Global Muslims’ Double Jeopardy: Islamophobia and Globalization Download

Taj Hashmi

The Problem

The post-Cold War period is the “spring of hope” and “winter of despair” for the Muslim World. The period is one of unfulfilled promises made during the Cold War. The demonstration effect of the positive changes in the East and West in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which ushered in a New World Order albeit not for the teeming millions in the Third World, has been the main factor behind the rapid growth of Islamism. If the so-called Ummah or Global Muslim Community is hell-bent to fight the Globalization process to “liberate” itself from Western hegemony and if the West is determined to perpetuate its neo-colonial hegemonic designs in the Muslim World are no longer irrelevant questions.

However, the understanding of “What Went Wrong” with the Ummah, the Muslim-West understanding and the Globalization Process is in order. We may raise the question if anything has been right with the West vis-à-vis its role in the Muslim World. Muslims, like people everywhere in the South, understand as to how the West is responsible for the state of their poverty, humiliation and marginalization. Although I have singled out only two factors, Islamophobia and Globalization, at the roots of Muslim-West conflict, I am aware of many other factors for the growing cleavage between the Muslim and Western worlds.

The discourse of legitimizing Western superiority by its portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the Orient as exotic, deviant and inferior is known as Orientalism.1

The end of colonialism did not signal the end of Orientalist prejudice against the East. The postcolonial discourse of hatred of Islam and Muslims is sometimes quite subtle and sometimes very crude and vulgar. The literary and the so-called objective studies with subtle denigration of Islam and Muslims may be classified as “Neo-Orientalism”.2 The provocatively blunt and openly hateful writings, statements and speeches against Islam and Muslims are simply Islamophobic. Although the postcolonial neo-colonialists in the West are a bit subtle in establishing their hegemony over the Third World, nevertheless they want to perpetuate the same old system of controlling both the market and sources of cheap raw materials and labor in the Third World.

Here I have appraised the short- and long-term effects of the Islamophobic hatred on the psyche of the Muslim World. As the victims of hate become hateful of those who hate them, hatred also humiliates them and turns them into unforgiving adversaries. The understanding of the Muslim concept of shame due to the “loss of Palestine” to the Zionist state of Israel and the Western invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and of late Libya, Syria, and Western threats against Iran and Pakistan is essential to understand why Muslims are so angry with the West. Western portrayal of pro-Western Muslim autocrats as “democratic rulers” has further embittered the Muslim-West relationship. Muslim Westophobia may be explained in these terms. Last but not least, Muslims also resent marginalization of the Muslim World by the West in the name of promoting democracy, human rights and the deceptive Globalization through a “New World Order”.

Although Islamophobia and Westophobia are not direct derivatives of the Globalization Process, yet the age-old Muslim-West conflict became more vigorous in the wake of the Globalization Process. This chapteraims at appraising as to how and why the Globalized New World Order has further widened the gap between the Muslim and Western worlds. It also stresses the need for an alternative global order or Social Democratic Globalization to ensure equal opportunity, free and fair trade,and human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom from hate crime and the trap of Western donor-driven unaccountable NGOs and multinationals in the name of empowering the poor. However, neither the Muslim World is monolithic nor is the West homogenous. Although there is nothing so “global” about Islam, yet the expressions “global jihad” and “globalized Islam” are in circulation for quite some time. Proponents of “local jihads” often claim to represent the global Ummah.3

Since this study is about Islamism under postcolonial World Order, an understanding of Global Islam in a Globalized World is necessary to understand why the ongoing Islamist resurgence has the potential to drag the entire world into a protracted war of attrition for decades. This is a re-appraisal of the following problematic concepts: Muslims’ extra-territorial loyalty; their Westophobia or (alleged) hatred for the West; Islamophobia as something allegedly “inherent” in Western culture; and Muslims’ “unwillingness” and “inability” to modernize themselves and indigenize democracy. We, however, cannot ignore the fact that bad governance and violations of human rights by pro-Western regimes in the Muslim World have actually retarded democracy andindirectly promoted Westophobia and terrorism among Muslims.

In the backdrop of the growing Muslim disenchantment globally, we may explain regional and sub-regional Islamist terror networks of al Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jemaah Islamiyah, MILF, HUJI and others, who again, ominously are coming closer to each other to bleed the West and its allies. In short, the issues of Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Kosovo and Southern Mindanao, for example, should not be addressed in isolation. They are all linked together to the so-called “global jihad”.

What Went Wrong?

Despite what Bernard Lewis wrote in his sketchy essay, “What Went Wrong” with Islam and in his sketchier book having the same title,4  it is rather time to ask: What Went WrongWith the West? Lewis’s concern with “bewildered and pathetically backward” Muslims (of the Middle East, as he has excluded the bulk of the global Muslims who live beyond the Arab World) in the postcolonial era is appalling. Muslims, according to him, have been asking: a) “Who did this to us?” b) “What did we do wrong?” and c) “How do we put it right?” He is right that while some Muslims “attribute all evil to the abandonment of the divine heritage of Islam” advocating return to a “real or imagined past”; his blaming the Muslims’ “blame game” for holding European colonial rule responsible for their backwardness is appallingly pathetic. He imputes the lack of freedom in Muslim countries to their backwardness, not to European colonial rue. He simply surmises in condescension and contempt that if Muslims “continue on their present path, the suicide bomber may become a metaphor for the whole region”.5

However, as there were internal factors for the degeneration of the Islamic civilization – tribalism, autocracy, neglect of science and philosophy and the mass adherence for pre-modern Shariah code and escapist Sufism – the rise of the Western imperialism was the single most important cause for the decline of the Islamic civilization. We find Edward Said, Marshall Hodgson, Juan Cole, Aijaz Ahmad and even Zbigniew Brzezinski more acceptable than the Orientalist discourse of “blame-the-victim”.6 Critiquing Lewis’s “What Went Wrong”, Cole has rightly imputed most problems of the Muslim World to European colonialism in the following manner:

The French powerfully shaped Algeria in ways that certainly contribute to its current travails….While one certainly cheers the British for giving refuge in Palestine to Jews fleeing Hitler, it would have been nobler yet to admit them to the British Isles rather than saddling a small, poor peasant country with 500,000 immigrants hungry to make the place their own…. The British exit from South Asia was similarly botched, leaving us with the Kashmir dispute as a nuclear flashpoint. Lewis’s attempt to virtually erase two centuries of European imperialism and all its long-term consequences with a wave of the hand is breathtaking…. Why does he think things “went right” in the West? [emphasis added].7

Chomsky is equally incisive in the deconstruction of Neo-Orientalism. He points out the Anglo-American duplicities in Iran. In the 1950s, America worked against democracy by overthrowing the elected government of Dr Mossadegh by bribing ayatollahs to restore the autocratic Shah to control Iranian oil. He cites Western double standard vis-à-vis the suffering of Kurdish minorities. While supporting the Kurdish cause in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the West remained quiet about the persecution of Kurds in Turkey, a Western ally. His critiquing the “historical engineering” of the West to the detriment of the Palestinians and the “Peace Process” is also enlightening.8 In short, there are striking parallels between today’s Islamism and Europe’s radical leftism in the 1960s and 1970s. Both have drawn supporters from alienated angry youth.9

Although the Muslim World is quite restive and fast turning anti-Western, the Muslim-West relations during the heydays of European colonialism and the Cold War were not always all about hate and conflict. Muslim scholars, clerics and politicians on the one hand had been angry with the West, but on the other had also been awe-stricken by Western power and intellect. With the exceptions of the so-called Indian Wahhabis and the followers of Muhammad al-Mahdi in the Sudan in the 19th century, almost all the Muslim reformers in the Muslim World, in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, India and Indonesia encouraged Muslims to absorb the virtues of Western civilization, which they believed were not that different from the teachings of Islam. Consequently Islamic resurgence during the Colonial period was more of a quest for an “Islamic Renaissance” rather than an excuse for an anti-Western jihad. One may cite two leading Muslim reformers of the 19th century, Jamal al-Din Afghani (1838-1897) and Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) who urged Muslims to learn from the West science and technology, respect for the rule of law and human dignity.

The Muslim World and the West have been at loggerheads for centuries. During the 8th and 17thcenturies, Muslim caliphates and empires had been the most formidable superpowers from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean World. Europeans in general either remained awe stricken by their Muslim hegemons or hell-bent to turn the table to their own advantage. As Dante’s The Divine Comedy (written between 1308 and1321) is an epitome of hatred for Islam and its Prophet, so is Voltaire’s play, Fanaticism or Mahomet the Prophet (written in 1736). Hegel, Francis Bacon, Marx or Max Weber, among other Western scholars, had hardly any kind word for Islam either. Hegel and Marx through their discourse of “Oriental Despotism” portrayed the Orient, including the Muslim World, as inferior to the glamorous and enlightened West. The “Orientalists” only noticed despotism, splendor, cruelty and sensuality in the Muslim World to legitimize Western colonial hegemony in the orient.10 British colonial rulers used expressions like “mad mullah” and “the noble savage” to undermine Muslim rebels and their followers in the Middle East and South Asia.11 Derrida’s call for deconstructing the European “intellectual construct of Islam” is very pertinent. He rightly ridicules the much-used Western expression “Judeo-Christian” civilization as ahistorical and prejudicial to Muslims as Islamic culture also enriched Western civilization.12 Edward Said’s Orientalism is simply an eye-opener and a path breaking deconstruction of the age-old Western Orientalist prejudice against Arabs and Muslims.

Western prejudice against Islam is not altogether unexpected. Many Muslim rulers during the heydays of “Islamic Empires” had been extremely prejudicial, exploitative and oppressive to their non-Muslim subjects. The subjugation of the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) and most East European countries by Muslim rulers for four to seven centuries and the extermination of around a million Armenians by Turks in 1915-17 may be mentioned in this regard. Muslim clerics’ and intellectuals’ love for the subjective and faulty interpretations of some Quranic verses to glorify subjugation of non-Muslims have also strengthened Islamophobia in the West. Many Muslim writers still glorify Muslim tyrants and barbaric invaders like Sultan Mahmud of the 11th and Ahmad Shah Abdali of the 18th centuries and lament the loss of “Islamic Empires” and the “loss” of Cordova, Granada and the Ottoman and Mughal Empires. They love to blame the West for their present state of powerlessness.

Western colonial hegemony over almost the entire Muslim World for a couple of centuries up to the mid-20th century and the postcolonial Western treatment of the Muslims in general and Arabs in particular have further widened the gap between the worlds of Islam and the West. Only Turkey may be singled out as a Muslim-majority country, which ran a parallel and rival colonial empire in Eastern Europe, North Africa and Middle East for centuries. However, the loss of Turkey’s last vestiges of its empire soon after World War I sent two ominous signals to Muslims, especially in the Indian Subcontinent, that: a) while the Muslim World was under European (Christian) domination, Muslim supremacy and conquests of non-Muslim territories had become history; and b) with the demise of the Ottoman caliphate, Indian Muslims had no one else to help them out of British hegemony. The culture of suspicion and hatred between Muslims and the West is all about fear, based on past experience, present conflicts and the prospect of their continuation in the future.

European colonial powers’ arbitrarily drawing lines “across the desert”, which created artificial states like Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia and truncated entities like Syria and Iraq. They also made Kurdistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Pashtunistan and Balochistan disappear as independent entities. British Field Marshal Archibald Wavell’s observation about the potentially catastrophic effect of the Peace or redrawing the map of Europe and the Middle East after World War I has been prophetic: “After ‘the war to end war’ they seem to have been successful in Paris at making a ‘Peace to end Peace’”.13 The postcolonial Western hegemonic designs in the Muslim World have been equally disastrous for most Muslims. From the establishment of Israel to the overthrow of democratically elected government in Iran (1953), the Anglo-French and Israeli invasions of Egypt in 1956, and the Israeli invasion and occupation of territories in Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967; the overthrow of Saddam Hussein with flimsy excuses, lies and deceptions; and last but not least the America-led vitriolic campaigns against Iran, Syria and Pakistan may be cited in this regard. These events, among many other examples of Western duplicities and flagrant violations of human rights and international law in the Muslim World, further widened the gulf between the Muslim and Western worlds. Thus the surge in anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim World is a colonial legacy as well as a postcolonial phenomenon, a legacy of defeats and humiliation for the Ummah.

Now, how are postcolonial countries different from those who have never been colonized? We find Hamza Alavi’s appraisal of postcolonial societies very pertinent in this regard. In a nutshell, Alavi has explained that unlike colonial powers and countries that have had no colonial masters in the past, postcolonial countries in general suffer from the colonial tradition of having over-developed civil and military bureaucracy and under-developed civil society. Postcolonial rulers run the top-heavy bureaucratic structure and maintain the old colonial infrastructure as well as the political culture of mass subservience to the ruling elites.14 In short, postcolonial states remain fractured; especially the artificial entities like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan and even better run Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Problematic “New World Order”: Islamophobia vs. Westophobia

This is still enigmatic to the West: What does a Muslim want?Then again, “Muslim” and “Islam” are not monolithic or homogeneous entities. Islam and Muslims are quite different in Algeria from Afghanistan or Balochistan; and so are “Islamisms”, as Aijaz Ahmad has used the expression as a plural noun.15 Conversely, most Muslims have little or no understanding of Western culture, norms and behavior; and above all, have no clues as to “what does the West want Muslims to do?”.This lack of mutual understanding is at the root of the mutual prejudice against each other. Western scholars’ “demonology” to hurt Islam16 is extremely vile and distressing for Muslims. While “Neo-Orientalist” Western scholars– Lewis, Huntington and others – are condescending towards Islam and Muslims, the avowedly anti-Islamic Pope Benedict XVI, Daniel Pipes, Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, Geert Wilders, Rush Limbaugh, General (ret) William Boykin, Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson, to name only a few, have been promoters of sensational Islamophobia by branding Islam nothing more than an “evil and wicked religion”. Many of them believe that terrorism derives from the teachings of the Quran and Prophet Muhammad; and that the average Muslim is a potential terrorist supporter, or even worse, a suicide bomber17. Interestingly, Lewis has come to a middle ground putting Islam in between a “violent” and “peaceful” religion, albeit tacitly supporting the “clash of civilizations” theory.18

In view of the wide gap between the American ideals and realities – American means White – we may assume that mainly racism and xenophobia have molded American Islamophobia. Until the phenomenal rise in Muslim immigration since the 1970s, Black American Muslims represented the bulk of the Muslim population in America. As part of the marginalized and grossly discriminated against Afro-Americans, apparently the Black Muslims did not exist as another categoryamong the marginalized. The various genres of “Islamic” movements among the Black Muslims, which mobilized support for anti-White Supremacy among their adherents up to the 1980s, never emerged as the “Islamic menace” to the main stream of Americans. The rise of “immigrant Islam”, as Jackson explains, “has complicated this enterprise in at least two ways.” Firstly, immigrant Muslims did not join the Black Muslim movements as they considered race as “Islamically irrelevant”. Secondly, their overall acceptance by the main stream Americans appeased most of them. However, the second generation and new Muslim immigrants have different expectations. They want better job opportunities, living condition, respect and dignity. They are going through the same phase, which Jewish, Irish, Italians, Chinese and other immigrants had gone through in the past.19

Case studies of alienated and marginalized Muslim Diaspora in regards to their support for the “global jihad” and “homegrown” terrorism are quite revealing. One study reveals an American-born Pakistani Muslim medical student in America, who did never consider himself American. He was unable to reconcile Islam and refused to be assimilated into “some jive, subaltern, ‘honorary’ whiteness”. He also did not know “where to go, what to do, how to do it” and felt that many “colored” Muslim youths were “getting so lost that” all they saw was “jihad”. The study reveals that second and third generation American Muslims, thanks to racially motivated Islamophobia; belong to a “racial noncategory”. Interestingly, neither Arab-Turkish-Iranian-Pakistani-Afghan Muslim immigrants want to join “American Blackness” as they consider Black identity a stigma, nor are White and Black Americans willing to categorize them as Black Muslims. In sum, it appears that Muslim immigrants and their children will remain “shackled to an explicitly non-American racial identity, anti-immigrant Islamophobia in this country may simply, and sadly, come to know no bounds.”20 The Muslim immigrant experience in Europe is even worse.

