With “reeducation” camps in China, religious disenfranchisement in India, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, street violence in Sri Lanka, mass shootings in New Zealand, the flourishing of far-right parties across Europe, and the mainstreaming of Islamophobia in America, there’s been a global surge in anti-Muslim bigotry — often supported by the full power and might of the state. It’s one of the most frightening and undercovered political stories of our time.
That is why this week on The Ezra Klein Show I wanted to bring on Mehdi Hasan, a senior writer for the Intercept, the host of the Deconstructed podcast, and the anchor of Al Jazeera’s UpFront. Hasan has done some of the best reporting on anti-Muslim prejudice and persecutions worldwide, covering everything from Narendra Modi’s rise in India to the treatment of Uighurs in China to the role social media plays in amplifying anti-Muslim sentiment. We discuss all of that in this conversation, but we also try to answer some deeper questions: Why Muslims? Why now? What is the ideology that drives and justifies anti-Muslim bigotry? What are the political incentives that foster it?
Not everything in this conversation is easy to hear. But understanding the scope and scale of the war on Muslims is central to understanding the world we live in, the Orwellian nature of the Islamophobic narrative, and the resentments and traumas we’re inflicting on the future.
Mehdi Hasan’s book recommendations:
The Fear of Islam by Todd H. Green
The Enemy Within by Sayeeda Warsi
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley