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The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims Paperback – September 18, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745332536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745332536
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews



"Nathan Lean's meticulous study of the Islamophobia industry is a convincing demonstration of the threat this form of extremism poses to a harmonious pluralistic society and democratic values. Rationalizing hatred of Muslims, well-funded ideologues have also negatively impacted civic discourse and pushed conservative politics into the orbit of right-wing extremism. Lean's book is an important resource for all people who wish to understand the forces that are manipulating our political process and discourse." - Ingrid Mattson, Chair in Islamic Studies, Huron University College

“This concise, accessible and illuminating book meets one of the most urgent needs of our time. Nathan Lean has provided us with a compelling counter-narrative that reveals the vested interests and highly-organized networks of those who preach the virulent Islamophobia that is not only endangering world peace but is also corroding the tolerance and egalitarian ethos that should characterize Western society. This book should be required reading.” - Karen Armstrong, author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

"Nathan Lean has written a book of immense importance for our times. By lifting the veil on the multi-million-dollar Islamophobia Industry, Lean shines a light on the network of business, political, and religious organizations and individuals who employ rank bigotry to promote their interests. A must-read." - Reza Aslan, author of No god But God.

"In this provocative and engaging book, Nathan Lean meticulously untangles the dense web of fear merchants who have made Muslim-bashing a cottage industry. He reveals the connections between them and the motives that animate their machine of propaganda. Lean's is a battle against Islamophobia, one that he wages with a seamless and compelling narrative." - Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World.

"Nathan Lean skillfully narrates an alternative history of the contemporary relationship between the Muslim world and the West, reminding his readers of the effects of Islamophobia in a moving and powerful way. This book is absolutely indispensable for building the more positive and shared future that still alludes us a decade into the War on Terror. Any journalist, pundit, policy-maker or intelligence analyst who doesn't read The Islamophobia Industry and take its message to heart is committing professional malpractice. Any citizen concerned about the future of this country and the world at large owes it to themselves to read this book lest the processes Lean describes reach a tipping point and poison relations between the West and the Muslim world for generations to come." - Mark LeVine, author of Heavy Metal Islam

"Nathan Lean has written an eye-opener — the most comprehensive book to date on a new and dangerous cycle of minority persecution in American society. Lean's book exposes the key players, funders and enablers of Islamophobia in America and the destructive effect of their politics on our national fabric. Worth every minute of reading." - Nihad Awad, National Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

"The spike in anti-Muslim sentiment didn't fall from the sky or rise from the ground - it was manufactured by a shadowy network of bloggers, funders, pundits, preachers and politicians. In a tightly-written, fast-paced narrative that feels like a thriller backed by the research of a doctoral thesis, Nathan Lean shows us just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Essential reading for anyone who wants a window into the origins of contemporary Islamophobia." - Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground

"In the months after 9/11, Americans took pride in defending Muslim neighbors in their own communities. Political leaders boasted about liberating Muslims overseas. So why are the politics of fear more intense a decade after the murders at the twin towers? Lean pins the blame on an Islamophobia industry in a lucid and detailed examination of the dark side of our politics." – Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst and author of Renegade: The Making of a President

"Islamophobia is not only about ignorance and fear. Some people purposefully nurture it and use it as a political strategy. Nathan Lean’s The Islamophobia Industry shows what is happening behind the scenes. It is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the rationale and objectives behind those who foster this new racism against Muslims." – Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University and author of The Quest for Meaning

"So many of America's mistakes and bad acts over the past decade are due to Islamophobia, and Nathan Lean's new book traces the phenomenon's genesis and its culprits. Those who have been spawning this all-too-familiar demonization campaign have been hiding in the dark for too long. This book is so valuable because it drags them out into the light and thus performs a true service for the nation." – Glenn Greenwald, columnist for Salon and author of Liberty and Justice For Some

"Nathan Lean’s The Islamophobia Industry could not be more timely or critical. This is an extraordinarily important and groundbreaking study. It exposes the multi-million-dollar cottage industry of fear mongers and the network of funders and organizations that support and perpetuate bigotry, xenophobia, racism, and produce a climate of fear that sustains a threatening social cancer." – John L. Esposito (from the foreword)

About the Author

Nathan Lean is a writer and scholar of Middle East studies. He has written extensively about Islam, American foreign policy, national politics, and global affairs. He is co-author of Iran, Israel, and the United States: Regime Security vs. Political Legitimacy and is a contributing writer at PolicyMic. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Aslan Media and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gregory on May 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
The fact that the term "Islamophobia" even exists is an insult to any educated person's intelligence. That this book brandishes the term as some kind of established barometer against which the distinction between rational inquiry and invective can be determined is completely absurd. Many of the authors he attacks, Harris, etc. are humanists. Their objectives are the well-being of humans. To conflate their criticism of a set of ideas that are collectively understood as "Islam" with some kind of seditious plot to destroy Muslims or make their life hell is either misinformed, or genuinely nefarious. Avoiding conspiracy theories where I can, I will go with the latter. So for goodness sake Mr. Lean, stop being so lazy, have a look at why the concept "Islamophobia" is absurd and be an adult when dealing with rational thinkers who oppose your world view.
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34 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Reba Roxi on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... so I read this book.