As we know, modern Islamophobia in America predates 9/11, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 signaled its ascent. However, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the consequential Muslim-West alliance against the invaders somewhat neutralized the Western hatred of Muslims up to the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Apparently, during the Afghan “jihad”, American media, intellectuals and politicians singled out minority Shiism not Sunni Islam as the main adversary of America. Nevertheless, the growing surge of Islamophobia in America led to the foundation of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in 1980. The ADC aimed at raising public awareness against the growing prejudice against Arab Muslims in America. By early 1990s, following the ADC the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) came into being for protecting Muslim civil rights in America.

However, not long after the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, Islamophobia got a new lease of life in America. Not only leading American media, analysts and “experts” on Islam and Middle East imputed the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 to Arab Islamists, but there has also been a phenomenal rise in American Islamophobia across the board. In 2002 around thirty-eight percent Americans had favorable views of Islam, by 2007 it went down to fifteen percent.21 In July 2012, several Republican politicians under the leadership ofCongresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota alleged that the Obama administration had hired several hardcore Muslim Brotherhood members in the Homeland Security Department. They singled out Huma Abedin (an Arab American), the Deputy Chief of Staff of Hillary Clinton, as one of the leading Brotherhood supporters who are said to have penetrated the Homeland Security Department.22

Meanwhile Huntington’s so-called theory of the “clash of civilizations” and leading Islamophobes’ hateful writings and speeches had further widened the gap between White and Neither-White-nor-Black Muslims in America. Unfortunately for the Muslims, Islamophobia is no longer a historical phenomenon that occurred only in the past. It is very much around in every Western country, including the relatively liberal northwestern Europe and North America. We find Deepa Kumar’s findings very refreshing in this regard. She has pointed out, while Bush Sr. and Clinton had eschewed Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” thesis, Bush Jr. and Tony Blair were ardent admirers of the thesis that demonizes Muslims and Asians in general. The post-9/11 West loves to demonize Islam and Muslims. Many in the West cannot differentiate Muslims and Arabs. The West in general believes that Islam is a “uniquely sexist religion, the ‘Muslim mind’ is incapable of rationality and science, Islam is inherently violent, and the West spreads democracy, while Islam spawns terrorism”.23

While ultra-conservative radio talk-show host Michael Savage wants forcible conversion of Muslims into Christians to turn them into “human beings”, Daniel Pipes considers Muslim customs “more troublesome than most”.24 Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh’s portrayed Barack Obama as an “Arab” Muslim not an African American in September 2008: “He is from Arab parts of Africa”. Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain’s “defense” of Obama was also problematic. He said Obama was not an Arab but a “decent family man”, as if Arabs are not nice family men.25 Last but not least, George W. Bushonce portrayed Islam as the “Green Menace” and later as a “religion of peace”. Donald Rumsfeld’s equating Islam with “danger”, McCain’s assertion that America was founded  “primarily on Christian principles” and Mike Chickadee’sobservation that “more Pakistani illegal’s” than Mexicans were coming across America has been Islaomophobic assertions.26 Islamophobes write about the “benign neglect” of Europe towards radical Islam.27 Some of them accused Muslims for the Oklahoma City bombing, and many of them think that Muslims will eventually wage a jihad against America to establish an Islamic empire.28

Quite ominously, not only a serving general, William Boykin (now retired) vilified Islam as an evil religion and the “Muslim God” as “devil”, but some politicians are also unable to hide their prejudice against Islam. Congressman Peter King (R-NY) publicly vilified American Muslims as “radicalized” and “unpatriotic” believing that eighty percent mosques in the country were controlled by radical imams. He did not acknowledge the fact that after 9/11, American Muslims helped prevent at least one-third al Qaeda terrorist plots in the country, and that American mosques have been instrumental in de-radicalizing American Muslims. 29 Peter King, who headed the Congressional Hearings on Islamic Radicalism in America in March 2011, once complained that there were “too many mosques” in America.30 Days after Peter King’s prejudicial remarks about Muslims,a Southwest Airlines employee offloaded a hijab-wearing female Muslim passenger at San Diego International Airport on March 13 2011, for “security reasons”.31
One may mention the offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, which portrayed him as a suicide bomber hiding bombs in his turban; the movement for banning erection of minarets in mosques in Switzerland; the opposition to the building of a mosque two blocks off the “Ground Zero” in New York; the burning of the Quran by a Christian pastor in Florida; and last but not least, the Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders’s portrayal of Islam as “Europe’s greatest problem – not just today, but already for decades now” and his comparing the Quran with Hitler’s Mein Kampf may be mentioned to highlight the growing tide of Islamophobia in the West.32 Pastor Terry Jones of Florida, who publicly burned down copies of the Quran in March 2011, promised a “trial of Muhammad”.33 He considers Islam a religion of the Devil and all non-Christians, including Jews, Hindus and Muslims, devils.  The burning of the Quran led to widespread violence against Western and Christian interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While Afghan mob raided UN compound in Kabul and killed seven foreign workers, Pakistanis killed several Christians and burned down churches.34 As analysts believed the Quran burning had benefitted Islamist extremists, General Petraeus considered it posing “new dangers for the U.S.-led war efforts” in Afghanistan.35

While American Fox TV commentator Bill O’Reilly equated the Quran with Mein Kampf, Reverend Jerry Vines portrayed Prophet Muhammad as a “demon-possessed-pedophile”. Reverend Jerry Falwell called the Prophet a “terrorist” and George W. Bush’s pastor Reverend Franklin Graham called Islam “a very wicked religion”. 36 The growing popularity of the “Born-again-Christian” leaders in America who also hate Islam (their hatred for Obama is due to his race and alleged faith in Islam) is simply widening the gap between the Muslim and Western worlds. The prejudice against everything Islamic and Muslim in America is growing among ordinary peaceful citizens from all walks of life. They mobilize support among people and seek government intervention against building new mosques and Islamic centers by American Muslims. It seems those who oppose the construction of a mosque at the “Ground Zero” do so to preserve the “sanctity of the place”, while others oppose building of mosques to “save America from the onslaught of Shariah law”. Several leading “Anti-Shariah”, rather Islamophobic organizations in the US, such as ACT for America and TheCall have been active in promoting Islamophobia in the name of protecting America from the “demonic” Shariah law and for establishing the supremacy of Christianity.37

