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Pankaj Mishra

Muslims Should Be Grateful to Trump

He's made sure no one can deny that Islamaphobia exists.
Bringing hate into the open.

Bringing hate into the open.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Donald Trump has violated almost every rule of political and social decorum in recent months. His inflammatory rhetoric now resonates across the world, finding echoes among Hindu supremacists in India and far-right politicians in Europe. Trump and his vociferous supporters seem to be setting up rancorous conflicts within and between societies.

In the process, however, Trump has made a little-acknowledged, and even vigorously denied, phenomenon seem incontrovertible: Islamophobia, the prejudice that blames an ancient religion for the crimes of some present-day murderers and fanatics, and makes a diverse population of 1.5 billion people look suspect in the eyes of the rest.