A lot has been written about islamophobia — the fear of Muslims and Islam. Less about islamophilia — the admiration, and sometimes idealization, of Islam and Muslim life.
These two concepts — islamophobia and islamophilia — help create a discourse that locks Muslims into either being “good” or “bad.” There’s no room to simply be Muslim.
A new book published by Indiana University Press, Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend, attempts to tear that discourse apart in the hopes of creating a new, less-essentialized understanding of Islam and Muslim experience.
Andrew Shryock is an anthropology professor at the University of Michigan and the book’s editor. He’s also our guest in this month’s Muslim Voices chat. Shryock took some time recently to answer questions about Islamophobia/Islamophilia.