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Karine Walther

Islamophobia Is An American Tradition

When Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson made news recently by questioning whether a Muslim American could (or should) ever become president of the United States, his assertions recalled similar concerns raised by a political supporter of John McCain’s presidency at a rally seven years earlier. “I can’t trust [President Barack] Obama,” Gayle Quinnell told McCain, “I’ve read about him . . . and he’s an Arab.” Whether she meant Arab or Muslim, two identities often ...

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Karine Walther is an Assistant Professor of History at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.  Her book, Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821-1921 traces the impact of American Islamophobia on American foreign relations in the long nineteenth century.