by Cinnamon Stillwell

Reza Aslan
Reza Aslan lecturing at University of California Riverside

At an April 13 lecture[1] at the University of California, Riverside, UCR creative writing professor and self-styled expert[2] on Islam and the Middle East Reza Aslan[3] employed biased sources, isolated statistics, and ad hominem attacks to blame critics of radical Islam for the alleged rise in "Islamophobia" in post-9/11 America.

"Islamophobia: The Real Enemy" was delivered before a student-dominated audience of some three hundred who laughed heartily at Aslan's fashionably anti-American jokes, clearly responding to his personable, hip demeanor. Dressed casually in jeans, no tie, and an untucked shirt, he was, effectively, one of them.

Aslan explained that, "as a Middle Easterner, as a Muslim," Islamophobia was "a personal issue" that had been "brought home on a personal level." The child of Iranian immigrants who came to California in the early 1980s at the height of the hostage crisis—or, as Aslan put it, "an era in which Iran, the Middle East, and Muslims were being demonized"—he described how "tough" it was to be "Iranian/Muslim." Consequently, he tried to "separate himself from his heritage, culture, [and] religion," by "pretending to be a Mexican," which, he joked, "tells you how little I understood America . . . they don't like Mexicans, either." The audience responded with knowing laughter.

Praising America as "a unique . . . country of immigrants" united by "adherence to a set of values," Aslan claimed this unity is tested "in times of societal stress," particularly after 9/11, when, he alleged, there was an "unprecedented surge of Islamophobia" and "every passing year, the numbers" got "higher and higher." Citing alarming figures depicting a country awash in "mosque burnings" and anti-Muslim violence, he alluded to FBI statistics[4] without acknowledging that, in 2013, sixty percent of religiously motivated hate crimes targeted Jews, while only eleven percent were directed at Muslims.

The visual aids projected onto the large screen behind him revealed the bias of at least one of his sources. Relying primarily upon the left-wing[5] Center for American Progress (CAP)'s inaccurate[6] 2011 report,[7] "Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America," Aslan sought to blame the supposed rise in "Islamophobia" on:

[A] well-planned, well-executed deliberate attempt to turn Muslims into an internal enemy by a very small cabal of individuals and organizations that have been funded to the tune of nearly 46 million dollars.

CAP's report explained, Aslan noted, why "after 9/11, there was a rallying around Muslims," but "the further away we got from 9/11, the higher the anti-Muslim sentiment" grew. He contended that it was "not a naturally evolving process" based on Americans' reaction to real world events, but the work of handful of "misinformation experts," "pseudo-scholars," and "hate groups." He bemoaned that their "reports are cited" by the media, politicians, and the "average American" as "actual studies," even as he quoted the vacuous CAP report to a university audience.

One of the report's targets, Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes—whom Aslan dubbed, "the intellectual Islamophobe"—has pointed out[8] that, in addition to CAP's "predictable leftist-Islamist alarmism about those of us trying to warn the world of lawful Islamism," its financial allegations are faulty, it has "a budget many times larger than all of the organizations it attacks," and "its secret Business Alliance has a host of corporate donors." Presumably, Aslan did no research into the four-year-old CAP report, nor into its second, equally tendentious[9] iteration, before largely basing his lecture on its findings.

Rather than rigorous critique, Aslan insulted those named in the report (Islam scholar Robert Spencer[10] is a "moron,"[11] blogger and activist Pamela Geller is the "screeching queen of Islamophobia"), took quotes out of context, and belittled such dissidents from the Muslim world as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel. Referring to the anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism of 1920s America, Aslan made an asinine comparison to two anti-Semitic figures of that period, Fr. Charles Coughlin and Henry Ford:

The Charles Coughlins of today never tire of preaching about the Judeo-Christian values upon which this country was founded. . . . A generation from now, they will look back at this time the same way people look at the 20s—with disgust. They will be as disgusted with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer as Coughlin and Ford.

He then asked the audience:

What kind of America do you want to live in? The divisive America that the anti-Muslim ideologues preach or the one that finds unity in diversity and celebrates differences?

