Six or Eleven Theses on “Islamic” and “Christian” Terrorism in America


  • Matt Sheedy University of Manitoba



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.

Author Biography

Matt Sheedy, University of Manitoba

Matt Sheedy received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Manitoba (2015), Winnipeg, and is co-editor of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog and Religion Compass. His research interests include critical social theory, theories of secularism, as well as representations of Christianity, Islam, and Native traditions in popular and political culture.


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How to Cite

Sheedy, M. (2022). Six or Eleven Theses on “Islamic” and “Christian” Terrorism in America. Implicit Religion, 23(4), 389–410.