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Anti-Muslim Bigotry vs Islamophobia

June 22, 2016

Michael A. Sherlock (Author)

What’s the difference between anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia?  Many people use these two expressions interchangeably, which is why there is so much confusion surrounding their employment. However, there is a fundamental distinction between the two. I’ll quickly try to explain this distinction.

Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Firstly, what is bigotry?  I’ll just use the dictionary definition:


As you can see from this definition, bigotry is intolerance aimed at human beings – in this case, Muslims.


Again, I’ll use the standard definition:


Notice that Islamophobia has 3 conflated elements:

  1. Anti-Muslim bigotry
  2. Dislike of the religion of Islam
  3. Dislike of Islam as a political force

This is precisely why I object to the employment of this vacuous, conflated and confused term.  The first element is a problem in societies where Muslims are a minority, and it is one we should all be vigilant in rooting out, but the second and third elements are…

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