Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism


In Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism, renowned Islamophobia expert Todd Green shows us how we can ask better questions of our Muslim neighbors—questions based not on the presumption of guilt but on the promise of friendship.

His message? It’s time for us to stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism under the assumption they are guilty of harboring terrorist sympathies or promoting violence until they prove otherwise. Friendship, not fear, should drive the questions we ask about Muslims.

“Here it is—a provocative book,” Green writes. “Yet a book that provokes can also invite. In the end, that’s what I want this book to be—an invitation to raise our standards and to examine our prejudices when it comes to the questions we ask of Muslims.”

“The political and media establishments have taught us to view Muslims as objects of suspicion, not as sources of wisdom or insight. This means many of us harbor implicit biases against Muslims. These biases will not disappear easily, or without effort.” That is why we must, Green urges, “allow Muslims to become our teachers and our windows into the world of Islam.”

Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism can be purchased from Augsburg Fortress.

Praise for Presumed Guilty

“Lucid and personal, scholarly and accessible, Todd Green reminds his readers that the humanity of Muslims comes before the crimes committed in their name by some. The implication that most Muslims are held guilty by association by sections of the media, policy makers, and some governments for the unspeakable terrorist crimes most Muslims deplore is to dehumanize the world’s second-largest religious community. Presumed Guilty counters the false and damaging narratives of Islamophobia informed by a Christian perspective with clarity and humanity. A must read.” 

—Ebrahim Moosa, University of Notre Dame

“Green’s book is essential reading for anyone still asking Muslims to coddle bigots with reassurance. He makes a clear case for why all people should be afforded the assumption of basic human decency.” 

— Dalia Mogahed, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

“Green not only shows us how Islamophobia harms everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, but also offers a guide for building better interfaith understanding. Presumed Guilty is timely, necessary, and an incredibly useful book.” 

—Moustafa Bayoumi, author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America

About the Author

Todd Green is Associate Professor of Religion at Luther College. A nationally recognized expert on Islamophobia, Green served as a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department in 2016-17, where he analyzed and assessed the impact of anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe on countering violent extremism initiatives, refugee and migrant policies, and human rights. He has also given lectures on Islamophobia to other federal agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

As a public scholar, Green has contributed to The Huffington Post and has been interviewed by a variety of media outlets on Islamophobia, including CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Reuters, and The Intercept. His views on Islamophobia have been cited by organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for American Progress, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Green is the author of The Fear of Islam: An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West (Fortress Press - 2nd edition, 2019). The book surveys the history of anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe and the United States and addresses the political and cultural factors contributing to the rise of Islamophobia in the post-9/11 era. In 2018, The Fear of Islam was cited in an amicus curiae brief filed by prominent civil rights organizations, including the NAACP and the National Urban League, in the Supreme Court of the United States. The brief argued in favor of enjoining President Trump's executive order banning entry into the United States from select Muslim-majority countries.


Todd H. Green, Eboo Patel