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Episode 20

Leadership and the Humanities Podcast

Episode 20: American Islamophobia—a History

The last European Crusade to the Near and Middle East took place in the fifteenth century, functionally culminating with the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The legacy of the Crusades—military campaigns conducted by European nations under the banner of the Catholic Church which sought to “reclaim” the Holy Land for Christendom from 1095 until 1453…

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The following works were used in this podcast:

“Arrests by Offense, Age, and Race.” Accessed November 3, 2020.

Buncombe, Andrew. “Muslim Hate Crimes: Reports of Islamophobic Incidents in the US Soared Again in 2016.” The Independent, May 14, 2017.

Burton, Jonathan. Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624. University of Delaware Press, 2005.

Byers, Bryan D., and James A. Jones. “The Impact of the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11 on Anti-Islamic Hate Crime.” Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice 5, no. 1 (February 1, 2007): 43–56.

“Civil Rights Report 2017: The Empowerment of Hate.” Civil Rights Report. Washington D.C.: Council on American-Islamic Relations, 2017.

Encyclopedia Britannica. “Crusades | Definition, History, Map, Significance, & Legacy.” Accessed November 3, 2020.

Editors, History com. “Reconquest of Spain.” HISTORY. Accessed November 3, 2020.

Griffin, Eric J. English Renaissance Drama and the Specter of Spain: Ethnopoetics and Empire. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Hafez, Farid. “Shifting Borders: Islamophobia as Common Ground for Building Pan-European Right-Wing Unity.” Patterns of Prejudice 48, no. 5 (December 2014): 479–99.

Harris, Max. “Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America.” Catholic Historical Review 102, no. 4 (December 2016): 866–67.

“Islam in America Post 9/11.” Accessed November 3, 2020.

Lees, Matt. “What Gamergate Should Have Taught Us about the ‘Alt-Right.’” The Guardian, December 1, 2016, sec. Technology.

Lock, Peter. Routledge Companion to the Crusades. London: Routledge, 2006.

Lyons, Jonathan. Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.

NW, 1615 L. St, Suite 800Washington, and DC 20036USA202-419-4300 | Main202-857-8562 | Fax202-419-4372 | Media Inquiries. “5 Facts about Crime in the U.S.” Pew Research Center (blog). Accessed November 3, 2020.

NW, 1615 L. St, Suite 800 Washington, and DC 20036 USA202-419-4300 | Main202-419-4349 | Fax202-419-4372 | Media Inquiries. “Religion in Prisons – A 50-State Survey of Prison Chaplains.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project (blog), March 22, 2012.

Wilson, Tom. “Muslims and the Making of America.” Reviews in Religion & Theology 24, no. 3 (July 2017): 511–14.

Published inPodcasts


  1. Kayla O'Connell Kayla O'Connell

    In Podcast #20, Dr. Bezio outlines the history of American Islamophobia. Ever since 9/11, Anti-Islamic hate crimes have risen exponentially in the United States. Overseas, the United States has been involved in two major wars with Islamic countries since then. As I was listening to this podcast, I immediately thought about the depiction of Islamic countries and Muslims in movies and television shows. Oftentimes, television shows depict these people as the villains and create a negative image about them. Do you think that the United States is struggling with breaking down these stereotypes as a result of our media? How do you think we’ll be able to erase this stereotype and create a more positive image of these individuals and the religion itself?

  2. Zariah Chiverton Zariah Chiverton

    Do you think the United States is working to change the stereotype of what Islam is and the perception of Muslims or is this problem only being further perpetuated as time goes on?

  3. Julia Borger Julia Borger

    Is America the only country that has such aggressive anti-islamic views because of our past history of conflict with them? Or do any other countries feel the same way?

  4. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    In podcast number 20, Dr. Bezio discusses American Islamophobia throughout history. While I found it interesting that this view on Muslims was heightened after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, I already knew that. What people don’t usually think about is the fear that is created in the media. Has the U.S. done anything to try to fix this? If so, what have they done, and has it worked?

  5. Christina Glynn Christina Glynn

    How has media impacted the stereotypes of Muslims? Will the anti-muslim views increase or decrease in the future?

  6. Tess Keating Tess Keating

    Do you think that American citizens would feel as strongly as they do about Islam if leaders and the media didn’t fuel these ideas? People definitely are scarred from 9/11 so I sort of feel like the citizen got these ideas on their owns.

  7. Zachary Andrews Zachary Andrews

    Overall I found the podcast to be very interesting and enlightening. I always knew that there had been stereotypes against Muslim people; however, I never truly recognized that it started with the Crusades. I always thought that this idea of Muslim stereotypes was much more recent especially because of US involvement in the Gulf War as well as other wars, and 9/11. Reagarding this topic, do you think it is possible to get rid of these stereotypes against Muslims or will they be ingrained in US history forever due to the 9/11 attacks? What is the Middle Eastern opinion of Americans giong into nations like Iraq and Afghanistan?

