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TerrifiedHow Anti-Muslim Fringe Organizations Became Mainstream$
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Christopher A. Bail

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159423

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159423.001.0001

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Civil Society Organizations and Public Understandings of Islam

Civil Society Organizations and Public Understandings of Islam

(p.109) Chapter 7 Civil Society Organizations and Public Understandings of Islam

Christopher Bail

Princeton University Press

This chapter asks whether the influence of anti-Muslim organizations within the media and policy process extends toward the broader public and everyday life. Though public opinion of Muslims became more favorable after the September 11 attacks, subsequent years witnessed a marked increase in anti-Muslim attitudes among the American public that mirrored the rise of anti-Muslim organizations within the public sphere. Data from popular social media sites suggest the surge in anti-Muslim civil society organizations was at least partly responsible for the transformation of the American public's understanding of Islam. Finally, the chapter details the growth of mosque controversies within the U.S. inspired by fringe activists—including the high-profile controversy about the construction of an Islamic center near the site of the September 11 attacks and the Qur'an burning controversy that followed.

Keywords:   anti-Muslim organizations, Muslims, Islam, public opinion, American public, civil society organizations, anti-mosque

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