Articles and Research

The following are a series of must-read articles, papers and reports for anyone interested in understanding the phenomenon of Islamophobia. They include the basics of Islamophobe rhetoric, to in-depth analysis of Islamophobic law enforcement trainings and other campaigns which seek to vilify Muslims. Feel free to contact CAIR-Philadelphia and suggest any articles or reports you feel should be included here.

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Arabic for right-wingers

In ominous tones, Islamophobes toss around terms like “taqiyya” and “Shariah.” Do they even know what they mean?

By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliot of provides insight into the misuse of Arabic vocabulary used by anti-Islamic forces and preachers of Islamophobia. Pamela Geller, a founding member of SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America) and Congressman Newt Gingrich are prime examples of people that preach Islamophobia and misuse Arabic vocabulary. The article goes into detail about the specific words (jihad, shariah, taqiyya, etc.) used by Islamophobes and explains in full-detail as to what the words really mean.

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David Yerushalmi, the Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement

Around the country, efforts are afoot to restrict courts from considering Shariah or other foreign laws in making decisions. While the campaign appears spontaneous, it is not.

By Andrea Elliot
The New York Times

Working with a cadre of conservative public-policy institutes and former military and intelligence officials, Mr. Yerushalmi has written privately financed reports, filed lawsuits against the government and drafted the model legislation that recently swept through the country — all with the effect of casting Shariah as one of the greatest threats to American freedom since the cold war.

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Debunking the Misinterpretations of Muslim Sharia Law

CAP Event Examines Sharia Law and the Importance of Religious Tolerance

In recent months, more than two dozen states have proposed legislation that would prohibit the adoption of Sharia, the collective term for a range of religious practices followed by Muslims worldwide. Tenets of Sharia include daily prayer, charitable giving, and honoring one’s parents, which are very similar to practices in Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths. Making these practices illegal for Muslims would violate the Constitution and its protection of religious liberty for all Americans. [See video]

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How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam

There aren’t nearly enough counterterrorism experts to instruct all of America’s police. So we got these guys instead.

By Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze
Washington Monthly

The Department of Homeland Security and other local law enforcement agencies have used outside trainers who teach hostile, stereotypical, and grossly inaccurate information about Muslims and Islam to the nation’s security personnel. These “trainers” pose as experts, when in fact they are merely anti-Muslim bigots. The blending of dramatically skewed reports and inaccurate information are some methods as to how they mislead law enforcement.

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Jihad Against Islam

Rarely has the United States seen a more reckless and bare-knuckled campaign to vilify a distinct class of people and compromise their fundamental civil and human rights than the recent rhetoric against Muslims.

By Robert Steinback
Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, Summer 2011, Issue Number: 142

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., a second wave of anti-Muslim hatred is sweeping the country. This time, the outrage seems largely ginned up by politicians and others seeking to capitalize on Americans’ fears. This report highlights issue relating to anti-Islamic rhetoric and policies relating to current events and Muslims.

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Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, and the Threat to Rights and Security

A petition to Congress and relevant federal and local agencies to ensure that counterterrorism skills training delivered to public servants is accurate, consistent with national security policy, and respectful of constitutional rights.

By Thomas Cincotta
Political Research Associates

“Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security is a must read. Thom Cincotta’s heavily documented critical study uncovers and exposes the dangers to national security posed by a group of private security firms operating outside officially accredited systems. These firms offer anti-terrorism training programs, driven by an ideological agenda that trade facts for fiction and promote Islamophobic conspiracy theories that demonize mainstream Islam and Muslim communities.”

–John Esposito
Founding Director, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Professor of religion, international affairs and Islamic studies Georgetown University

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Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System

Across the country, state legislators are considering proposed laws that would limit the ability of courts to adjudicate lawsuits brought by Muslims. Proponents of these measures argue that they are necessary because so-called “Sharia law” is somehow taking over our courts. These claims are, simply put, wrong.

American Civil Liberties Union
A Report of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief

This report examines specific court cases that have been repeatedly cited by anti-Muslim groups as evidence of the so-called “Sharia threat.” When the court cases are examined more closely, the myth of the “Sharia threat” to our judicial system quickly disappears. Far from confirming some fabricated conspiracy, these cases illustrate that our judicial system is alive and well, and in no danger of being co-opted or taken over by Islam.

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The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism

Under the guise of defending freedom and American values, right-wing anti-Muslim activists are campaigning to prevent Muslim-Americans from freely worshiping and practicing their religion, curtail their political rights, and even compel their deportation.

A Report of the People for the American Way Right Wing Watch

A growing faction in the American Right claims that Muslim-Americans, who comprise just 1% of the population, are subverting the Constitution and taking over the country. These accusations have helped to foster anti-Muslim hostility, reflected in the rise of anti-Muslim prejudice and increased attacks on Muslim-Americans and houses of worship.

This report reviews eight key strategies employed by the Right to inflame anti-Muslim sentiment and turn hatred and bigotry into political weapons. It also details how those who believe in the American dream of pluralism and equality can fight back against this onslaught from the Right.

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