The organized protests and agitations against a proposed mosque and Islamic center at Murfreesboro, a small town in Tennessee, may be cited in this regard.38 The anti-mosque campaign at Murfreesboro since late 2010 has led to a statewide disturbingly hateful campaign against Islam and Muslims in Tennessee. As we see in the media, state Senator Bill Ketron and Rep. Judd Matheny introduced a bill in the Senate and House in Tennessee in February 2011. Considering Shariah law a danger to homeland security the bill gives the Attorney General authority to investigate complaints and decide who is practicing it.It exempts peaceful practice of Islam but labels any adherence to Shariah law, including Islamic practices such as “feet washing and prayers as treasonous”. It claims Shariah adherents want to replace the Constitution with their religious law. “A dozen other states are considering anti-Shariah bills, and there’s a federal lawsuit in Oklahoma over one”.39 According to the Tennessee state Senator Ketron the bill “is an anti-terrorism measure that will allow state and local law enforcement to act decisively at the earliest point to stop terrorist acts.” He also believes that the bill “gives the Attorney General the authority to ‘designate’ a ‘Sharia organization’ under specific guidelines defined in the bill, including intent to engage in Sharia jihad through violent or criminal activity.”40  Although camouflaged as a defensive move to “save America” from terrorist attacks, the bill reflects the proponents’ xenophobia, racism and prejudice against Muslims. Since the overwhelming majority of Muslims in America do not want to implement Shariah code, let alone want to “engage in Sharia jihad” the bill is provocatively Islamophobic. As of July 2012, the Murfreesboro Council, did not allow Muslims to say their prayer in the mosque they had already built there.

The frenzy against Islam and Muslims, as reflected in the American media, may be just the tip of the iceberg. The rising hate crime against Muslims in America and the growing popularity of Islamophobic politicians, TV Evangelists and radio and TV talk-show hosts among Americans do not bode well for freedom, equal opportunity and racial harmony in the “land of opportunity”.  One may guess how popular some ultra-right Islamophobic talk-show hosts in America are. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, for example, make around sixty and thirty-three million dollars per year, respectively.41 In this backdrop we may agree with Akbar Ahmed that Western prejudice against Islam has been an important factor behind the rise of Islamist extremism. He believes that al Qaeda and their ilk adhere to extreme tribalism out of their sense of belonging to an exclusive community; and that this “Hyper-Asabiyya” or tribalism reflects their “Post-Honor Symptom”, which leads to their resorting to terrorism against the West.42

Not only America but also Europe and Australia are fast becoming Islamophobic. The alarmist Islamophobic concept of Eurobia, which stands for the specter of Arabization of Europe, is a new development in the West. Egyptian born Jewish writer Bat Ye’or is a leading exponent of this theory. Her thesis is simple: Europe has allowed itself to be taken over by Arab interests as it largely depends on Arabian oil. While Islam in Europe has not been Westernized, Europe has become “increasingly compliant” to Muslims “out of a fear of social unrest and terrorism”. She ascribes the “growing” anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism to the “Euro-Arab” axis, which she thinks is a threat not just to the existence of Israel, but also to the survival of Europe. Should current trends continue, she warns, the future of Europe could be one of dhimmitude, or subservience to their future Muslim masters? 43 In view of the small number of Muslims in Europe – only around four per cent of the population – the concept of Eurobia sounds exceedingly racist and Islamophobic. Although Muslims tend to be more religious and conservative than most Europeans, there are plenty of secular, non-practicing and non-believing Muslims in Europe.44 Tariq Ramadan’s succinct assessment of the Swiss “Minaret Ban” is an eye-opener in this regard: “There are only four minarets in Switzerland, so why is it that it is there that this initiative has been launched?…. The minarets are but a pretext …” 45 A German politician publicly asserted that Islam “did not really belong in Germany because it was not rooted in the country’s long Christian history and way of life.46 Recommending the total obliteration of Islam, one Islamophobe suggests:

“This blood-thirsty Muslim mentality has trickled down to the newest convert to Islam be he or she Brown, Black, Yellow or White. … So Islam will have to be the first to be removed from the path of human progress and the reply to Islam to be effective would have to be more blood-thirsty and paranoid than Islam itself. …After Islam is militarily defeated and then destroyed; the need of the day would be to come up with workable creative ideas, for brainwashing the remaining religious fanatics with techniques like anesthesia leading to amnesia and re-education of such brainwashed ex-religious fanatics; or the use of mass lobotomy to achieve the same result [emphasis added].47

A pre-9/11 report on the growing Islamophobia in Britain shed light on the main characteristics of the phenomenon. British Islamophobes, according to the report, separate the Muslim “others” from the main stream of the population, as “not having any aims or values in common with other cultures”; and as “inferior to the West – barbaric, irrational, primitive, sexist, … supportive of terrorism, engaged in a clash of civilizations”. They justify anti-Muslim hostility as “natural and normal”.48 Some scholars impute Islamophobia in Europe to West Europe’s colonial hangover, racism and xenophobia. They believe that, paradoxically growing unemployment as well as White Europeans’ “self-love” and pride at the successful integration of Western Europe through the EU have strengthened Islamophobia in Western Europe. They also believe that the post-9/11 “War on Terror” has been an important factor in this regard.49

Of late Western print and electronic media, Christian evangelists and Holly Wood have become quite paranoid about Islam and its adherents. One may cite dozens of Hollywood movies, including “True Lies” as Islamophobic. Muslims throughout the world are aggrieved and angry at the promotion of Islam-bashing writings and statements by “former Muslims” like Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Arshad Manji. Ehsan Jami, an “ex-Muslim” member of the Dutch Labor Party (PvdA), is one of the latest to join the Islam-bashers’ bandwagon. In late 2008, he produced a fifteen-minute video, “Interview with Muhammad”, which most Muslims would consider extremely vulgar and offensive. A Jewish newspaper from New York went further in promoting hatred against Islam and its followers in the following manner: “Moreover, the only way to deal with Islamic terrorists is the same way in which they deal with their victims …. They killed our innocents, and unless we kill theirs, they will go on killing ours.”50 Conservative Republicans and right-wing Christians adore Islam-bashing “former Muslim” Hirsi Ali who publicly asks Muslims to convert into Christians.51

As Western and Zionist hate-mongering against Muslims is problematic so is their glorification of anti-Islamic writers. Conferring knighthood on Rushdie might have strengthened some Muslims’ belief that the West is “inherently” anti-Islamic, hence a “legitimate target”. Pope Benedict XVI’s inadvertent / careless quoting a medieval source, which is quite pejorative to Islam, added fuel to the fire. Sherry Jones’s controversial novel, The Jewel of Medina,an ahistorical depiction of Ayesha, Prophet Muhammad’s wife, which is extremely offensive to Muslims is yet another addition to the Islamophobic literature. What is lacking in the insensitive Western mind is any historical hindsight or the ability to understand Islamist terrorism and Muslim backwardness. Western governments, media and intellectuals defend scurrilous writings and portrayal of Islam as a demonic and violent faith as parts of the Western freedom of expression. The ongoing debate on “free speech vs. blasphemy” is a bit problematic as Britain still has blasphemy law and in the US, people sometimes suffer at their workplace just because of their views: a) Professor Ward Churchill lost his job at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for his very offensive essay on 9/11 in 2007; and b) in June 2007, the DePaul University denied tenure to Professor Norman G. Finkelstein for his “anti-Semitic” publications. Paradoxically, while one may go to jail for anti-Semitic writings or statements, one enjoys the impunity for defiling Islam and Muslims in whatever manner one chooses to do so in the West.

