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MUSLIM AMERICANS HANDOUT

REFLECTION #1: ​What are your preconceptions about Islam? What have you been taught in
school, by the media or by your family?

WHAT IS ISLAM?
Hakim, What is Islam?, In Rethinking Schools, p. 1 
- Many misconceptions about Islam due to media and lack of information about the religion 
- Islam translates to peace 
- The largest Muslim populations reside in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia 
- Muslim women were given the right to vote 1,400 years ago, but patriarchy corrupted 
Muslim society 
- Jihad means to strive in the way of God but is often misused to name terrorist.  

WHAT IS ISLAMOPHOBIA?
Rizga, C. (2016). Chilling rise of Islamophobia in our schools, p. 1-6

● Phobia is defined as “an extreme or irrational fear or aversion to something” 


● Islam is the world’s third largest monotheistic religion (trailing Christianity and Judaism) 
● Why does an irrational fear of this religion and its followers exist? 

THE LIES OF ISLAMOPHOBIA


c. Feffer, J. (2010). Lies of Islamophobia, p. 1-6.

Historical Myths +  Omitted Truths =   Misconceptions 

- “Song of Roland”: 8th  - Jerusalem: a Muslim-ruled  - Islam: a violent religion that 


century Muslim Moors  peaceful multi-religious  wants to take over the world 
killed Charlemagne’s entire  society until Crusaders  - All Muslims are radical 
French army  slaughtered all  - White Christians are the 
- All Crusaders’ enemies  non-Christians  victims of terrorism 
labeled “Muslim”   - U.S. supported spread of  - Arab Nationalists are Islamic 
- U.S. Government waging war  radical Islam during Cold  Fundamentalists 
in Middle East to save the  War  - Terrorism is on the rise 
world from radical Islam  - Muslims countries becoming  - Islamophobia is a fear of 
more democratic and doing  radical Islam 
more to fight against radical 
Islam than any other country 

 
THE STORY OF ISLAMOPHOBIA
Rana, J. (2007). The Story of Islamophobia, p. 148-59

● Islamophobic racism: biological racism vs cultural racism 


● Racial profiling of Middle-Eastern immigrants: racializing Islam 
● Religious discrimination as the start of racism: Europeans vs the Moors, Turks, Jews, 
Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Muslims  
● “limpieza de sangre” - purity of blood certificates in the Spanish New World, creating a 
racial hierarchy within religious hegemony 
● Religion as an excuse for racism: labeling literate African-American Muslims as “dark” & 
claiming that Native American “heathens” descend from North African Muslims  
● Noble Drew Ali’s Moorish Science Temple “Moorish American” ideology:  
de-racializing Islam  
● Pan-Islamic unity: South Asian Ashmadi Muslims from India converting whites and blacks 
to Islam: a threat to racism fueling Islamophobia 
● “Muselmann”: Nazis describing dying Jews as Muslims in ritual prayer - historic racial 
confusion between Jews and Muslims 
● “Semites” refer to Semitic languages from North Africa and the Middle East, including 
Hebrew and Arabic -> only recently anti-Semitism became racialized to mean “anti-Jew” 
● A threat to white Christian supremacy: Arabs, Blacks, Latinos & South Asians  

IN WHOSE HANDS IS THE TELLING OF THE TALE?


Morrison, D. (1997). “In whose hands is the telling of the tale?”, p. 5-14 & 14-22 
● Texts and Voices Matter 
○ Who is telling the tale matters as it guides bias judgement  
● Their history is their identity 
○ It is not someone else’s job/place to dictate another’s past

REFLECTION #2: ​Has your perception of Islam changed now that you’ve learned more about
Islamophobia?