Aslan never defined "Islamophobia" beyond calling it "bigotry towards Muslims." Avoiding reference to the authoritarianism, sectarian conflict, misogyny, persecution of religious minorities, and other human rights abuses emanating from the Muslim world, he provided no context for this purported fear. As for Islamic terrorism, he blithely declared, "None of you are going to die by a terrorist; you have more to fear from a Lazy Boy [recliner].

To the obvious fact that it's erroneous to accuse "anyone who criticizes Islam of being Islamophobic," Aslan responded in typical profanity-laden[12] style: "That's bulls**t!" Asserting that criticizing Islam is tantamount to attacking all Muslims, he added, "If it involves an entire group of people, you're a bigot." He eventually chalked up such prejudice to a "problem with America . . . a crisis of identity," concluding, "The problem isn't with Islam, it's not with Muslims."

By peddling this view to a broad audience, Aslan inoculates radical Islam from criticism. He claimed that, "Ninety percent of my efforts now are in the fields of film, pop culture, [and] fiction" and that, "the reason I teach creative writing . . . is that nothing I do will have as much influence as a sitcom." Referencing the influence of the television show "Will & Grace" on Americans' views of homosexuality, Aslan observed, correctly, that popular culture has the power to change the public's beliefs on core issues.

No doubt, Aslan will continue lecturing receptive young audiences on the perils of "Islamophobia," and he won't be alone. The 2015 annual conference of the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley[13] focused on developing a field[14] of "Islamophobia studies." The subject is all the rage[15] in Middle East studies and throughout academe, which is doing its utmost to distract attention from the backdrop of supremacism, dysfunction, and bellicosity in the region. Americans should beware the protestations of Aslan and his fellow travelers, for they intend not to educate, but to mislead.


















Some of the comments that added useful information.

Eternal Vigilance

Middle-easterner and Muslim Reza Islan:

it is a shame that a University publically supported by USA citizenry and taxpayers should find itself playing host to a propagandist who wittingly lends support to Islamic terrorism around the world. Given the bestialities and excesses practiced by the likes of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Quaeda, etc. it is not surprising or unjustied that American citizenry would find Islam a hateful, detestable religion. In spite of the violent history of Islam, Americans have been tolerant of Islam rantings and crimes committed in and against the USA, hoping that indeed Islam is a religion of peace.

Purposely driven otherwise, Islam continues to demonstrate that peace can only be found when Islam is imposed on all nations of the world. I, for one, have been phobic against the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and all those dark criminal creatures of the past who have slaughtered their way to power. I am proudly phobic against Islam which also seeks, through its terrorist agents, to slaughter its way to power.

I, too, am proud to be labeled, along with every other American, by Islam as an infidel. Islam teaches the so-called virtue of lieing to the infidel. As such you are carrying out the will of the Islamic leadership! Your lies and distortions published in "Islamophobia: The Real Enemy!" is a farcical effort to mislead the gullible to believe that there is such a thing as a peaceful Islamist.

You claim that, "as a Middle Easterner, as a Muslim," Islamophobia was "a personal issue" that had been "brought home on a personal level." Wanton bestiality is the only truth that applies to Islam. You well deserve the shame associated with Islam's worldwide and continuing murders, beheadings, enslavements, rape, etc. that have been commonly practiced in the name of Islam since 1900.

You claim that the USA is tested "in times of societal stress," particularly after 9/11, when, you allege, there was an "unprecedented surge of Islamophobia" and "every passing year, the numbers" got "higher and higher." Well, you and your cohorts of the Jihad well deserve such castigations and mor!.

You claim to be a "middle-easterner and a Muslim!" That would be in keeping with your actions and claims which are detestable to any thinking American. Take your islamaphobic allegations to your Muslim homeland with supporting photographs of Islamists burning Christian churches, beheading surrendered and captured prisoners, murder of homosexuals, destroying historical memorabilia and priceless works of the past, etc. Such presentations on your part will assuredly receive a proud acknowledgement from the perpetrators of endless bestialities.

Go and do not forget to close the door behind you!