Muslim fanatics, on the other hand, are unequivocal about their praise for “The Magnificent Nineteen”, who took part in the Nine-Eleven attacks. Muslim radicals, Abu Hamza al-Masri, Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary among others, may be mentioned in this regard.52 From Sayyid Qutb’s vitriol against everything American – its jazz music to hair-cut, love for boxing and other violent sports, and free-mixing to “animal-like” sexual promiscuity – to his modern counterparts’ rabid Westophobia, we hardly see any meeting ground for the Western and Muslim minds. Qutb, said to have inspired both Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri, was so hateful of the West that he propounded his dogma of “jihad” not to defend any country by Muslims but to destroy the “Evil West”.53 Consequently nothing short of considering hate-crime a violation of human rights and dignity is going to resolve the issue. It is time to draw a line between “freedom of speech” and “freedom from humiliation”.54

However, Islamophobia and Westophobia do not represent the main stream of the Western and Islamic populations. As there is a broad difference between what al Qaeda wants and what the vast majority of Muslims aspire for,55 similarly the West in general is sensitive to Muslim sentiments although it is equally stubborn about defending people’s freedom of expression. Despite Samir Amin’s portrayal of Islamist organizations as erstwhile collaborators of the West for preferring capitalism to communism during the Cold War,56 undoubtedly, in the post-Cold War era Islamists visualize an alternative global order to Western hegemony.57 Nevertheless, Islamists often cooperated and even collaborated with the West, sometimes by playing the Islamic card and sometimes by championing the causes of Islamic modernism and democracy to fight the common enemy, such as Russians in Afghanistan; Dr. Mossadegh’s secular nationalism in Iran and among others, Saddam Hussein. Nevertheless, the overwhelming Muslims throughout the world have always been against al Qaeda and killing of innocent people under any pretext.

The Iranian example of Islamist-West collaboration in the 1950s is very remarkable. The avowedly anti-Western Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani (1882-1962), who had earlier supported the nationalization of Iranian oil, later favored Mossadegh’s overthrow and favored the Shah.58 From the first Iranian president (February 1980-June 1981) Bani-Sadr’s own account it appears that “90 percent of the foremost Shiite religious leaders”, including Kashani and Khomeini, had earlier opposed the concept of Vilayet-i-Faqih or the “sovereignty of the Islamic jurist”.59 Madeline Albright has rightly considered the CIA-sponsored coup against the Mossadegh Government in 1953 “clearly a setback for Iran”.60 In hindsight, one may assume that but for Western duplicity, including promotion of autocrats in the Muslim World, Islamism would not have been that well entrenched as it is today.

What started with the Iranian Revolution in 1979 – phenomenal resurgence of Islamism in the world – was further intensified after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the same year. Meanwhile, considering the Iranian Revolution purely a Shiite aberration, the West had remained complacent about any such revolution in the Sunni World. Aijaz Ahmad has rightly attributed the rise of Islamism since the late 1970s to Carter’s and Reagan’s Cold War exigencies; while the former organized the “jihad” against the Soviet Union, the latter considered the mujahedeen as “moral equivalents of our [American] Founding Fathers”.61 It is noteworthy that in early 1980, sporting a Pashtun-style turban, Carter’s adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski formally declared the “jihad” against Soviet Union at Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan. Mamdani may be right that both al-Qaeda and the neo-conservatives in the U.S. were “Reaganite twins born on the winning side of the Cold War” and hell-bent “to remake” the world through violence. Giving the devil his due, Mamdani even defends Bernard Lewis, who unlike Huntington and other neo-cons does not portray all Muslims as anti-modern, “tribal” and fascistic. Mamdani thinks George W. Bush invaded Iraq after being influenced by the neo-cons’ gurus, Huntington and his ilk, who considered the “Green Peril” or Islam as the biggest threat to the West.62

Although Rushdie, among other Islamophobes, blamed Islam for 9/1163 , many Muslims and non-Muslims hold either the U.S. or Israel responsible for the attacks. By late 2010, while 43 percent Egyptians and on the average seven percent of the world population believed Israel had been behind 9/11; 36 per cent Turks, 30 per cent Mexicans and 23 percent Germans blamed the U.S for the attacks. Globally, around 15 percent people believed the U.S. had orchestrated 9/11.64

“Global Jihad” under Globalization

Notwithstanding the controversy about the Globalization process, there is, sort of a consensus among scholars about the broad definition of the concept, which theoretically stands for the growing integration of economies and societies around the world to eliminate state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders. “Global Jihad” or “Globalized Islam”, on the other hand are loaded concepts. Interestingly, Islamists and Islamophobes seem to have agreed that “Global Jihad” stands for the destruction of the West. Now, to find out if Islam is “irreconcilable” with free trade, market economy, democracy, human rights and gender equality, we may consider the facts that throughout the pre-colonial medieval world during the 8th and 17th centuries Muslims represented the most powerful and resourceful global powers. “In the year 1000, the Middle East was the crucible of world civilization. One could not lay acclaim to true learning if one did not know Arabic, the language of science and philosophy….This [Islamic] supremely urbane civilization cultivated genius. Had there been Nobel Prizes in 1000, they would have gone exclusively to Moslems”, observes one Western/Israeli scholar.65

While Ernest Gellner considers Islam to be the “only global, credible political system”, Akbar Ahmed finds similarities between Islam and Protestantism, radical, ascetic, anti-magical and disciplined, “not incompatible with capitalism”.66 To Gellner: “The secularization thesis does not apply to Islam. In the course of the last one hundred years, the hold of Islam over the minds and hearts of believers has not diminished and, by some criteria, has probably increased…. Christianity has its Bible belt: Islam is a Qur’an belt.”67 Juergensmeyer is equally incisiveand thinks that much of the world “neither understands nor finds ‘secular state’ attractive”; and that religious nationalism is a fact of life and will be with us for a long time to come; and we should not demonize religious nationalism; and it is time to reconstruct, not deconstruct.68 The overwhelming majority of the Muslims want to be integrated with the global system, aspiring for Islamic Modernism if not Westernization. They do not want to remain marginalized in the periphery. Then again, as per Islamic ethics, there is not much room for profligacy in Muslim culture. Majid Rahnema has spelled it out as a vice of modernism, “A modern person is one with unlimited needs”; and this is not acceptable to the average Muslim.69

We cannot understand Muslim reservations about Globalization unless we understand as to why well-informed people in the Third World in general and Western scholars and leaders having broader world view and sympathy for the Third World are also opposed to the “process” if not to Globalization per se. Globalization is a process as well as a revolution; and revolutions affect religions. Very similar to how the Geographical Discoveries and Renaissance, Industrial and French revolutions, nationalism, socialism, fascism, Nazism, the World Wars and the postcolonial world orders affected religions globally, the post-Cold War Globalization process has been doing the same to premodern cultures and nations, including Muslims. James Kurth shows how premodern religions perceive ideas and systems emerging out of Globalization as threats to their existence. By invoking theology, custodians and followers of such religions join the anti-Globalization bandwagon. He argues that the anti-Globalization movement by premodern people represents the conflict between the insecurity of premodern order and the postmodern Globalization, a conflict between theology and new ideology. He also believes that Muslim and Hindu revivals are not necessarily anti-Globalization but they reflect their failures to cope with Globalized modernism and secularism. Nevertheless, he has aptly argued that the failure of Arab and Iranian nationalisms led to Islamic revival; and that Islamic revivalists not by design but by default are opposed to Globalization, which represents the neo-imperialist interests of the West, backed by the IMF and WTO. He also ascribes this opposition to too much of democracy, secularism and unbridled capitalism associated with Globalization.70

While premodern Muslims’ reservationsabout secularism and democracy might have heightened their opposition to Globalization, nevertheless the not-so-benign designs of those who promote Globalization have deflated the balloon of Globalization. Some analysts believe that Globalization neither signals the “end of history” nor the advent of “free trade” and a “flat world”. By restricting the free flow of labor and by only allowing the free flow of capital, Globalization has widened the North-South gap. It has also  “globalized” terrorism. Relative modernization of certain Muslim-majority countries due to the positive effects of Globalization is least acceptable to sections of ultra-conservative and backward Muslims.71

