chapter  8
16 Pages

How Affect Overrides Fact

Anti-Muslim Politicized Rhetoric in the Post-Truth Era
WithLara Lengel, Adam Smidi

The connection of affect to biases and anxieties concerning religion is substantial. Most societies and cultural groups, Mai Al-Nakib argues, are “organized around a limited selection of tolerated affects.” Rational, critical thinking is imperative to understand how basic or primary affects are used as foundational building blocks in the manufacture of an enemy. Questioning post-truth also requires a logical, political economy-centered analysis of why leaders lie, engage in fear-mongering, perpetuate the imagined enemy, and what they can gain from doing so. The waves of anti-Muslim affect since 9/11 have ebbed and flowed. There was a spike during debates about Park51, the push for anti-Sharia legislation, and after the November 13, 2015 murder of 130 persons in Paris for which ISIS took responsibility. Insecurity, “the new normal,” became, as Brian Massumi argues, that became, as Massumi argues, “not so much threatening as threat-generating: threat-o-genic.”.