2015 was a horrific year for Muslims. Even CNN  noted that it “has been one of the most intensely anti-Muslim periods in American history.” The previous highpoint was 2010 during the so-called Ground Zero Mosque controversy when there were 53 attacks on mosques. In 2015 there were 63 incidents.
What explains the rise of anti-Muslim racism almost a decade-and-a-half after the events of 9/11? Why has Islamophobia become more virulent even though there has been no 9/11 type attack since then? The number of Americans killed by jihadists in this country since 9/11 is a grand total of 45. This figure pales in comparison to the over 400,000 killed by gun violence during the same period.
The answer to these questions lies in how we understand Islamophobia: what it is, where it comes from, and whose interests its serves.