Globalization’s predatory role is a big factor behind its rejection by people in the Third World. Some analysts believe that: “Each year, for every $1 of aid money over the table from rich to poor countries, the West gets back $10 of ill-gotten gains under the table and, for good measure, lectures the rest on corruption”.72 Growing number of academics, intellectuals and some politicians are getting disillusioned by Globalization.73 Despite the rhetoric, Globalization has hardly any positive correlation with (free) market economy. American farm subsidy to millions of rich farmers adversely affects poor cultivators from Haiti to Honduras, Brazil to Bangladesh, Egypt, Equador and Pakistan to the Philippines. Annually American farmers get more than $200 billion subsidy to keep the price of their produce – corn, cotton, wheat, rice, soybean and other crops – artificially low. In the process, what happens is anything but capitalism or market economy. Analysts attribute hunger in Haiti and terrorism and Islamist resurgence in Egypt and Pakistan to US farm subsidy. In March 2010 President Bill Clinton, as UN Special Envoy to Haiti, publicly apologized to Haitian farmers for destroying their rice farming through farm subsidy to US farmers under his administration.74

Notwithstanding the controversy about the Globalization process, it has enlightened and emboldened people across the globe by providing new information, especially postmodern ideas to question and challenge hegemonic ideas, institutions and entities.75 One should not expect “postmodernization of cultures”, which amounts to a decline in high culture and “pluralization of lifestyles”, in the Muslim World. The Muslim World is yet to have gone through its Renaissance and Reformation.76 As Akbar Ahmed explains, while “modernism” is elitist, “postmodernism” is mass-oriented;77 and we know, the bulk of the Ummah is still under the spell of clerics and despots who despise change and hate democracy. Ironically, “de-classed” elites with ultra-radical (often anarchist-nihilist) Islamist ideologies have been striving for Muslim masses’ due share in the global arena by force. Islamist radicalism not only reflects Muslim aspirations for complete access to the market and free flow of labor along with capital, it is also reflective of Muslim identity crisis and quest for autonomy, dignity and freedom. Muslims believe that in pre-colonial days they had their own heydays of globalization where they had been dominant economically, politically and culturally. Islamism is mainly all about restoring that lost glory “stolen by the West”.

Muslims’ bad experience with pro-Western governments in their countries turned them into anti-Western; first under leftist influence during the Cold War and later under the influence of the mullah. Mullahs and village elders oppose mass education, secularism and the concept of equal rights to women both out of ideological and pragmatic considerations. Firstly, they consider democracy, secularism and women’s liberation un-Islamic; and secondly, they oppose mass adoption of modern health care system, secular education and empowerment of women apprehending losing their clients to Western-donor sponsored “development practitioners”. As the village mullah who runs mosque-bound religious schools (maktabs or madrassahs) is not willing to lose students to secular schools, the village quack is dead against modern clinics and health-carecenters in the countryside. Village moneylenders and other vested-interest groups also oppose NGOs and microcredit for the obvious reason. Thus apparently Western donor-driven NGOs and Islam at the grassroots have negative correlations. Some Pakistani mullahs’ successful campaigns against polio-vaccine as “un-Islamic” in remote northwestern Pakistani tribal areas and their Bangladeshi counterpart’s issuing fatwas against secular law, schools and NGOs may be mentioned in this regard. Again, there is no denying of NGO corruption and NGOs’, including Grameen Bank’s, charging exorbitantly high interest from poor borrowers. One may cite examples of NGO extortion from Bangladesh in this regard. The over-glorified Grameen Bank of Dr. Muhammad Yunus, BRAC, PROSHIKA, ASA and other Western donor-driven NGOs charge exorbitantly high rates of interest, around 20/30 percent and even more, from poor borrowers (mostly rural women).78 Ironically, despite the  “neo-moneylenders’” impunity, lack of accountability and transparency, Western leaders, donors, analysts, academics, “pundits and experts” – from the Clintons to Queen Sofia of Spain – glorify these successful entrepreneurs (who again, are exempt from income tax for running “charities”). Western leaders, bankers and donors put them on par with Mother Teresa. Dr. Yunus has already become a Nobel Laureate and in 2009, the British Queen knighted Mr. Abid of the BRAC, an NGO-runner in Bangladesh. One wonders, if it is Western arrogance, ignorance or insensitivity about Muslim resentment that it glorifies Islamophobes like Salman Rushdie (also knighted by the Queen) and controversial NGO-Business Runners in the Muslim World. This is in no way only a conflict of cultures, but mainly an elite conflict for hegemony; between the rich and powerful Western and the marginalized Islamic / leftist elites in the Third World.

It is noteworthy that not only orthodox Muslims and mullahs are critical of the NGO-culture and other IMF-World Bank or Western donor-driven projects in the Muslim World, but presently marginalized, former leftist intellectuals and activists are also vocal against the Globalization Process. There seems to be a growing Mullah-Marxist nexus within and beyond the Muslim World. British-Pakistani Marxist Tariq Ali even praised Hezbollah and Hamas for their anti-Western stands; and glorified the Taliban as freedom fighters championing Pashtun Nationalism.79 The flip side of the opposition to Globalization-cum-Westernization is also due to people’s genuine fear and bad experience with extortionist NGOs.Former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz is quite emphatic about how Western donors, and even the IMF’s “intrusiveness smacked of a new form of colonialism”.80 His further demonizing the Globalization Process for its inherent corrupt systems and methods is enlightening. His pinpointing flaws in Western banking system; including the “mortgage scam” and other corrupt practices, which he describes as “The Great American Robbery”, does not bode well for the over-glorified Globalization Process.81

Since Globalization has become synonymous with Westernization – which is again an anathema to most Muslims for espousing unbridled materialism, secularism and hedonism – Muslims are apprehensive of what is known as the “Davos Culture”. Muslims are paradoxically optimistic and pessimistic about their future at the same time. While radical Islamists talk about “taking over the White House one day”, the vast majority of Muslims having some understanding of the global system strive for equal opportunity in global perspective and is more than willing to integrate with Wallerstein’s “World System”. Interestingly, not-so-radical but socially conservative Islamists are not opposed to participating in the global system either, as most of them during the Cold War had no qualms about actively collaborating with the West favoring the capitalist world order.82 A survey of Muslim public opinion vis-à-vis Globalization in seven countries – Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Indonesia, the Palestinian Territories and Nigeria revealed that around 63 percent of Muslims viewed Globalization not as a threat; around 80 percent favored maintaining minimum standards for working conditions for the laborers.83 However, as Globalization stands for “total triumph of capitalism”, downtrodden people in the South are least enamored by this “part-promise, part-reality, and part-imagination”.84 The Muslim World is leading among the bitterest critics of the Globalization Process.Global Muslims — both culturally and economically – are among theleast developed people in the world from the Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and South Asia.


Although the West still controls less than fifteen percent of the world population, a sharp decline from 40 percent in 1900; the Muslim share went up from four percent in 1900 to thirteen in 1990, likely to be nineteen by 2025. Optimistic Muslims are striving for doing things for their own benefit their way, not the Western way any longer.85 Then again, Muslims are not the only critics of Globalization. As Mahathir Mohamad blamed Globalization for creating confusion and despair for Muslims, so did Kofi Annan portray it “not as an agent of progress but as a disruptive force” for “destroying lives, jobs and traditions”.86 Being disillusioned with the outcome of Globalization, Joseph Stiglitz asserts that “globalization has not succeeded in reducing poverty”, nor has it been able in ensuring global stability. He also agrees with its critics that Globalization has further empowered “hypocritical” Western countries, which have “pushed poor countries to eliminate trade barriers, but kept up their own barriers” to the detriment of the developing countries. He favors “saving Globalization from its advocates”.87 Pepe Escobar, deeply influenced by Hobsbawm, Wallerstein and Samir Amin, is another bitter critic of Globalization. Singling out the “immoral” neocons for global crises – including “Global Jihad” – echoing Wallerstein, he asserts that capitalist global order cannot guarantee any autonomy to the poorer states; and that America’s reticence to “multi-polar anarchy” will eventually lead to a “non-stop Liquid War”. He also subscribes to Amin’s views on American imperialism, which instead of aiming at integrating the various economies in the world “aims only at looting their resources”88.

