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Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims

Sunday, July 31, 2011

"...the value of this book is incalculable, and Stephen Sheehi is due our deepest thanks and admiration for his courage in writing it." from the Foreword by WARD CHURCHILL

Author: Stephen Sheehi
Preface: Mumia Abu Jamal
Foreword: Ward Churchill

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Clarity Press (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0932863671
ISBN-13: 978-0932863676

Product Description

Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims examines the rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments in the West following the end of the Cold War through GW Bush’s War on Terror to the Age of Obama. Using “Operation Desert Storm” as a watershed moment, Stephen Sheehi examines the increased mainstreaming of Muslim-bating rhetoric and explicitly racist legislation, police surveillance, witch-trials and discriminatory policies towards Muslims in North America and abroad.

The book focuses on the various genres and modalities of Islamophobia from the works of rogue academics to the commentary by mainstream journalists, to campaigns by political hacks and special interest groups. Some featured Islamophobes are Bernard Lewis. Fareed Zakaria, Thomas Friedman, David Horowitz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. Their theories and opinions operate on an assumption that Muslims, particularly Arab Muslims, suffer from particular cultural lacuna that prevent their cultures from progress, democracy and human rights. While the assertion originated in the colonial era, Sheehi demonstrates that it was refurbished as a viable explanation for Muslim resistance to economic and cultural globalization during the Clinton era.

Moreover, the theory was honed into the empirical basis for an interventionist foreign policy and propaganda campaign during the Bush regime and continues to underlie Barack Obama’s new internationalism.

If the assertions of media pundits and rogue academics became the basis for White House foreign policy, Sheehi also demonstrates how they were translated into a sustained domestic policy of racial profiling and Muslim-baiting by agencies from Homeland Security to the Department of Justice. Furthermore, Sheehi examines the collusion between non-governmental agencies, activist groups and lobbies and local, state and federal agencies in suppressing political speech on US campuses critical of racial profiling, US foreign policy in the Middle East and Israel. While much of the direct violence against Muslims on American streets, shops and campuses has subsided, Islamophobia runs throughout the Obama administration. Sheehi, therefore, concludes that Muslim and Arab-hating emanate from all corners of the American political and cultural spectrum, serving poignant ideological functions in the age of economic, cultural and political globalization.

Reviews

"Stephen Sheehi's Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign Against Muslims is a brilliantly synthetic work; a gift to all who struggle to understand the anti-Muslim sentiment so pervasive in contemporary America. In a richly detailed yet accessible manner, Sheehi tackles post-Cold War American Islamophobia in all of its complexity, weaving together its liberal and neoconservative strands, and illustrating that we must interrogate it not as a problem of "prejudice" or "misunderstanding," nor as a debate about Islam itself, but as an ideological paradigm used to structure and justify U.S. policies, both domestic and international." --Natsu Taylor Saito, author of Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law.

"Sheehi's analysis of Islamophobia as an ideological formation brings a much needed dose of fresh air, and analytical clarity, to the burgeoning field of research on how the a deep-seated psychological fear of Islam and Muslims has been produced and circulated to enable not merely war, but a globalized militarism of historically unprecedented scale that most Americans have come to take for granted as necessary and inevitable in the post-September 11 world. A worthy update of Said's seminal discussion of Orientalism and one that leaves few players in the contemporary foreign policy establishment, in particular so-called liberals, unscathed." --Mark LeVine, author of Why They Don't Hate Us and Heavy Metal Islam

*EXCERPT (from the Introduction): http://www.claritypress.com/Sheehi.html

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

Preface
Foreword

INTRODUCTION

Bringing Hate Speech into the American Mainstream
Islamophobia as an Ideological Formation of US Empire
Clinton-Bush-Obama: Islamophobia Continuity
Vagaries of Islamophobia: Europe and the United States
Orientalism vs. Islamophobia: Historical Variations

Chapter One
THE ELITE FOREIGN POLICY NETWORKS
How Islamophobia Is Not Just Prejudice
Ideology is Not a Conspiracy or Party Platform
The Network of a Media-Intellectual
Think-Tanks and Policy Institutes
The Pragmatist Center
Strategy Groups and Brain-Trusts
The Institutional Network of Bernard Lewis
The Master’s Discourse and the Students’ Vision
Open Letter to President Clinton
Bush’s War Network
Fouad Ajami as [White] House Arab
Conclusion

