Home\Prejudice

Challenging prejudice Series

Unravelling Antisemitism & Islamophobia

These pages are curated by Chip Berlet

Antisemitic and Islamophobic rhetoric is being unleased in some of the current discussions and debates about Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, and the tragedy in Gaza. These pages do not take a position on these matters in order to help those engaged in debates to avoid prejudiced statements which in some cases appear to be unintentional.

The material in this collection is drawn from many different authors and websites. The collection inludes text, videos, and slideshows.

Much of this material emerges from the research for a report I edited available below as a pdf file:
Constructing Campus Conflict:
Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses, 2007–2011
<pdf
(Boston: Political Research Associates, 2014)

A set of working papers created in the course of the research is online here.

Sections:

Conspiracism and the Tools of Fear

Islamophobia

Antisemitism

Bibliographies

More Video Interviews

For Educators

Selected National Educational Programs on Prejudice

The theoretical approach behind these pages can be found at my website
Tools of Fear with the links below.

PREJUDICE + POWER = OPPRESSION

Prejudice |  Dualism |  Denigration |  Scapegoating |  Conspiracism |  Dehumanization |  Demagoguery 



Conspiracism and the Tools of Fear

Islamophobia, Antisemitism and the Demonized ‘Other’:
Parallels among bigotries reflect the conspiratorial mindset

by Chip Berlet

...excerpt...

Jim Naureckas of FAIR has noted “the remarkable parallels between antisemitism and Islamophobia” in contemporary rhetoric. This in response to a blog post (FAIR Blog, 4/17/12) about fears of Iranian nuclear weapons development earlier this year by FAIR”s Peter Hart. Hart excoriated Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (9/29/09), who “went straight for bigotry” when he wrote in 2009 that “these Persians lie like a rug.” Hart also dissected a piece by New York Times correspondent James Risen (4/14/12) thatspeculated that Islam was a religion that countenanced lying.

“They” always lie to “Us.” It doesn’t matter who “They” are, because one of the hallmarks of bigotry is that “Their” religion or ideology, or culture is said to promote lying. They can’t be trusted. In fact, they are probably conspiring against us right now. They threaten our entire way of life. They are not like us. They don’t value human life like we do. So to defend our nation, which reflects eternal truths, we must act now before it is too late. Attack first. Our war is justified. God is on our side.

That’s the universal narrative of justified aggression against a demonized “Other.”

Read More Here


Online Slideshow:

Protocols to the Left, Protocols to the Right:
Conspiracism in American Political Discourse at the Turn of the Second Millennium

by Chip Berlet, Political Research Associates

Prejudice and conspiracy theories about a feared "Other" sweep acress our nation periodically. From the Illuminati, to the Jews, to the Red Menace, to Muslims--the storyline is replicated.

Browse the Slideshow


TOXIC TO DEMOCRACY:
CONSPIRACY THEORIES, DEMONIZATION, & SCAPEGOATING

by Chip Berlet | Report from Political Research Associates

...excerpt...

Does government healthcare mandate euthanasia for Grandma? Was Obama really born in Kenya and therefore an illegal President? How do right-wing political pundits contribute to the recent rash of violence linked to White supremacist ideology? This study addresses these questions and more, shedding light on the corrosive use of demonizing language that scapegoats certain groups.

Read More Here



Islamophobia


Islamophobia Threatens American Values and National Security

by Brian Levin

...excerpt...

Islamophobia Has Been Mainstreamed

The real terror threat to the United States from a very small, but still significantly dangerous sliver of alienated Salafist radicals has been a boon to unrepentant bigots who wish to exploit fear for political purposes in an election cycle. The outsized presence of a small number of real extremists is being advanced as part of a coordinated effort to marginalize and exclude mainstream Muslims in the United States from meaningful participation in society.

Unsubstantiated broadsides, particularly against moderate Muslims, not only reprehensibly damages them as individuals, but undermine their ability to build meaningful relationships across faith and political boundaries. Not only does this harm innocent patriotic Muslim Americans and potential allies in the fight against extremists, it shifts resources and attention away from real threats.

Read More Here


Sophia ShafiVideo
Sophia Shafi:
The Roots of
Islamophobia in the United States

MP4

SHAFI: The roots of Islamophobia in the West and in the United States go back to the Middle Ages. In my research I found that they have not changed much. They’re usually focused on the Arab, but also sometimes on the Persian. These two often serve as the stand–in for all Muslims, even though Arabs are a minority of the world’s Muslims (about 14 percent) and most of the world’s Muslims are Asians or Africans. What I found is that these static stereotypes have had a constant repetitive structure over the past 1,400 years, and they seem to mostly focus on sex and violence. Usually the Muslim is [either] oversexed or sexually repressed and violent. Hypersexualized and hyperviolent imagery are quite common.