Other Western critics of Globalization, former French President Sarkozy and Walden Bello for example, believe Globalization is responsible for “the death of laissez-faire capitalism”. They advocate Global Social Democracy (GSD), which includes massive aid programmed or another “Marshall Plan” from North to the South to eliminate poverty and for a “Second Green Revolution”, especially in Africa. De-emphasizing military action, the GSD wants the West to emerge as a “soft power” to benefit the global poor.89 Portraying Globalization as “Disaster Capitalism” and spelling out Shell and BP, Haliburton and Blackwater, Naomi Klein blames politicians and industrialists for “playing the bait-and-switch game to rip off the world” during the periods of wars and global economic crises.90

The World Social Forum (WSF) since its inception in 2001, with its passionate agenda against the Davos-based World Economic Forum is another anti-Globalization move led by neo-liberals and left-oriented people like Noam Chomsky. The WSF is trying to get the global Muslim support to work together against the US; and so far organized a successful WSF conference in Karachi in March 2006, attended by 20,000 people from 58 countries. The rallying points of the conference, also attended by Iranian and Palestinian delegates, included fighting for the rights of the Palestinians, protecting Iran’s sovereignty and opposing “anti-Muslim imperialism”.91

The World Islamic Economic Forum held in 2006 under the aegis of the Malaysian government is more of a “foundation” or trust than an organized global Muslim economic forum to “forge business collaboration and economic cooperation among Muslim nations”.92 So, global Muslims do not seem to be the only or most vocal among the critics of Globalization. The inadequate market accessibility is not exclusively a Muslim problem but an important issue dogging the North-South relationship or what Gunder Frank spelled out as “the core-periphery conflict”. Some apparently modern and rich countries with the latest amenities and technology are only partially integrated with Globalization. Culturally they are the least integrated with modern and postmodern ideas and institutions. The Muslim World is the least integrated with the Globalization Process. The Muslim World also shares the stigma of not being able to institutionalize democratic governance excepting in a handful of Muslim-majority countries.

To conclude, we may assume that “Social Democratic Globalization” could be an alternative tothe West-sponsored Globalization Process or “Disaster Capitalism”, to defuse the Muslim-West tension. Last but not least, the West must do something to contain the growing surge of unbridled Islamophobia in the West, by enacting laws against hate crime against Islam and its adherents. There is not going to be any remission in the Muslim-West tension without an alternative discourse of  bridge building between the two civilizations.


1) See Edward Said, Orientalism, Vintage, New York 1979

2) See M. Shahid Alam, Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essyas on the “War Against Islam”, IPI, North Haledon, NJ 2007

3)See Patrick Sookhdeo, Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam, Isaac Publishing, Three Rivers, MI 2007; Sarah E. Zabel, “The Military Starategy of Global Jihad”, , October 2007; WWIII, Islam’s Imperialist dream, Suicide bombing Islamic, to conquer Europe and America,; Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History, Yale University Press, 2007; BruceRiedel, “Terrorism in India and the Global Jihad”, Foreign Policy, November 30, 2008; Fawaz A. Gerges, “Iraq War Fuels Global Jihad: US intervention infuriates even mainstream Muslims, giving Al Qaeda and other jihadists a boost”, YaleGlobal, 21 December 2006; Oliver Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, Columbia University Press, 2004

4) Bernard Lewis, “What Went Wrong?”, The Atlantic Monthly, January 2002

5) Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, Perennial, New York  2003, p. 159

6) Edward Said, Orientalism, Vintage Books, New York 1979, See Chapter 3, “Orientalism Now”, pp. 201-328; Marshall G.S. Hodgson, Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam and World History, Cambridge University Press 1993, Chs. 7 & 10, pp. 97-125, 207-46; Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Terrorized by ‘War on Terror’: How a three-word mantra has undermined America”, The Washington Post, March 25, 2007

7)Juan Cole, Review of Bernard Lewis’ “What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response”, Global Dialogue, 27 January 2003

8)Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, ANANSI, Toronto 1989, “The Evil Scourge of Terrorism”, “Heroes and Devils” and “The ‘Peace Process’ in the Middle East”, pp.269-32

9) Max Rodenbeck, “The Truth About Jihad”, New York Review of Books, Volume 52, Number 13, August 11, 2005

10) Edward Said, Orientalism, Vintage Books, New York 1979, passim

11) Akbar S. Ahmad, Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society, Vistaar Publications, New Delhi 1990, pp. 117-40

12) Ibrahim Kalin, “ Islamophobia and the Limits of Multiculturalism” in John Esposito and  Ibrahim Kalin (eds), Islamophobia:The Challenege of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Oxford University Press, New York 2011, p.3

13) Anthony Padgen, Worlds at War: The 2500-Year Struggle between East and West, Oxford University Press, 2008, p.407

14) Hamza Alavi, “The State in Post-Colonial Societies: Pakistan and Bangladesh”, New Left Review, Vol. 74, July-August 1972

15) Aijaz Ahmad, “Islam, Islamisms and the West”, Socialist Register, February 2, 2006

16) M. Shahid Alam, Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essays on the “War Against Islam”, IPI, North Haledon, NJ 2006, pp. 3-39

17) See M. Shahid Alam, op cit; Akbar S. Ahmad, Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise, Penguin Books, New Delhi 1993, pp.1-50; “Anti-Muslim Comments by Evangelist Denounced by Progressive Religious Leaders: Interfaith Network Calls for Graham to Apologize to Muslim Community”, (accessed 15 October, 2009)

18) “Seven Questions: Bernard Lewis on the Two Biggest Myths About Islam”, Foreign Policy, August 2008

19) Sherman A. Jackson, “Muslims, Islam(s), Race, and American Islamophobia”, in  John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin (eds), Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Oxford University Press, New York 2011, pp.93-101

20) Ibid, pp. 100-105

21) Pew Research Center surveys between 2002 and 2007

22) CNN News, July 17, 2012

23) Deepa Kumar, “Framing Islam: The Resurgence of Orientalism During the Bush II Era”, Journal of Communication Inquiry, 34 (3), April 2010

24) John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin (eds), Islamophobia: The Challenege of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011 “Introduction” by John Esposito, pp. XXI-XXII

25) Sherman A. Jackson, “Muslims, Islam(s), Race, and American Islapmophobia”, in John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin (eds), Islamophobia: The Challenege of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011, pp.102-4

26) Juan Cole, “Islamophobia and American Foreign Policy Rhetoric: The Bush Years and After”, in John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin (eds), Islamophobia: The Challenege of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011, pp. 127-37

27) Bruce Bawer, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, Doubleday, London 2006; Melanie Phillips, Londonistan, Encounter Books, New York 2007

28) Steven Emerson,America Jihad: The Terrorists Living among Us, Free Press, Washington D.C. 2003, passim

29) Sally Steenland, “Congressional Hearings May Inflame Islamophobia”, February 3, 2011,

30) (accessed March 16, 2011), “Mr King’s Sound and Fury”New York Times,March 11, 2011

31) CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), “American Muslim News Briefs”, March 15, 2011,