Reza Aslan is a creative writer who cannot debate FACTS. He is a coward who has run away from debating Robert Spencer because he knows he'd be beaten like a drum!

Aslan's claims are empty, because there is no disease called Islamophobia. Study of Islam is learning, not an illness. When we find problems in Islam, it's criticism, not a mental illness. The ability to do scientific research is a sign of sanity.

Islamophobia is a smokescreen or red herring so people like Aslan needn't answer tough questions or participate in a DEBATE with someone who is more knowledgeable about Islam than he is.

john in cheshire

There is no such thing as islamophobia; it's a made-up word, by muslims, with no actual meaning and whose sole purpose is to conjure up intangible negative thoughts every time it is used.

Huck Folder

"Facts and ethics are not on the side of Islam."

"NONE of you are going to die by a terrorist; you have more to fear from a Lazy Boy" [recliner].

Tell that to the 3,000 plus victims of ISLAMIST TERRORISM, or their relatives.

Why was there no one there to challenge that egregious lie?

Let me put it another way: You know that bookies will take bets on anything where they can make a buck. How about betting there won't be another MURDER in the US by ISLAMIST TERRORISTS in 2015, or in the next ten years... I don't think you'll get any takers.

And all those professional WANKERS in his audience who lapped up his taqiyya and every lie of commission or omission, or every half truth, won't get it even if it does happen to 'one of theirs', even if a hundred were vaporized.


I've said it before and I will say it again and that is that anyone who uses the term "Islamophobia" as though the term is is to be taken seriously is one who cannot be taken seriously. This wretched term is used to silence legitimate criticism of man's most intolerant and violence-prone religon. And it's no surprise that an apologist for Islam, for covering up its heinous and freedom-destroying doctrines, would in this instance be Reza Aslan, a rather reptilian figure to say the least.

Aslan could function as the poster boy for obfuscation and lying about Islam. Robert Spencer would destroy him in debate and that is the real reason why this coward won't debate Spencer. Yes, all Aslan can do with Spencer (Geller too) is call them names but what he won't do is debate them. Mark of the coward.

Meanwhile, Muslims aplenty in the name of their faith continue to kill aplenty, to maim apenty, to disallow true freedom aplenty. But remember, this has nothing to do with Islam. Those asserting such must, of course, be an Islamophobe. Right, Aslan?

Fritz Kohlhaas

The term "Islamophobia" was invented by radical Muslims and their benefactors — the leftists/prggressives/Marxists/PCmorons. As to Aslan: Aslan is vermin!

R Cole

Reza Aslan hopes for his personal religious views be made into law.

Reza is the guy in the clown suit — acting as the distraction — for the raging bull that is Islam.

To make his point he has to deny the Islam of Iran, the Islam of Saudi Arabia — the Islam of the Islamic State — and make it about the cool guy in a pair of jeans — to personalize the criticism — thereby make any criticism of Islam — [his vehicle to the hereafter] about him.

But how relevant is Reza — in the Islamic State they behead Shias.

And the readiness of Muslim spokespersons to include ex-Muslims in their 'Islamophobe' bag — is undoubtedly one of the foremost reasons why they would be so reluctant to define the term. How can you accuse an ex-Muslim — someone who grew up in the faith — of unfounded fear or a lack of knowledge of the faith — they now warn others about.

There is clearly a deeper driving force behind the stop the 'Islamophobia' effort.

You have western leaders and others buying into the 'Islamophobia' idea — because they think this problem with Islam will just go away.

Putting aside the wishful thinkers — there are the Muslims themselves — if you clear the anti-racist4Islam noise makers out of the way — you have the Muslim groups — using 'Islamophobia' to bring about laws which are very closely aligned with the sharia.

With ex-Muslims saying — yes! what you are seeing is the real religion — people would rather believe Reza's creative writing stories — and if it were not for the US Constitution — would possibly go along with the suggestion that these renegade-Islamophobes be arrested and criminalized for speaking openly about their former faiths.

Reza's best non-Muslim buddy [Reza would not be so stupid] — openly suggested in several articles that the US Constitution be changed to protect Islam from criticism — the one obstacle many US Muslims whine stands in the way of implementing the Sharia — in their view the perfect system for living — for all.

