Speaker Likens 'Islamophobia' to Anti-Semitism

March 27, 2008


Source: South Bend Tribune


Contemporary stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims as inferior, primitive and untrustworthy should have a familiar ring, according to Hussein Ibish.

Similar stereotypes were perpetuated historically by those who hate or mistrust Jewish people, said Ibish, executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership.

"It is impossible to look at anti-Semitic discourse and say it was bad and look at Islamophobia and say it is good," Ibish said Wednesday night during a speech at the University of Notre Dame.

Islamophobia is the term Ibish uses to refer to a fear or hatred of Islam, Muslims or Islamic culture.

Islamophobia has been growing in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but not necessarily as a direct result of the attacks, he told an audience of about 100 people in the Hesburgh Library auditorium.There is a correlation between defamatory rhetoric about Arabs and Muslims, and a rise in discrimination and hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and even individuals wrongly believed to be members of such groups, such as followers of the Sikh religion, he said.

See also: Islam, Islamophobia