Read the Transcript Here

Extracted from Chip Berlet, ed., Constructing Campus Conflict:
Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses, 2007–2011

(Boston: Political Research Associates, 2014)

 


ADL Backgrounder: Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Bigotry in the United States

by the Anti-Defamation League

...excerpt...

A significant level of anti-Muslim bigotry has surfaced in a variety of public forums over the past year. While
some of the anti-Muslim sentiment has fed on growing community concerns about Islamic extremism, much of
it has focused on various plans to relocate or expand mosques around the country. Many of those debates
have been characterized by unfair stereotyping and prejudice that have singled out the Muslim American
community for special scrutiny and suspicion.

Read More Here


MANUFACTURING THE MUSLIM MENACE: PRIVATE FIRMS, PUBLIC SERVANTS, & THE THREAT TO RIGHTS AND SECURITY

by Thomas Cincotta

PRA’s comprehensive report details a systemic failure to regulate content in nationwide counter-terrorism training, spreading Islamophobic messages through law enforcement.

Read More Here


PLATFORM FOR PREJUDICE:
HOW THE NATIONWIDE SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTING INITIATIVE INVITES RACIAL PROFILING, ERODES CIVIL LIBERTIES, AND UNDERMINES SECURITY

by Thomas Cincotta, Political Research Associates

This report is a comprehensive investigation of the post-9/11 "information sharing environment" among law enforcement, explaining how Suspicious Activity Reporting violates civil liberties without yielding any greater security.

Read More Here


Islam-Bashing Bigots Train Counterterrorism Agents

by Chip Berlet

...excerpt...

"Kill them...including the children."

That's how to solve the threat of militant Muslims?

This quote is from what one official involved in homeland security said was the theme of a speech by Walid Shoebat at an anti-terrorism training in Las Vegas in October 2010.

Read More Here


Differentiating Islamophobia: Introducing a new scale to measure Islamoprejudice and Secular Islam Critique

Roland Imhoff - Academia.edu

Abstract
Since 2001 there has been a steadily increasing awareness of the discrimination against Muslims based on their religion. Despite the widespread use of the neologism Islamophobia to refer to this phenomenon, this term has been harshly criticized for confounding prejudiced views of Muslims with a legitimate critique of Muslim practices based on secular grounds. In the current research a scale was developed to differentiate Islamoprejudice (based on the influential Islamophobia definition of the British Runnymede Trust) and Secular Critique of Islam. Across two studies, Islamoprejudice was related to explicit and implicit prejudice, right-wing authoritarianism andsocial dominance orientation whereas Secular Critique was unrelated to any forms of prejudice but negatively related to religiosity and authoritarianism. The two scales were mostlyindependently or only moderately related. Importantly, the new Islamoprejudice scale outperformed all other scales in predicting actual opposition vs. support for a heatedly debated, newly built mosque. Implications and application of the differentiation between Islamoprejudice and Secular Critique will be discussed.

Read More Here




Antisemitism

The Past Didn't Go Anywhere:
Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All of our Movements

by April Rosenblum

...excerpt...

Antisemitism’s job is to make ruling classes invisible. It protects ruling class power structures, diverting anger at injustice toward Jews instead. But it doesn’t have to be planned out at the top. It serves the same ends, whether enshrined in law or insti­tutionalized only in our minds; whether it's state policy, popular 'common sense,' or acts of grassroots movements like our own.

It's always a real struggle for the Left to successfully tackle oppression within its own ranks. But when we do it, our movements gain, every time, from the deeper understand­ings that emerge. To start the process this time, we need some basic information about what anti-Jewish oppression is and how to counter it. But it has to come from a perspective of justice for all people, not from opportunis­tic attempts to slander or censor social justice efforts that are gaining strength.

Read More Here


David Hirsh Video
David Hirsh:
The Left,
Anti-Imperialism, & Antisemitism

MP4
 

Chip Berlet interviews David Hirsh on Contemporary Antisemitism and Conspiracy Theory

HIRSH:" I think people are very good at recognizing some kinds of antisemitism. If it wears a Nazi uniform they understand it, if it’s right-wing they understand it, if it’s some sort of very simple worldview of racism and anti-racism. If it comes from the left and it comes from people who are anti-racist, then there’s often much more difficulty in recognizing and understanding what’s going on. There [are] many reasons for that."

