Six or Eleven Theses on “Islamic” and “Christian” Terrorism in America
Keywords:Christian, Islamic, terrorism, the Muslim Question, America, Trump, Marx, identity
The term “Christian terrorism” began to appear in U.S. media narratives following a shooting outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015. Reflecting on a blog post I wrote from this time nearly six-years later, where I had proposed six theses on “Islamic” versus “Christian” terrorism in America, I consider how this rhetoric has developed in the interim. Adding five additional theses, I argue that the relative absence of terror attacks on U.S. soil throughout the Trump era, and the preoccupation with a variety of culture wars issues, has complicated the ways in which Muslims/Islam are constructed in the contemporary United States. I also consider the “Muslim question” and how it relates to Marx’s “On the Jewish Question.” Despite certain parallels between these issues, I propose that the “question” for Western Muslims today is less about achieving basic rights as it is a battle over the definition of Islam itself.
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