Vatican Library fresco
For centuries in the West, Jews and Muslims were imagined together; usually - as in this picture taken from a ceiling in the Vatican Museum - as the common enemy, but often also in romantic, idealizing ways. Much of my work is about the history of this joint Jewish-Muslim imago. To think of Jew and Muslim as two of a kind was a silly idea. Not as silly and a lot less dangerous than figuring them to be opposites who can never meet.




False Leads




Illiberalism in East Central Europe

My current research focuses on illiberalism in Europe. I am especially interested in the European Union and its eastern region: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and eastern Germany. Attitudes to Muslims, Jews, and Roma form an important part of this research.

Recently, I have guest-edited an issue of the Journal of Contemporary European Studies that I coedited with Nitzan Shoshan, Islamophobia in Germany East/West. Previously, I guest-edited a special issue of Patterns of Prejudice called "Islamophobia in the East of the European Union." Many of my publications are accessible on Currently, I am writing a book provisionally to be called White But Not Quite, about illiberalism in Central Europe.

A special issue of

Early Orientalism: Imagined Islam and the Notion of Sublime Power

How do we imagine and experience the power that rules our destinies? As a loving Father in heaven? Or as a cruel, uncaring Master? In the western world, this ultimate question about the human condition has been rehearsed through fantasies about the Muslim Orient.

Muslims praying

This is what I discuss in my book, Early Orientalism: Imagined Islam and the Notion of Sublime Power (London and New York: Routledge, 2014). Read an exerpt

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