How Western anti-Muslim bigotry became respectable: The historic roots of a newly resilient ideology

By Şener Aktürk & Mujeeb R. Khan
Today’s Zaman
Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010

The Emin Minaret and Mosque in Turpan China, built in 1777

As scholars who work on the centuries-old Islamic presence in Europe and the continent’s first post-Holocaust genocide against, not coincidently, the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we were deeply disturbed but not surprised that an ostensibly tolerant and pluralistic Western democracy like Switzerland would vote by a margin of 57 percent to ban the religious symbol of 400,000 of its Muslim residents because they felt “threatened” by the grand total of four minarets that exist there.

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