The Fear of Islam

An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West

The Fear of Islam cover

American and European societies, particular in the long wake of the events of 9/11 and the bombings in Madrid and London, have struggled with the recurrent problem of Islamophobia, which continues to manifest in waves of controversial legislative proposals, public anger over the construction of religious edifices, and even outbreaks of violence. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine contributes fuel to the aggressive debate in Western society and creates the need for measured discussion about religion, fear, prejudice, otherness, and residual colonialist attitudes.

The Fear of Islam speaks into this context, offering a sophisticated but concise introduction to the historical roots and contemporary forms of religious anxiety regarding Islam within the Western world. Tracing the medieval legacy of religious polemics and violence, Todd Green weaves together a narrative that orients the reader to the complex history and issues that originate from this legacy, continuing through to the early and late modern colonial enterprises, the theories of “Orientalism,” and the production of religious discourses of alterity and the clash of civilizations that proliferated in the era of 9/11 and the war on terror.

Praise for The Fear of Islam

Todd Green has written a compelling and important book. The future of the West rises and falls on its ability to welcome the contributions of its most diverse elements. Thus, Islamophobia doesn’t just hurt Muslims, it weakens Western civilization. Professor Green’s book helps us understand the problem and generate creative solutions.

This is an outstanding presentation of the history and current state of Islamophobia. Todd Green draws upon reliable studies supplemented by original research to demonstrate how perceptions of Muslims are shaped and distorted, leading to prejudice and fear. Highly recommended for reporters, teachers, and policy makers.

Tragically, the ongoing conflicts in many areas of the world seem likely to continue to generate more reports of violence and to reinforce negative attitudes toward Muslims and Islam. Amid this challenge, Green offers a helpful, wide-ranging analysis of major developments together with thoughtful proposals for transforming attitudes and behaviors.

This is an extremely important new book. Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. Our future depends on finding a different way of relating. To this end, the author summarizes encyclopedic information, interprets it clearly, and provides insights that point to a new direction.

Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamopliobia in the West is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking.