Bruce B. Lawrence
Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friendby Andrew Shryock
"Islamophobia" is a term that has been widely applied to anti-Muslim ideas and actions, especially since 9/11. The contributors to this provocative volume explore and critique the usefulness of the concept for understanding contexts ranging from the Middle Ages to the modern day. Moving beyond familiar explanations such as good-Muslim/bad-Muslim stereotypes, or the… See more details below
"Islamophobia" is a term that has been widely applied to anti-Muslim ideas and actions, especially since 9/11. The contributors to this provocative volume explore and critique the usefulness of the concept for understanding contexts ranging from the Middle Ages to the modern day. Moving beyond familiar explanations such as good-Muslim/bad-Muslim stereotypes, or the "clash of civilizations," they describe Islamophobia's counterpart, Islamophilia, which deploys similar oppositions in the interest of fostering public acceptance of Islam. Contributors address topics such as conflicts over Islam outside and within Muslim communities in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia; the cultural politics of literature, humor, and urban renewal; and religious conversion to Islam.
"In all, this work is a rich and varied fare. What is welcome is the book's developed insight that Islamophilia can also be an act of wishful thinking and fantasy as much as Islamophobia. Morever, the latter can be propagated by Muslims. In all, this is a plea for a grown up engagement with Muslims who are as diverse as Christians and Jews." —The Muslim World Book Review, 31:4, 2011
"... a collection at once serious and sensible in its scope, ambitions and outcome." —Bruce B. Lawrence, Religion Dispatches
"Islamophobia/Islamophilia is a spirited volume that takes aim at the confining but dominant debate on Islam, 'for or against.' Its eye-opening cases demonstrate just how much opposed sides share, and reveal surprising alignments and crossovers that happen beyond the binary. Politically astute, analytically acute, and pervasively humanistic, this is a rare contribution that brings clarity to an ideologically charged and muddied field." —Engseng Ho, Duke University
"Very timely. An excellent contribution to humanistic scholarship by a number of leading scholars. The disciplinary range and nuance of the individual essays in this volume do a great job to illustrate and analyze how ahistorical, demeaning, or apologetic views of Muslims and Islam function and circulate." —Ussama Makdisi, Rice University
"Overall, the volume is an impressive collection of serious discursive analyses that heighten our sensitivities to the forms arguments about Islam take; while always indexes of power, it is clear that the shared terms of global debates about Islamic reform do not always correspond to shared meanings." —American Ethnologist
"... a collection at once serious and sensible in its scope, ambitions and outcome." Bruce B. Lawrence, Religion Dispatches
Read an Excerpt
What is most problematic about Islamophobia is its essentializing and universalizing quality, which casts Islam itself and all Muslims as real or potential enemies.... What is harder to assess is the challenge of countering Islamophobic impulses in ways that do not simply invert or reinforce them by cultivating their opposite: the image of the Muslim as "friend," as a figure identified with the Self, characterized as familiar, and with whom legitimate conflict is not possible.... When 'friendship' is subordinated to the demands of sameness... it can be just as coercive, just as prone to misrecognition, as the sentiments of hostility it is meant to correct.
Indiana University Press
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