It’s only January 2, but Sweden has already taken a strong lead in the competition for “most awesome country 2015″ by showing how decent people should respond to Islamophobic violence. Thousands of people turned out in Stockholm today for a rally supporting Muslims, in response to arson attacks on three Swedish mosques last week.

Read the rest at Vox.

“Lean has produced a brave and bold text that offers a new and potentially reconciliatory approach to the study of Islamophobia … clear and concise, with little academic jargon getting in the way … this work will no doubt be met with controversy.” — Chris Allen, in Ethnic and Racial Studies

Review of The Islamophobia Industry in Ethnic & Racial Studies Journal

During a recent episode of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher mocked President Obama’s insistence that the Islamic State does not represent Islam, and lambasted Islam as “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” One of Maher’s guests, actor Ben Affleck, called his remarks “gross” and “racist.”

The testy exchange went viral, prompting an important debate about the relationship between religion and violence. Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria, for instance, lamented the “cancer of extremism within Islam today,” while the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristoff described the diversity of the “Islamic world” and a bygone era where “Islam was not particularly intolerant.” Author Reza Aslan emphasized that the Islamic State, like Al Qaeda, is a “jihadist” group, not an “Islamist” one. Continue Reading…

Recently, I published a piece on Islamophobia in America for Oxford Islamic Studies Online’s Focus On series, which is a portal of the Oxford site that is available to the public and hosts scholarly pieces on a variety of issues. Click this image above, or visit this link to view the piece.