Author: Todd Green is Associate Professor of Religion at Luther College. His writes and speaks on topics pertaining to Islamophobia in Europe and the United States.
The Fear of Islam (Fortress Press), to be released in the spring of 2015, provides a broad survey of anti-Muslim bigotry and hostility in the United States and Europe. Tracing the origins of Islamophobia to medieval religious polemics, Todd Green examines the political and imperial forces driving Islamophobia for much of modern Western history, paying particular attention to European colonial projects in Muslim-majority regions, the rise of Orientalism, and U.S. Cold War policy in the Middle East. He then shifts to 9/11 and its aftermath, analyzing the Islamophobic themes and narratives that provided the underpinning for the U.S. War on Terror. He discusses the increasing fear of the Muslim ‘enemy within’ in both Europe and the U.S. and the toll this has taken on civil liberties and human rights. He also investigates the most influential sources of negative perceptions of Muslim in the modern West: the professional Islamophobia network and the mass media. He concludes with a compelling discussion on fighting Islamophobia that draws on interviews that he conducted with the following public figures devoted to this cause: Keith Ellison, John Esposito, Myriam Francois-Cerrah, Marjorie Dove Kent, Ingrid Mattson, Dalia Mogahed, Eboo Patel, and Tariq Ramadan.
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.
The book is available on Amazon