1st Edition

Jews and Muslims in the White Supremacist Conspiratorial Imagination

By Ron Hirschbein, Amin Asfari Copyright 2023
    132 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Jews and Muslims in the White Supremacist Conspiratorial Imagination explores how Jews and Muslims are stigmatized and endangered by the same conspiratorial template.

    Supremacists imagine that Jews and Muslims secretly strive to replace white, European civilization with an unspeakable tyranny. The authors, a Jew and a Muslim, analyze the nature of the conspiracism that targets their communities. They historicize the supremacist conspiratorial imagination, narrating the paranoia on a continuum, from modernity to the postmodern. They begin with the texts of modernity, following them through to the dark areas of the Internet and examining their violent denouement in synagogues and mosques. The book investigates the classic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and neoclassic variations such as QAnon. It turns to Islamophobic responses to 9/11 such as paranoia regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and the doppelgänger of The Protocols, namely The Project. The authors conclude by questioning how "ordinary" people, prompted by paranoia and recognition hunger, resort to violence and murder. Admittedly, the authors are not certain—certainty is for conspiracists. But they may have a piece of the puzzle.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars of conspiracy theories, antisemitism, Judeophobia, Islamophobia, political science, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and criminology.

    Introduction: White Lives Matter—More!

    1. Conspiracism—Modern and Postmodern

    2. Long Ago in a Prague Cemetery Far Away

    3. The Muslim Brotherhood(s)

    4. Living the Dream


    Ron Hirschbein is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico, USA, where he created and headed the Peace Institute. He also served as a Visiting Professor at University of California campuses in Berkeley and San Diego, and at the United Nations University in Austria.

    Amin Asfari is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology in the School for Professional Advancement at Regis University, USA.

    ‘It is not enough for us to be somewhat aware of the antisemitism and Islamophobia that characterize the white supremacy of our times. In this book, Ron Hirschbein and Amin Asfari provide us with the deeper knowledge and understanding that is required if we are to ever rid ourselves and our politics of these destructive forces and the white supremacy they inhabit.’

    James P. Sterba, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, USA

    ‘Hirschbein and Asfari give us a chilling account of conspiracy theories aimed at Jews and Muslims and show them to be two versions of one common form of hatred. The authors somehow insert just enough levity to help readers persist through a dark and depressing topic. This is no dry academic analysis but a rich narrative connecting ancient, medieval, modern and postmodern conspiracies to Qanon and social media - an insightful account of how absurd ideas lead to violence and terrorism.’

    Duane L. Cady, PhD, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Hamline University, USA; author of "From Warism to Pacifism: A Moral Continuum"

    ‘The discursive fallout of the Palestine Question has obscured the entanglements between antisemitism and Islamophobia. Asfari and Hirschbein do not merely claim that this shared history must at long last come to light. They zoom in to take apart, with almost surgical precision, the many myths of Jewish and Muslim collusion and conspiracy that inform the worldview of the alt-right, from the darkest corners of the Net to the corridors of the Republican White House. Future generations will refer to this book to make sense of our rather curious age.’

    Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, King's College London, UK; author of "Antisémitisme et islamophobie : une histoire croisée" (Paris: Éditions Amsterdam, 2021)

    ‘Hirschbein and Asfari’s entertaining yet serious account of conspiracy today shows how the phenomenon has transformed from pseudo-theory to interactive games – while it remains incendiary, as it scapegoats Jews, Muslims, and minorities. They unpack conspiratorial mashups like “QAnon” and “The Project” to show how postmodern conspiracism dumbs things down even as it ramps violence up. A readable and gripping tour of contemporary conspiratorial delusions that upend our politics and disorient everyday life.’

    Russell Muirhead, Dartmouth College, USA; co-author (with Nancy Rosenblum) of A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy

    'It may be the most interesting aspect of the book is that just as we read and study and communicate differently in the digital world, we hate and fear qualitatively differently because of the different technology we now use...The phenomenon they describe seems compelling, viral, and incurable. As long as we have bored men with digital companionship.'

    Excerpt from Abba A. Solomon, author of “The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein's Speech' on https://hollywoodprogressive.com/literature/white-supremacist-conspiratorial-imagination