Islamophobia as a new type of McCarthyism

          After 9/11, the rising intolerance towards Muslim communities and the clash between different types of faith are examples of scapegoating that illustrate the reminiscence of Cold War ideologies and McCarthyism. This topic is relevant since Islamophobia has become a bigger issue today, after the terrorist attacks around the world.

          Authors I have read so far explain the scapegoating of Muslims, and the discrimination that the government makes in anti-terrorists programs. Most of the sources explore the exclusion of Muslim communities and the denial of their civil and religious rights. Scholars show this denial of rights through discriminatory arrest programs FBI-led. For instance, the PENTTBOM (Pentagon Twin Towers Bombings) or the PATRIOT Act allowed the FBI to conduct arrests based on the origin and appearance of a given “suspect.” Moreover, these sources show the “us” versus “them” mentality of the post 9/11 American public, and more importantly the rise in paranoia and fear of Muslims as potential terrorists. Indeed, after 9/11, public issues regarding religious freedom arose, such as the controversy about the Burqa or the Burkini this summer in France. The population, seeing in these sign of Islam a terrorist threat, fears an aggression by “infiltrated enemy combatants.”

          Throughout my research, I intend to talk about what these trends have become today, after the different terrorists attacks around the world and the War in Syria. More importantly, I intend to compare Islamophobia and McCarthyism, as both movement have similar traits, and it seems like some officials and personalities are trying to gain influence and audience inducing a fear of Muslims.



Thomas, Jeffrey L. Scapegoating Islam: Intolerance, Security, and the American Muslim. , 2015. Print. Chapter 2: “9/11 and the New Homeland Security paradigm”

Cesari, Jocelyne. Muslims in the West After 9/11: Religion, Politics, and Law. London: Routledge, 2010. Print. (Chapter 8 and 9)

Tamney, Joseph B. American Views of Islam, Post 9/11. Islamabad, Pakistan: Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, 2004. Print. (pages 1-19)


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