Edited by Kristin M.S. Bezio and George R. Goethals
Chapter 2: Muslims are the new Jesuits: what we can learn about leadership and modern Islamophobia from Shakespeares England
Anti-Catholicism in early modern England (from 1558 to 1658) bears an alarming similarity to twenty-first-century American Islamophobia. From suggestions of an Islamic registry to tales of secret Jihadist cults operating in Florida, the paranoid anti-Islamic rhetoric of post-2001 populist America has some disturbing parallels to the one hundred years of virulent anti-Catholicism that transformed Shakespeare’s England following the death of Queen Mary. This chapter will examine the historical context surrounding anti-Catholic rhetoric and persecution in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England leading up to the Civil War, suggesting that modern Western leadership needs to take into consideration the toxic historical ramifications of such a campaign.
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