described by some media outlets as "Islamophobic".[10]

Institutional discrimination

At Columbus Manor School, a suburban Chicago elementary school with a student body nearly half Muslim Arab American, school board officials have considered eliminating holiday celebrations after Muslim parents complained that their culture's holidays were not included. Local parent Elizabeth Zahdan said broader inclusion, not elimination, was the group's goal. "I only wanted them modified to represent everyone," the Chicago Sun-Times quoted her as saying. "Now the kids are not being educated about other people."[11] However, the district's superintendent, Tom Smyth, said too much school time was being taken to celebrate holidays already, and he sent a directive to his principals requesting that they "tone down" activities unrelated to the curriculum, such as holiday parties.

When Herman Cain supported opposition to the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro, and the appointment of a Muslim in his cabinet, it was described as islamophobic by some outlets.[12]

From atheists

Some commentators have criticized individual American New atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens for making Islamophobic statements.[13][14][15] Commenting on Greenwald's response to Harris, Jerome Taylor, writing in The Independent, has stated that, "Like Chomsky, who has also been a vocal critic of New Atheism, he [Greenwald] blames writers like Harris for using their particularly anti-Islamic brand of rational non-belief to justify American foreign policies over the last decade.[16][17] Two educators at universities in Utah have claimed that these American atheist activists invoke Samuel Huntington's 'clash of civilizations' theory to explain the current political contestation and that this forms part of a trend toward "Islamophobia [...] in the study of Muslim societies".[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b Muslim Biz Gal Beaten
  2. ^ Bilici, Mucahit "Review: Being Targeted, Being Recognized: The Impact of 9/11 on Arab and Muslim Americans". Contemporary Sociology 40.2 134
  3. ^ Said, Edward. "Orientalism". Vintage Books, New York (1978): pp. 17.
  4. ^ Rath, Sura, "Post/past-'Orientalism' Orientalism and Its Dis/re-orientation", Comparative American Studies 2
  5. ^ a b Garner, Steve and Saher Selod, "The Racialization of Muslims: Empirical Studies of Islamophobia", Critical Sociology 41.1
  6. ^ a b Disha, Cavendish and King, "Historical Events and Spaces of Hate: Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America", Social Problems
  7. ^ "Hate Crimes and Hate Speech" Colin Daleida, Mashable, February 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Islamophobia Stirred Up By Abbott and Bolt" Julian Burnside, The Guardian, February 27, 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Sun Times Retrieved in 2008.
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1] Unholy war: Atheists and the politics of Muslim-baiting, First Press, Apr 3, 2013
  14. ^ [2] Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus, Glen Greenwald, The Guardian, April 3, 2013
  15. ^ [3] Scientific racism, militarism, and the new atheists, Murtaza Hussain, Aljazeera, April 2, 2013
  16. ^ [4] Atheists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris face Islamophobia backlash, Jerome Taylor, The Independent, April 12, 2013.
  17. ^ Emilsen, William (August 2012). "The New Atheism and Islam". The Expository Times 123 (11): 521.  
  18. ^ Jacoby, Wade; Yavuz, Hakan (April 2008). "Modernization, Identity and Integration: An Introduction to the Special Issue on Islam in Europe".  
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