The Muslims-as-victims campaign has turned into a significant cottage industry, with university centers, academic organizations, and a vast, if repetitive, bulk of writing devoted to showing that Muslims, due to no fault of their own, suffer from a range of unprovoked maladies and unjustified biases at the hands of nasty Westerners.
In a typically banal example of this genre, Aswad's Countering Islamophobia in North America diligently ignores the many Muslim activities that drive anti-Muslim sentiments. An anthropologist of Egyptian origins who has taught at Wayne State University, Aswad mentions ISIS all of three times but the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the 1979-81 Iranian hostage crisis only once each. More notable are those individuals, groups, and concepts that do not appear a single time: Iranian leaders Khomeini and Khamene'i, al-Shabaab, and the Shari'a. The Taliban of Afghanistan are never discussed; the group comes up just once, in the context of a Florida teacher, who allegedly called a 14-year-old Muslim student a "raghead Taliban." The persistent maltreatment of Jews and Christians in Muslim-majority countries goes entirely unnoted.
Likewise, jihadi murder sprees on American soil go blithely unmentioned, including Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 in 2009 at Ft. Hood; Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the married couple who killed 14 in 2015 in San Bernardino; and Omar Mateen, who killed 49 in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Other major incidents, such as the Boston Marathon jihad of 2013, also find no place in this study. Revealingly, the first World Trade Center attack of 1993, which killed 6 and injured over 1,000, comes up not in the context of the harm done to Americans but only its having "increased prejudice and violence against American Muslims."
Lesser aggressions also have no place in Aswad's analysis. When it comes to the treatment of women, for example, he never mentions polygamy or polygyny, female genital mutilation, honor killings, taharrush (mass sexual assault), or the euphemistically named grooming gangs (in fact, rape gangs). The Rushdie rules (which prohibit the free discussion of Islam) are, of course, absent.
Aswad and his ilk present no context for non-Muslim fears about Islamism, Islam, and Muslims as though these were spontaneous acts of prejudice. He also neglects to mention why no comparable fear of Hindus or Buddhists exists; or why, if their treatment is so awful, Muslims keep demanding to enter the West (most recently, Afghans and those dupes who traveled to Belarus).
In all, this shoddy book deserves the utter oblivion it will undoubtedly enjoy. But, along with its many companions, it might do real damage when taught in classes by the likes of el-Sayed el-Aswad.