Islamophobia describes a state of mind and a set of consequences which affect Muslims and those who are perceived as such throughout the world, especially in the West. The roots of this complex “phobia” are embedded in the history of the Islamic faith and those who have feared or rejected it over many centuries. To understand the origins of Islamophobia and its egregious effects, this chapter will summarize the basis of this pernicious phenomenon and the faith to which it is directed. We assert that the characteristics of Islamophobia have beset our civilization for centuries before the term was first given expression. We explore the recent rise of its presence in our society and the consequent negative effects it has on humanity.
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