Racism and Religious Affects

Duke University Press News

The recent shooting of two gunmen at the Muhammad Art Exhibit in Texas has brought Pamela Geller, a blogger known for her vitriolic attitude toward Muslims, and her anti-Muslim advocacy group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) into the media spotlight.

imgresIn his forthcoming book, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power, Donovan O. Schaefer considers the connection between the SIOA, racism, and religious affects. Here are his insights, from chapter 5 of the book:

“In the summer of 2012, anti-Muslim advocacy group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) posted ads on the New York and Chicago subway systems with the following text:

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The first sentence is a paraphrase of a remark by Ayn Rand—the hero of SIOA’s founder, a blogger and activist named Pamela Geller—commenting on the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Rand in her lectures frequently drew on an…

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