Reza is the Islamist — in western clothing.

William Lucas Harvey Jr.

The false "Islamophobia" probably SHOULD be criminalized in the Civilized, non 7th Century World of Islam, just the SAME as Islam's Muslims want World Wide CRIMINALIZATION of ANY "Blaspheming" of Islam and their so called Butchering "Prophet" Mohammed, which is essentially telling the TRUTH about Islam and it's Bloody Butchery "Death to the Infidel" cult.

Islam, which isn't really a "Religion", If it can be proven that Islam does NOT qualify as a religion according to our laws, then Islam will lose its religious designation, it's very wanted but misguided protection under the guise of our First Amendment along with its tax exempt status, and thus its foothold in America.

*Islam IS "The 'Religion' of Conquest" , Islam isn't a race, Islam IS a movement to take over the world by force.

*Islam IS A global caliphate with an objective that advances the cause of Islam by gaining the trust of the Infidel non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

*Islam requires the Subjugation of Christianity and America to the Muslim Brotherhood and Allah.

*Islam's goal IS Islam versus Unbelievers to Convert, Subjugate or Die.

*Islam IS a 'Religion' Based on Terrorism, a target of opportunity, and Islam IS Is a Violent Form of 'Faith'.

*Islam IS is a rigid political and cultural system with a mandate to conquer and govern the lives of others via necessary force "until religion is only for Allah."

*In Islam Violence is sanctioned by the Qur'an, a book which NOT ONCE tells Muslims to love those outside the faith.

*Islam is NOT a "Religion of Peace" Islam teaches that you're to kill Jews and you're to kill Christians.

*Islam uses Taqiyya and Kitman Lying and Deception : The Islamic doctrine of the "Grand Deception" of deceit to defend and promote Islam.

*Islam Permits Lying to Deceive Unbelievers and Bring World Domination!.

*Islam subordinates everything to itself. Islam is not the answer — Islam is the problem.

*Islam is an amalgam of social, political and judicial systems as well as a belief system. It is neither one thing nor the other — Islam is unique

*The Philosophically Islam is as far from other religions as it is possible to be. It lies beyond nihilism and its morality is inverted.

*In society Islam functions in the opposite manner from all other religions. Rather than producing peace and social harmony, it sows violence and social disruption.

*"Islamophobia" is a made-up word, a term for self deception used by Islamic apologists. It isn't tenable, plausible, or convincing once you really look at it. Using the term is merely a way to slander those who have legitimate concerns about implications and consequences of the teachings of Islam. It is a way to prevent legitimate criticism and debate about an important global problem..

*Islam which itself wants to "Blaspheme and Degrade" ANY Religion other than Islam, with expected Impunity, using a Country's "Religious Freedom" Laws to Persecute anyone who "Defames" Islam and Muslims, with the TRUTH.

*Islam which is a totally "Death to the Infidel, Death to the Jews, Death to America" cult, always crying and whining "Persecution" as an excuse, for THEIR OWN actions.

*In Islam the Qur'an not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule.

A few of Many Article Links:

http://www. pages/iran/muslims_plan_for_world_dominance.htm "Islamic Conquest". ""The 4 stages of Islamic Conquest". "Islamophobia". "Islamic accepted lying and deception". "Ten Obvious Reasons Why Islam is NOT a Religion of Peace" "About" "Islam's 20-year plan for U.S." "Why Islam is Not a Religion". "Convert, Subjugate or Die". "The Ultimate Goal of Islam". "Taqiyya (lying,deceiving,illusion) Islam's most important ideological wartool as muslims are allowed to show friendship outwardly, but never inwardly)". " A Religion' Based on Terrorism, a target of opportunity". "In truth, the Quran not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah , it also commands them to subdue people of other religions ". "The fundamentals of Islam". "The fundamentals of Islam Dictionary". "Islam Permits Lying to Deceive Unbelievers and Bring World Domination!". "CEP- The Counter Extremism Project — ISIS, et. al.".

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum ( She can be reached at This article appeared April 29, 2015 in Jihad Watch and is archived at and at

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