Read a Transcript Here

Extracted from Chip Berlet, ed., Constructing Campus Conflict:
Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses, 2007–2011

(Boston: Political Research Associates, 2014)


Don't Abide Hate:
Student groups promote intolerance by inviting Muslim extremist to speak

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

by Hussein Ibish and Brian Levin, The Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA)

...excerpt...

It is regrettable that Amir Abdel Malik Ali has become a regular speaker at Muslim student events on several southern California college campuses, including, recently, UC Irvine and UC Riverside

Ali is a convert to Islam and an imam at an Oakland mosque who has expressed overtly anti-Semitic views and bizarre conspiracy theories, especially regarding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He is noted for incendiary rhetoric regarding "Jewish control" of the media, although he appeared deeply confused about who is Jewish when he wrongly cited Rupert Murdoch as an example. Ali's rhetoric is often implicitly violent, and, by any standards extreme and intolerant.

Read More Here


Alison Weir: If Americans Knew | a critical profile

by Spencer Sunshine

Few political writers today appear in the publications of both the Left and the Far Right. One rare exception is Alison Weir, the founder of If Americans Knew. Her denunciations of the vast power that Israel and its supporters in the United States allegedly wield resonate on the Far Right with figures like former Klansman and politician David Duke, the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review, antisemitic talk radio host Clay Douglas, and the Pacifica Forum at the University of Oregon, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group.

At the same time, she can be found on the Left in the pages of Z Magazine, Project Censored, and CounterPunch. She has been praised by Socialist Worker, broadcast on affiliates of the Pacifica radio network, and spoken at the Left Forum conference.

Read More Here

Extracted from Chip Berlet, ed., Constructing Campus Conflict:
Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses, 2007–2011

(Boston: Political Research Associates, 2014)



Bibliographies

Civil Liberties

Conspiracism

Prejudice & Scapegoating

Antisemitism

Islamophobia

Islamophobia, Arabophobia, and Orientalism: A Selected Research Bibliography by Sophia Shafi

Religious Beliefs

Apocalypticism & Millennialism (Millenarianism & End Times)

Christian Right Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism

Violence Attributed to Religious Beliefs

Social, Political, & Religious Movements

Social Movement Theories

Bibliography from the Appendices from the Constructing Campus Conflict Report



More Video Interviews

Students at the University of Colorado

We are highlighting the Conference on World Affairs (CWA)
as a model campus program

Interviews conducted in 2009

These videos are sized for mobile devices
but can be played on computers

dino-steltzer

Watch these short videos with a small group. 

Find out what these students think. 

Then have a discussion.

Agree, disagree, analyze....


Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR)
University of Wisconsin

We are highlighting LISAR as a model campus program

Interviews conducted in 2009


More Resources:

Working Toward Whiteness
Working Toward Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs Paperback – August 8, 2006
by David R. Roediger (Author)
How the Irish Became White (Routledge Classics) by Noel Ignatiev

How the Irish Became White (Routledge Classics) 
by Noel Ignatiev 
http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Became-White-Routledge-Classics/dp/0415963095

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8212.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0415222087
press.princeton.edu
Description of the book The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity by Goldstein, E.L., published by Princeton University Press
http://www.amazon.com/Became-White-Folks.../dp/081352590X
TBrodkin (Caring by the Hour), a professor of anthropology at UCLA, synthesizes ... See More

For Educators

This section is under construction

Selected Resources on Teaching Citizenship in a Pluralistic World

Zinn Education Project

The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the use of Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States and other materials for teaching a people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country. The website offers more than 100 free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by themetime period, and reading level. The Zinn Education Project is coordinated by two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change.

The Creative Learning Exchange (CLE)

The Creative Learning Exchange was founded as a non-profit in 1991 to encourage the development of systems citizens who use systems thinking and system dynamics to meet the interconnected challenges that face them at personal, community, and global levels.


 

Selected National Educational Programs on Prejudice

There a three major national curricula on prejudice. We list them here in order of our analysis of their use of a creative systems approach that teaches respect for others and an awareness of the dynamics of the tools of fear.

Facing History and Ourselves

Southern Poverty Law Center

Anti-Defamation League

 

 

 

Check out the Glossary at the Social Movement Study Network

Global Human Rights
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