Chapter Two
JOURNALISTS, ROGUE ACADEMICS, and NATIVE
INFORMANTS: THE SIEGE OF THE ARAB MIND
Introduction
Academic Pretensions of Empire: Bernard Lewis
The Arc of Ideological Scholarship
Post-Modern Mission Civilisatrice
Taxonomy of the Siege: Fareed Zakaria
Ignoring History: Neoliberalism as Modernity
Systemic Failure to Systematic Reform
The Force of a Homegrown Success
Conclusion

Chapter Three
NATIVE INFORMANTS: WOMEN AND THE MORAL
PRETEXT FOR WESTERN DOMINATION
The B-List: Native Islamophobes
Enter the A-List Propagandists: The Heroic Victims
Pablum as Fact: The Tabloid Legacy of Lewis and
Zakaria
Failure and the Politics of Reversal
Islam’s “Submission” versus the Capitalist Jihad
Force Against/For Women: Muslim Irresponsibility and
Western Responsibility
Co-opting Feminism and Wars of (Women’s) Liberation
Conclusion

Chapter Four
TEACHING AND ACTIVISM IN THE TEETH OF POWER
Controlling Middle Eastern Studies
Coordinating an Atmosphere of Fear
Manuals of Repression
The Mandible of Power
Squadristi, Campus Cops and FBI on Campus
Conclusion

Chapter Five
LIVING IN A STATE OF FEAR
A National Culture of Repression
Hating the Other: Contextualizing Contemporary Hate-Acts
The Psychology of Interment
Techniques of Mainstreaming Cultural Islamophobia
Engendering Fear to Engineer Consent
Anesthetizing White America
Hyper-Sensitizing White America
Flying While Muslim
Islamophobia as the Ideological Dimension of US Middle
East Foreign Policy
Mass Arrests, Deportations, Special Registrations and
“Watch Lists”
The National Security State Emerges
The War on Philanthropy
Entrapment
Living in the Black Holes of a New “Normal”
Conclusion

Chapter Six
ISLAMOPHOBIA IN THE AGE OF OBAMA
Bush’s “Dictionary of War” and the Lexicon of Punditry
The Hope and Change of Obama’s Nation
The Lewis-Zakaria Effect
The Nobel War Lecture and the Hard Reality of Soft
Power
Paradigm Shifts within Empire Management
The Phoenix Institute’s “Strategic Leadership” Framework
Hillary Clinton, the “National Security Team” and the
Smartness of Power
Obama the Non-Muslim
It’s Israel, Stupid
Ideology Wags the Dog

Epilogue
THE PARALLAX OF AMERICAN POWER: KEEPING THE
UNITED STATES RELEVANT
Muslim and Arab Americans Resist
Political Islam as an Ideological Formation
Ideology Over Lobbies and Oil
Islamophobia and Keeping US Empire Relevant
Reality Check
The End of the Beginning

INDEX

About the Author

Stephen Sheehi is Associate Professor of Arabic and Arab Culture and Director of the Arabic Program at the University of South Carolina. He teaches intellectual, literary, cultural, and artistic heritage of Arabo-Islamic world. His work interrogates various modalities of self, society, art and political economy with Arab modernity.

He is the author of Foundations of Modern Arab Identity, which examines the foundational writing of intellectuals of the 19th century Arab Renaissance or al-nahdah al-`arabiyah. The book discusses how Arab intellectuals offered a powerful cultural self-criticism along side their critiques and discussions of modernity, capitalism and European imperialism.

He has also published in journals such as International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, The British Journal of Middle East Studies, Discourse, Critique, The Journal of Arabic Literature, and The Journal of Comparative South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Studies.

He has also written on the contemporary politics in Lebanon and academic repression in the United States.

In addition to his scholarship, Prof. Sheehi has also been active in social justice movements in the Middle East and North America.

*Link for Further Reading: Leftists of America and the World, Wake up to Your Islamophobia! By: Paul Cochrane http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/07/leftists-of-america-and-the-world-wake-up-to-your-islamophobia/

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