The Islamophobic History of the United States


  • Edward E. Curtis IV Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis





This article offers an history survey of Islamophobic attitudes in the United States. It locates the roots of Islamophobia in colonial views of the Muslim Anti-Christ, early republican fears of the Barbary pirates and Oriental despotism, antebellum fascination with Muslim American slaves, and nineteenth-century fantasies of the Turkish harem. The article also explains how the functions and meanings of Islamophobia have changed during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, emphasizing the clash of interests that developed between Muslim political groups abroad and U.S. foriegn policy after 9/11.

Author Biography

Edward E. Curtis IV, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts & Professor of Religious Studies


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How to Cite

Curtis IV, E. (2011). The Islamophobic History of the United States. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 40(2), 30–35.




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