I highly recommend it to anyone who has heard the warnings of sharia law taking over America and had even a twinge of concern that it might be true.

Despite the subtitle of the book (about The Right), this book is very evenhanded and does not make sweeping generalizations. If you are a liberal clamoring for a hate-fest toward Republicans (or, conversely, a Republican fearing such), this book will not meet your expectation. It calls out the people on the right who are perpetuating this phobia, but doesn't condemn all conservatives. Rather, it demonstrates how these limited number of people are creating fear among the right (primarily) based on false premises.

This book gives a great overview of past campaigns to implement fear in a populace against the boogeyman of the day - Jews, communism, Catholics, and the list goes on. I learned that these scare tactics aren't new, and they almost always result in tragedy.

I'm a pretty strict conservative, and to me that means believing in the foundations of America - and one of key reasons for seeking our independence was freedom of religion, and freedom to practice without fear of persecution. I'm appalled by the anti-Muslim sentiment pervading our nation in recent years... and while I had heard some of the names in this book (Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, etc.) before, to see how they are all interconnected, and especially how they are funded and supported by Zionist activists, was illuminating.

I urge everyone to educate themselves and read this book, and more importantly, learn about other people and cultures different from you.
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27 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Hopida on October 10, 2012
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There is a growing interest and academic study of the issue of Islamophobia. Most of the works that have been published recently address the various manifestations of Islamophobia, its definitions, and ideological formation.

This book takes a slightly different route. This work deals specifically with the manufacture of Islamophobia from the far-right of the political, activist, and religious spectrum.

I think its an excellent companion and follow up work to the report put out by Center for American Progress called "Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America."

It is quite obvious that the one star and negative reviews are put out by people who eat up the propaganda and misinformation supplied by the Islamophobia Industry that Nathan Lean speaks about in his work.
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31 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mona James on September 23, 2012
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A fascinating book that should be required reading to all those who want to understand what went wrong in USA the past few years. People in the USA went to book stores and bought Qurans after 911. Invited Muslims to their Churches and Clubs. Many Synagogues did the same too. All of a sudden interfaith dialogue became an urgent and necessary need. Then things started to turn around to the worse after racist people realized an African American man might be the future president.

Nathan lean offers a detailed explanation of how this took place. Turned out it is an industry motivated, as we all suspected, by Christian Right, Zionists, and White Racists. I highly recommend this book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Faisal Almarzouqi on July 4, 2014
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25 of 50 people found the following review helpful By art lewis on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you believe there's an Islamophobia industry, I've got a bridge to sell you. What there is, is an Islamic disinformation industry funded by Saudis and Muslim Brotherhood front groups, and peddling the lie that Islam is a religion of peace and has no totalitarian intentions. This disinformation effort would make the Soviets proud and is supported by gullible and well-meaning liberals and leftists who think that anything Other -- except perhaps a Republican -- is always to be embraced. But what if the particular Other's belief system is totalitarian and stealthy, as in the case of orthodox Islam? Well, some on the left reply that anyone who dares to point that out must be a xenophobe and an Islamophobe and a bigot. But this is one of those situations where the left is mistaken.

One can grasp, from knowledge of the core Islamic texts -- Qur'an, canonical hadith collections, and earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad -- that orthodox Islam is an expansionist, totalitarian, violent global movement profoundly and thuggishly inimical to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, equality of rights for all people before the law, and other fundamental human rights. At the same time one can understand that there are many Muslims in the West who don't know about Islam's core texts' totalitarianism and wouldn't support it if they did know about it. They simply say their prayers in Arabic (a language most Muslims do not understand), and often don't know what the Qur'an means. Yet polls show that many Muslims agree with totalitarian tenets of Islamic law.

Nathan Lean doesn't care about such distinctions; he likes to smear critics of Islam, calling them bigots, calling them anti-Muslim, etc. In my opinion he has some secret agenda.
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