Jewish Muslims: How Christians Imagined Islam as the Enemy (Hardcover)

Jewish Muslims: How Christians Imagined Islam as the Enemy By David M. Freidenreich Cover Image
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Uncovering the hidden history of Islamophobia and its surprising connections to the long-standing hatred of Jews.

Hatred of Jews and hatred of Muslims have been intertwined in Christian thought since the rise of Islam. In Jewish Muslims, David M. Freidenreich explores the history of this complex, perplexing, and emotionally fraught phenomenon. He makes the compelling case that, then and now, hate-mongers target "them" in an effort to define "us."

Analyzing anti-Muslim sentiment in texts and images produced across Europe and the Middle East over a thousand years, the author shows how Christians intentionally distorted reality by alleging that Muslims were just like Jews. They did so not only to justify assaults against Muslims on theological grounds but also to motivate fellow believers to live as "good" Christians. The disdain premodern polemicists expressed for Islam and Judaism was never really about these religions. Rather, they sought to promote their own visions of Christianity—a dynamic that similarly animates portrayals of Muslims and Jews today.

About the Author

David M. Freidenreich is Pulver Family Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College and author of Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law.

Praise For…

 "Instructive for combatting present-day prejudices." 
— The Journal of Religious History

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520344716
ISBN-10: 0520344715
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: January 10th, 2023
Pages: 314
Language: English