In the past two decades, there’s been a demonstrable rise in Islamophobia and Antisemitism across the globe. Not only has this manifested in discriminatory and dangerous rhetoric, including the promotion of far-right conspiracy theories by politicians, it has resulted in a number of deadly attacks on Muslim and Jewish communities. This is illustrated by the 2018 attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand. In this episode, host Arsalan Iftikhar sits down with journalist Peter Beinart to discuss the similarities and differences of Islamophobia and antisemitism, the white supremacist “Great replacement” conspiracy theory that has motivated many to undertake violence targeting synagogues and mosques around the globe, and the ongoing political attacks against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in the United States.
Arsalan Iftikhar is Senior Researcher for the Bridge Initiative at the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University. He is a prominent human rights lawyer, an internationally recognized researcher on the topic of Islamophobia, and a global media commentator. He is the author of several books including FEAR OF A MUSLIM PLANET: Global Islamophobia in the New World Order and Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms which President Jimmy Carter called “an important book that shows Islamophobia must be addressed urgently”. Throughout his career, Arsalan has been a regular on-air commentator for National Public Radio (NPR) and his interviews have appeared on prominent global media outlets like CNN, Al-Jazeera English, BBC World News, The Economist, New York Times, Rolling Stone, NBC News “Meet The Press” & many more. A native of Chicago, Arsalan was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis; where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees.
Peter Beinart teaches national reporting and opinion writing at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, a CNN political commentator, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a nonfiction author and former Rhodes Scholar. His first book, The Good Fight, was published by HarperCollins in 2006. His second book, The Icarus Syndrome, was published by HarperCollins in 2010. His third, The Crisis of Zionism, was published by Times Books in 2012. Beinart has written for The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, Slate, The Forward, Reader’s Digest, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Polity: the Journal of the Northeastern Political Science Studies Association. The Week magazine named him columnist of the year for 2004. In 2005, he gave the Theodore H. White lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has appeared on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” “Charlie Rose,” “Meet the Press,” “The Colbert Report” and many other television programs. Beinart graduated from Yale University, winning a Rhodes scholarship for graduate study at Oxford University. After graduating from University College, Oxford, Beinart became The New Republic’s managing editor in 1995. He became senior editor in 1997, and from 1999 to 2006 served as the magazine’s editor.