Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Esposito Discusses "Islamophobia-Global Implications"

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Esposito Discusses "Islamophobia-Global Implications"

Article excerpt

Georgetown University Prof. John Esposito addressed a crucial issue not many dare to speak out about at a Jan. 18 event sponsored by the World Affairs Council and held at the University of California Washington, DC Center. "Islamophobia is fast becoming pandemic in America," Dr. Esposito told his audience, noting that Islamophobia today is becoming for Muslims what anti-Semitism was for Jews. He quoted many notable people-including members of Congress, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, John Hagee, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage and more-who have made blatant Islamophobic remarks, and warned about the fear and racism that fill our newspapers and television programs. Examples include reports on issues such as the controversy of the "mosque on the Ground Zero" (which is actually five blocks away) and the threatened burning of the Qur'an by Terry Jones and his congregation of 13. Esposito noted that "The New York Post said 'Where there are mosques there are Muslims, and where there are Muslims there are problems," and that The Post also warns that New York could become "Newyorkistan," as London has become "Londistan." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stated that Muslims on ground zero would be like "Nazis outside a Holocaust Museum," Esposito said.

Explaining how Islamophobia became exacerbated after the events of 9/11, he went on to ask: "At what extent do we take extremism and breaststroke it across an entire religion?" While the phenomenon of Islamophobia is more pervasive in Europe, he added, the discrimination and racism in the U. …

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