32) Spiegel Interview with Geert Wilders, “Merkel Is Afraid”, November 9, 2010

33) CBS News, September 8, 2010; Terry Jones, Islam is of the Devil, Creation House, Lake Mary, FL 2010

35) The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2011

36) Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam Under Siege, Polity Press, Cambridge (UK), 2003, p.36

37) The Tennessean, November 12, 2011

38) “Unwelcome: Muslims as Neighbors”, CNN, March 27, 2011

39) “Tennesse bill would jail Shariah followers”, USA Today, March 23, 2011

40) The Tennesseean, February 23, 2011

41) “Newsweek’s Power 50”, Newsweek, November 8, 2010

42) Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam Under Siege, Polity Press, Cambridge (UK), 2003, p.16

43) Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Rutherford, NJ 2005, passim

44) Khaled Diab, “The Mythical European Umma”, Guardian, 21 August 2009

45) Tariq Ramadan, “Islam is a European Religion”, December 18, 2009 (accessed January 5, 2010)

46) “How Can He Do the Job?”, New York Times, March 8, 2011

47), January27,2009 (accessed October 16, 2010)

48) Runnymede Trust Report, “Islamophobia: A Challenge for All”, Summary of the Report, London 1997

49) Alex Rhys-Taylor, “Xenophobia: Europe’s death knell”, openDemocracy,, 10th May 2011 (accessed May 12, 2011)

50) Lawrence Kulak, “The Appropriate Response to Islamic Terror”, Five Towns Jewish Times, December 12, 2008, pp.59-61, March 12, 2009

51) Pankaj Mishra, “When will those brave critics of Islam decry this mob hate?”, The Guardian, 1 September 2010

52) Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN, September 5, 2010

53) Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, International Islamic Publishers, Karachi 1988, pp.67-70, 114-42; Richard Wike and Brian J. Grim, “Widespread Negativity: Muslim Distrust Westerners More than Vice Versa”, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life,, October 30, 2007

54) Karin Maria Svana, “Freedom of Speech vs. Freedom from Humiliation”, OpenDemocracy, 27 February, 2009

55) What Does Al-Qaeda Want? Unedited Communiques, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley 2004; John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed,Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (based on Gallup’s World Poll – the largest study of its kind), Gallup Press, New York 2007, passim

56) Samir Amin, “Political Islam in the Service of Imperialism”, Monthly Review, December 2007

57) Nikki Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism: Political and Religious Writings of Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, University of California Press, Berkeley 1968, pp. 84-97

58) Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies, Cambridge University Press, New York 1993, p.587

59) Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, My Turn to Speak: Iran, the Revolution & Secret Deals with the U.S., Brassey’s (US),Inc. New York 1991, p.10

60) Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley & Sons, New York 2003, p.212

61) Aijaz Ahmad, “Islam, Islamisms and the West”, Socialist Register, February 2, 2006, pp. 2-5

62) Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror, Doubleday, New York 2005, pp.10-23; “Al Qaeda and the Neocons are both Determined to Remake the World through Political Violence”, Boston Review, February/March 2005; Mamdani’s Interview with a Muslim blogger “Naseeb Vibes”, December 2, 2004, (accessed July 26, 2009)

63) Salman Rushdie, “This is About Islam”, New York Times, November 2, 2001

64) World Public, “International Poll: No Consensus On Who Was Behind 9/11”, (accessed November 11, 2010)

65) Martin Kramer, “Islam’s Sober Millennium”, The Jerusalem Post, December 31, 1999

66) Akbar Ahmed and Hastings Donnan (eds), Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity, Routledge, London1994, pp. 1-13

67) Ernest Gellner, “Foreword”, Akbar Ahmed and Hastings Donnan (eds), Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity, Routledge, London 1994

68) Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? Religious nationalism Confronts the Secular State, University of California Press, 1994, pp. 1-8, & 18-39 and Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State from Christian Militias to al Qaeda, California University Press, 2008

69) IDRC (Canada), “Economy and the Riches of the Poor”, October 20, 1998, March 2, 2009

70) James Kurth, “Religion and Globalization”, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Vol. 7, Number 7, May 1999

71) Nevzat Soguk, Globalization and Islamism: Beyond Fundamentalism, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Lanham MD 2010; Rohan Gunaratna, “The al-Qaeda Threat and the International Response” in David Martin Jones (ed), Globalization and the New Terror: The Asia Pacific Dimension, Edward Elgar, Northampton, MA, 2004, pp.51-69; Faisal Devji, Landscape of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality and Modernity, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 2004

72) Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur, “Exposing globalization’s dark side”, Japan Times, January 20, 2011

73) Stefan Theil, “Europe’s Philosophy of Failure”, Foreign Policy, January-February 2008

74) CNN News, November 1, 2011; “ ‘We Made a Devil’s Bargain’: Former President Clinton Apologizes for Trade Policies that Destroyed Haitian Rice Farming”, (accessed November 1, 2011)


75) Akbar S. Ahmed and Hastings Donnan, “Islam in the age of postmodernity” in Akbar S. Ahmed and Hastings Donnan (eds), Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity, Routledge, London 1994, pp. 1-13; Akbar S. Ahmed, Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise, Penguin Books, New Delhi 1993, Ch. 1

76) Bryan S. Turner, Orientalism, Postmodernism & Globalism, Routledge, London 1994, “Preface”

77) Akbar S. Ahmed, Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise, Penguin Books, New Delhi 1993, pp. 6-9

78) Taj Hashmi. Women and Islam in Bangladesh, Palgrave-Macmillan, New York 2000, Ch. 5, “NGOs and Empowerment of Women” and Ch. 6, “Militant Feminism, Islam and Patriarchy”

79) Imtiaz Baloch, “Tariq Ali praises Taliban and Hezbollah, mocks Baloch and Sindhi national movements”,, November 21, 2008 (accessed December 30, 2008)

80) Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents, W.W. Norton & Company, New York 2002, Ch 2, “Broken Promises”

81) Joseph Stiglitz, Freefall: America, Free Markets,and the Sinking of the World Economy, W.W.Norton & Company, New York 2010, chs.2,4 and 5

82) Samir Amin, “Political Islam in the Service of Imperialism”, Monthly Review, December 2007

83) World Public Opinion.ORG, “Muslims Positive About Globalization, Trade”,, August 29, 2008

84) Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post- Honor World, Polity,Cambridge, UK 2003,p.48

85) Fouad Ajami, “The Clash”, New York Times Sunday Book Review, January 6, 2008

86) Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam under Siege, Polity, Cambridge, UK 2003, p.49

87) Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents, W.W. Norton & Company, New York 2002, Chs. 1,2,8 & 9: “The Promise of Global Institutions”; “Broken Promises”; “The IMF’s Other Agenda” and “The Way Ahead”; and Making Globalization Work, W.W. Norton, New York 2007, passim

88) Pepe Escobar, Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War, Nimble Books, Ann Arbor, MI 2007, pp. 12-36 and Obama Does Globalistan, Nimble Books, Ann Arbor, MI 2009, passim

89) Kartin Benhold, “Sarkozy sees French way to globalize: Collectively”, International Herald Tribune, August 30, 2007; Walden Bello, “The Coming Capitalist Consensus”, Foreign Policy inFocus, December 24, 2008 and “Global Social Democracy is Possible Now”,, 2/13/2009 (accessed March 26, 2009)

90) Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capital, Metropolitan Books, New York 2007

91) South Asia News, “Delegates at World Social Forum Urge Muslim Unity Against US”,, 2/19/2009

92) “World Islamic Economic Forum Comes of Age in Islamabad”, Posted November 18, 2006, 2/19/2009

Taj Hashmi is Professor of Security Studies in Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, USA.