"Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire" by #DeepaKumar
This book provides a history of anti-Islam ideology and tactics and how they have been perpetuated by the West for forever. Even today, mainstream rhetoric from the left is weak enough that it cannot effectively combat the Islamophobia so persistent in our national ideology used to justify imperialism, colonization, and other forms of violence.
When John McCain died, the white, non-Muslim left was hailed him as an anti-racist saint for disagreeing with a woman who had said that Obama was an Arab and a Muslim and, therefore, could not be trusted. McCain's response was that Obama was a Christian, while doing nothing to push back on the idea that Arabs and Muslims were not to be trusted. With very little education to act as an antidote to the Islamophobia, most of us are likely to miss how deeply problematic a response, such as McCain's is, even when it is hailed as a progressive act.
The racist, Islamophobic double-standard is very real. The term "terrorist" is assigned to any Arab person who commits acts of violence; they are held up as examples of why Islam is "inherently flawed." Yet, one is more likely to be killed in a mass shooting by a white Christian man, but these acts are never called "terrorism" or seen as testament to the flawed nature of Christianity. We live in a country dominated by white, Christian men who fight to roll back reproductive rights -endangering countless people- and discount the voices of survivors of the epidemic of sexual violence, but we do not hear about the impact of Christian fundamentalism in the mainstream media. From the Crusades to the Iraq war, notions of Christian supremacy have justified the loss of millions of innocent lives under the guise of "civilizing" and "liberating" Muslims, yet conveniently evades the label of "terrorism" because of the magical white cloak of invisibility. It is imperative that those of us who are not Muslims educate ourselves on these issues. Like Christianity, Islam is not inherently violent, but people of all religions certainly can be. #FreePalestine