Professor Jocelyne Cesari, Professor of Religion and Politics and Director of Research at The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, comments on a speech by Donald Trump and Islamophobia

Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia on is first overseas trip as U.S. president in May. He gave a speech in front of Arab and Muslim leaders at a regional summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 21, 2017. According to an article in Voice of America, he did not use the contentious phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” which he has frequently used in his U.S. speeches. Instead he called on Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism and asked Muslim leaders to honestly confront "the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.” Voice of America asked Professor Jocelyne Cesari to comment on the language used by Trump in his speech and she said that it was a "clear departure from his domestic" remarks on Islam. According to Voice of America she also said: "He has never made this difference that he made in this speech between Islamist radical ideology and Islam as such... but what it will mean in terms of policy and implementation is not clear.” Read the entire Voice of America article here.

Professor Cesari was also quoted in another article in Raw Story on May 20, 2017 that addresses Islamophobia in the United States, a form of discrimination that has received renewed attention since Donald Trump’s rise to the U.S. presidency. The article explains what Islamophobia is and republishes a quote from Professor Cesari from 2015 in which she explains the history of the term’s usage in the United States: “The usage of [the term] 'Islamophobia' in the U.S. increased after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but became more common during the 2008 elections and after a controversy erupted in 2010 over plans to build a mosque and community center near the site of the attacks." 

Reference list:

Herman, S. (2017) Trump calls for Muslim unity in fight against terrorism’ Voice of America, 21 May [Online]. Available at (Accessed: 24 May 2017)

Sonawane, V (2017) ‘What causes Islamophobia?’ Raw Story, 20 May [Online]. Available at (Accessed: 24 May 2017)