  8. Samuel Hussey Samuel Hussey

    One of the biggest debates with Muslims currently is in regards to the Israel-Palestine Conflict. What role did the recognition and establishmentt of the State of Israel in 1948 play in the spread of Islamaphobia in the twentieth century and into the modern age post 9/11?

  9. Christopher Wilson Christopher Wilson

    Is experiential learning the only way human beings can autonomously challenge preconceived notions and stereotypes they have of other groups of people categorized by things, such as religion? What course of action could the Western world take to respectfully learn more about the Islamic faith and Muslim people so that we can start disassociating tags of terrorism and civil unrest towards the Muslim community?

  10. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    In Podcast 20, Dr. Bezio details the history behind both American and European discrimination and antipathy starting from the First Cruciate to the present day. As stated in the podcast, American media is, on the whole, focused on selling ideas or things rather than delivering factual information, which has greatly contributed to the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Muslim people. Has a similar phenomenon taken place in Western European countries with a more right leader too like England and Germany? Or is this discrimination pattern only a product of the US?

  11. Delaney Demaret Delaney Demaret

    How will the legacy of the Muslim Ban from the Trump administration affect the American cultural perception of Islamophobia going forwards? Where else do we see specific examples of Islamophobia in United States immigration policy?

  12. Carly Cohen Carly Cohen

    What is the specific reason for media being so negative towards Muslims if the data shows that they truly aren’t as dangerous as they are portrayed? How do you think the projected change in presidency will affect views and media portrayal on Muslims?

  13. Jeffrey Sprung Jeffrey Sprung

    In Podcast Episode 20, Dr. Bezio outlined the concept of Islamophobia, which began in 1979 during the Iran Hostage Crisis when 50 Americans were taken hostage in Iran. Ever since this incident, the United States has had a rocky relationship with Islamic nations and Muslim people, which is evident through the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As Dr. Bezio mentioned, Islamophobic attacks against Muslims in the United States increased exponentially since 9/11 and politicians have identified sharia law as a moral threat to freedom of the United States. I was wondering if there are any major anti Muslim and Islamophobic crimes in the United States that we should be aware of?

  14. William Coben William Coben

    After listening to this podcast about Islamaphobia in America, I was intrigued as to how other countries feel towards Muslims, and how immigration plays a role in that. For example, Muslim immigration to England has risen significantly over the past couple of years, and the instances of hate crimes have also increased by a significant amount. My question is, does a continuos flow of Muslim immigration to the United States further perpetuate anti-muslim ideologies?

  15. Alexander Barnett Alexander Barnett

    While learning about the United States’ acts of discrimination toward Muslims, I couldn’t help but be reminded of similar discrimination and stereotyping Japanese and Asain Americans received after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. How does the treatment of Japanese/Asain Americans after Pearl Harbor, compare and contrast to the treatment of Muslims after 9/11?

  16. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    This podcast talked about the Islamaphobia that entered the United States as a direct result of 9/11. I never realized that there was another event that started this before 9/11. Do you think that if 9/11 hadn’t happened then the nation’s Islamaphobia would have been better? Also, do you think that the somewhat bad relationship contributed to making 9/11 happen?

  17. Margot Roussel Margot Roussel

    I have never really had a modern history class so I am unfamiliar with what happened during the gulf wars. What was the fight over and where did this take place? I am hoping just for a little summary that can explain why this added to overall islamophobia.

  18. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    If the rise in anti-Islamic sentiment between 2014-2016 is mainly attributable to the rise in alt-right political influence, can we assume that there were any specific events closely preceding that period that inspired right-winged Islamophobia? If not, is Islamophobia just traditional to right extremists, and more domestic political disputes led to them gaining power?

  19. Sophia Peltzer Sophia Peltzer

    The trend of alt-right authoritarian leaders coming to power as of recent years and decades is not a solely American phenonmenon. In countries such as Brazil and India, leaders tout very similar ideologies and hate-speech rhetoric towards certain groups as Trump does towards Muslims in the United States. In other countries with right wing leaders, are these trends towards Islamophobia similar as in the United States, or do they target different religious, ethnic, racial, etc. groups? As a whole, do the United States hate crimes and attacks tend to be more or less violent and common as those seen in other countries?

  20. Julia Leonardi Julia Leonardi

    I think it is interesting how Donald Trump was one of the big contributors to a spike in Islamophobia. I also think it is interesting that he has been quiet to condemn white supremacy and declare the KKK as a terrorist group. He does all of this while claiming Antifa is the problem and the terrorist group. How is it that American leadership falls so behind? Why isn’t this something that all people
    (not only 75 million) think is wrong?

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