By Phyllis Chesler, February 22, 2021

“Non-Violent Islamism” sounds so innocuous, so different from the violence we associate with open jihad terrorism. But as Elham Manea has pointed out, ‘nonviolent Islamism,’ is the basic building block that leads to violent jihad. And our misreading of that reality can lead to real harm. It will come as a surprise to many that indiscriminately labeling critics of salafism as islamophobes also reduces the impact of Muslims who work to reform sharia law. This article is a review by Phyllis Chesler of the well-reasoned arguments by Manea on how Western repression of the politically incorrect terminology that correctly characterizes Islamism can lead to repressing any condemnation of Islamism. And that does Muslims who wish to reform outmoded practices no good at all. Manea has also pointed out that it is a mistake for Westerners to consider the Muslim Brother as a reliable source of expertise. As Manea writes, “One cannot combat an ideology and fundamentalism by working with the very groups that promote that ideology. […] The Muslim Brotherhood is structured and organized globally so that it can indoctrinate successive generations into ‘radicalized Islam’ or hate ideology, the kind that leads to funding and perpetrating violent jihad; gender segregation; closed communities especially in the West; the veiling of women, child marriage; infidel hatred, especially Jew-hatred, etc.”

AUTHOR: Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), and the author of 20 books, including Women and Madness (1972), and A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killings. (2018). She is a Senior IPT Fellow and a Fellow at MEF and ISGAP.

This article was published February 22, 2021 by the Phyllis Chesler website and is archived at

It is archived at Think-Israel at