Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend

Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend

by Andrew Shryock

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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253004543
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 06/30/2010
Series: Indiana Series in Middle East Studies
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 260
File size: 430 KB

About the Author

Andrew Shryock is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Anthropology at the
University of Michigan. He is author of Nationalism and the Genealogical Imagination
and co-author of Arab Detroit and Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after

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.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Islam as an Object of Fear and Affection: A Problem for Critical Analysis / Andrew Shryock

Part 1. Continuities and Transformations
Western Hostility toward Muslims: A History of the Present /
Tomaž Mastnak
2. The Khalil Gibran International Academy: Diasporic Confrontations with an Emerging Islamophobia / Naamah Paley

Part 2. Modern (Self) Criticism
3. The God That Failed: The Neo-Orientalism of Today's Muslim Commentators / Moustafa Bayoumi
4. Gendering Islamophobia and Islamophilia: The Case of Shii Muslim Women in Lebanon / Lara Deeb
5. Bridging Traditions: Madrasas and Their Internal Critics / Muhammad Qasim Zaman

Part 3. Violence and Conversion in Europe
6. The Fantasy and Violence of Religious Imagination: Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in France and North Africa / Paul A. Silverstein
7. German Converts to Islam and Their Ambivalent Relations with Immigrant Muslims / Esra

Part 4. Attraction and Repulsion in Shared Space
8. Muslim Ethnic Comedy: Inversions of Islamophobia / Mucahit Bilici
9. Competing for Muslims: New Strategies for Urban Renewal in Detroit / Sally Howell

List of Contributors Index

What People are Saying About This

Duke University - Engseng Ho

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.

Rice University - Ussama Makdisi

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.

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