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The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror Hardcover – March 18, 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An important and moving investigation of the costs of the ‘war on terror’ for those who have been its targets, including the thousands of innocent Muslims who have been infiltrated, entrapped, and surveilled in the search for the radicalized terrorist among us. Kundnani gives eloquent voice to the communities that have been regulated, watched, and silenced by the national security state.”
—David Cole, author of Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism

“A bold new look at the much discussed issue of surveillance, documenting how it impacts the communities most affected—American and British Muslims. With incisive reporting from across the US and the UK, combined with trenchant analysis, Arun Kundnani captures what it feels like to be a ‘suspect population.’”
—Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire

“Arun Kundnani is one of Britain’s best political writers, neither hectoring nor drily academic but compelling and sharply intelligent. The Muslims Are Coming should be widely read, particularly by liberals who consider their own positions unassailable.”
—Robin Yassin-Kassab, Guardian

“Kundnani’s argument is compelling in its dissection of governments’ disproportional responses.”
—Tanjil Rashid, Financial Times

“Kundnani’s book is a fact-rich call for vigilance and clear thinking about the erosion of civil liberties and attitudes.”
New Statesman

“A gripping exposition of how the west has made a post-communist enemy and, in some ways, ignited Islamicist terrorism.”
—Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Independent

“An incisive, scholarly, bold, and convincing critique of the never-ending ‘War on Terror,’ whose roots extend far beyond the tragedy of 9/11. An important work.”
—Wajahat Ali, cohost of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream and author of The Domestic Crusaders

“Arun Kundnani, a British-born scholar who is now an adjunct professor at New York University, is a different sort of leftist. He is not Muslim, either by background or conviction, but he maintains that ‘Islamophobia’ is a thinly disguised form of racial prejudice, and that on both sides of the Atlantic, the war on terror has been an excuse for governments to ratchet up surveillance and harassment of people who are ‘guilty’ of nothing worse than critical thought about their countries’ domestic or foreign policies.”
Economist

“Excellent and timely … a compelling guide to the debate over the nature of British Islam.”
Telegraph

 “This timely and urgent analysis carefully examines the ideologies and law enforcement strategies that undergird the domestic War on Terror. What Kundnani finds is disturbing: sweeping, specious radicalization theory and racialized assumptions about the nature of Islam drive domestic counterterrorism practices. This has had devastating consequences for the rights and liberties of Muslims and the state of constitutional protections in the US and UK.”
—Jeanne Theoharis, author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

“Indispensable and powerful … Essential reading for government officials engaged in designing our counterterrorism policies, as well as readers trying to make sense of them.”
—Faiza Patel, Co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program, Brennan Center, NYU School of Law

“A must-read guide to the second decade of war waged on the home front.”
—John Feffer, author of Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam

“Measuring his ideas against global terror experts, Kundnani offers hard alternatives to international security agencies, policing trends, and options for reasonable dissent in his thoughtful, rational plea to curb the War on Terror.”
Publishers Weekly

“Kundnani frankly and refreshingly moves away from ideological symptoms and toward political causes in tackling extremism.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Aptly reveals the West’s anti-Islam and anti-Muslim prejudice in the form of ‘war on terror.’ It unravels and critiques their reified anti-Muslim policies persuasively. It is a groundbreaking, balanced, simple to read, and timely contribution to the existing literature that vividly highlights the true face of the West’s perception of Muslims—as an alien race.”
—Muhammad Yassen Gada, Arab Studies Quarterly


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Arun Kundnani is an Adjunct Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and teaches terrorism studies at John Jay College. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Leiden University, Netherlands, an Open Society Fellow, and the Editor of the journal Race and Class. He is the author of The End of Tolerance: Racism in 21st Century Britain. He lives in New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781681597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781681596
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was startled to learn that manipulation of federal "no-fly" lists takes place simply as a means of recruiting potential informants: Young Moslem men are from time-to-time placed on the lists by federal authorities and then given a choice: Want to be treated as no threat? Then act like one. Tell us about your friends at the Mosque. We'll let you fly if you cooperate.

Many of you reading this won't be outraged the practice. We're at war with some part of Islam right? We need to take extraordinary measures in a war without end.

Arun Kundnani's The Muslims are Coming! (Verso, New York, 2014) is an account of how, and why, this war is being waged, primarily in Britain and in the United States, although he says plenty about Western Europe, as well. He makes a persuasive case that the West is blowing it, destroying the very liberties in whose names we say we act, creating conditions of dangerous frustration for others, and ignoring signs that the rest of the world might not be a willing participant in our fantasies of world leadership.

From the right come dire prognostications about a clash of civilizations, with Islam being portrayed less as an historic faith than as a totalitarian ideology bent on destroying Western democracies. The left doesn't do much better: it seeks to identify radical Islam, offering a hand of peace to "good" Moslems prepared to behave in ways we can accept. Both left and right are shadow boxing, creating an image of Islam as a dark peril that must be managed, and perhaps, extinguished.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kundnani has written an interesting book—one which I, as a Ph.D. student focusing on terrorism by Muslims, found often intriguing and sometimes off-putting. To begin with, I find Kundnani's thesis—that the increasing focus on the "homegrown" terrorists leads to dubious tactics by law enforcement agencies that may create terrorists where there would otherwise be none—to be basically sound. I have long been troubled by FBI investigations that more or less enable young men to go down a path they might otherwise eschew. Where is the line between a teenager talking tough on the Internet and one who was taken in by an FBI informant and eventually pushed the button on a dummy bomb? Kundnani's critique of government officials who suggest there is a sort of 'Official [Good] Islam' even as they back intrusive surveillance was very much on target.

On the other hand, I am disappointed at Kundnani's use throughout the book (both implicit and explicit) of the "Islamophobia" angle. While there is no doubt that an 'irrational fear of Islam/Muslims" held by some Americans (I would place the more extreme voices such as Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer, and Pamela Gellar in this category), I am also very aware of how easily the term "Islamophobe" is used to shut down and/or win debates before they begin. In a very real way, the use of "Islamophobe" is tantamount to calling someone a "terrorist": it instantly charges the debate and puts the other on the offensive, placing poorly-conceptualized hurdles in the way of any constructive conversation. While Kundnani resists this trap better than most, it too often bubbles to the surface.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book offers an excellent critique of the bogus "radicalization" theory that has become bread and butter for most Western governments (and the so-called "security" experts that prey on them). A must-read for anybody who wants to understand the phenomenon of Islamaphobia, and current efforts against terrorism.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Arun Kundnani in The Muslims are Coming delivers a punishing critique of the domestic War on Terror that will leave both Liberals and Conservatives (or Republicans and Democrats, if you’re in the United States ) squirming in their chairs. The central argument is that even though the reasoning behind the policies has been altered, the policies pursued as part of the War on Terror are largely the same, no matter who controls the reins of government. The end result is the same: Muslims within the United States and United Kingdom are having the rights that most Americans and Brits take for granted violated.

This violation of rights is selective according to the author, so that the average citizen would largely not notice any difference, thus explaining the lack of a public outcry over these policies. This book blends together political science with elements of philosophy and sociology to produce a critique of the War on Terror that spares no political party. It may present problems for those readers who are not used to reading academic texts that tend to be heavy on the verbiage and intricate, but for those who can get through the trees should pick this book up.

An uncommon perspective on the War on Terror
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