Contextualizing Events in Imagined Communities

Pre- and Post-September 11th Egyptian Attitudes toward Non-Arabs and Jews

in Sociology of Islam
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The ongoing denigration of Arabs in the media, the Western democratic political shifts away from Muslim religious freedom, and increasing anxiety about Muslim radicalization prompt the question: How do Arabs respond to global events when the Muslim and Western worlds are perceived to clash? Our study draws on the theory of imagined communities to examine the extent to which exogenous world events influence attitudes towards out-group members in the Egyptian context. We apply a “pre-post” quasi-experimental design using the World Values Survey, and examine the influence the events of September 11th, 2001 had on Egyptian perceptions of Jews and non-Arabs. Results suggest that intolerance towards both Jews and ethnic minorities decreased after the attacks. Results also suggest a complex, dynamic association between religiosity and tolerance towards out-group members. We conclude by discussing the theoretical contributions of this paper by highlighting the significance of context and religion when framing imagined communities.



Acevedo Gabriel A. (2008). Islamic fatalism and the clash of civilizations: an appraisal of a contentious and dubious theory. Social Forces , 86(4): 17111752. doi:

African Development Bank. (2006). Egypt: country strategy paper update. Regional Department North 1. Retrieved 2 February 2017 (

Ahmed Akbar . (2002). Ibn Khaldun’s understanding of civilizations and the dilemmas of Islam and the west today. Middle East Journal , 56(1): 2045.

al-Mashat Abdul-Monem . (1986). The Egyptian-Israeli settlement. Journal of Arab Affairs , 5(1): 81110.

Anderson Benedict . (2006). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism . New York: Verso.

Azzam Maha . (2013). Egypt’s democratic experiment: challenges to a positive trajectory. Insight Turkey , 15(2): 157169.

Bayat Asef . (2013). Egypt and its unsettled Islamism. In Bayat Asef (ed.), Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam , pp. 185239. New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766062.003.0007.

Beinin Joel . (1998). The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora . Berkeley: University of California Press. doi: 10.1017/S0364009402400116.

Berger Peter L. (1966). Identity as a problem in the sociology of knowledge. European Journal of Sociology , 7: 105115.

Berger Peter L. and Luckmann Thomas . (1967). The Social Construction of Reality; A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin.

Cainkar Louise A. (2002). No longer invisible: Arab and Muslim exclusion after September 11. Middle East Report , 224: 2229. doi: 10.2307/1559419.

Cainkar Louise A. (2009). Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press.

Carvacho Héctor , Zick Andreas , Haye Andrés , González Roberto , Manzi Jorge , Kocik Caroline , and Bertl Melanie . (2013). On the relation between social class and prejudice: the roles of education, income, and ideological attitudes. European Journal of Social Psychology , 43(4): 272285. doi:

Chiozza Giacomo . (2002). Is there a clash of civilizations? Evidence from patterns of international conflict involvement, 1946–97. Journal of Peace Research , 39(6): 711734. doi: 10.1177/0022343302039006004/.

Coenders Marcel and Scheepers Peer . (2003). The effect of education on nationalism and ethnic exclusionism: an international comparison. Political Psychology , 24(2): 313343. doi: 10.1111/0162-895X.00330.

Cook Thomas D. and Campbell Donald T. . (1986). The causal assumptions of quasi – experimental practice: the origins of quasi-experimental practice. Synthese , 68(1): 141180. doi: 10.1007/BF00413970.

Culcasi Karen . (2011). Cartographies of supranationalism: creating and silencing territories in the ‘Arab homeland.’ Political Geography , 30(8): 417428. doi: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2011.08.003.

Detroit Arab American Study Team. (2009). Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after 9/11. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Doebler Stephanie . (2014). Relationships between religion and intolerance towards Muslims and immigrants in Europe: a multilevel analysis. Review of Religious Research , 56(1): 6186. doi: 10.1007/s13644-013-0126-1.

Eglitis Aaron . (2015). Paris terror unites East Europe against Merkel’s refugee plan. Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 January 2017 (

Esposito John L. (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acref/9780195125580.001.0001.

Farber David . (2007). What They Think of us: International Perceptions of the United States Since 9/11. nj: Princeton University Press. doi:

Fisher Ronald A. (1925). Statistical Methods for Research Workers. London: Oliver and Boyd.

Fox Jonathan . (2002). Ethnic minorities and the clash of civilizations: a quantitative analysis of Huntington’s thesis. British Journal of Political Science , 32(3): 415434. doi: 10.1017/S0007123402000170.

Ginat Rami . (2011). A History of Egyptian Communism: Jews and their Compatriots in the Quest of Revolution. Boulder, co: Lynne Rienner.

González Alessandra L. (2011). Measuring religiosity in a majority Muslim context: gender, religious salience, and religious experience among Kuwaiti college students – a research note. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion , 50(2): 339350. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01571.x.

Green Sarah , Chris Gregory , Madeleine Reeves , Jane K. Cowan , Olga Demetriou , Insa Koch , Michael Carrithers , Ruben Andersson , Andre Gingrich , Sharon Macdonald , Salih Can Açiksöz , Umut Yildirim , Thomas Hylland Eriksen , Cris Shore , Douglas R. Holmes , Michael Herzfeld , Marilyn Strathern , Casper Bruun Jensen , Keir Martin , Dimitris Dalakoglou , Georgos Poulimenakos , Stef Jansen , Čarna Brkovič , Thomas M. Wilson , Niko Besnier , Daniel Guinness , Mark Hann , Ballinger Pamela , Dzenovska Dace . (2016). Brexit referendum: first reactions from anthropology. Social Anthropology , 24(4): 478502. doi: 10.1111/1469-8676.12331.

Grudz Anatoily , Wellman Barry and Takhteyev Yuri . (2011). Imagining Twitter as an imagined community. American Behavioral Scientist , 55(10): 12941318. doi:

Hage Ghassan . (2005). A not so multi-sited ethnography of a not so imagined community. Anthropological Theory , 5(4): 463475. doi:

Hall Deborah L. , Matz David C. , and Wood Wendy . (2010). Why don’t we practice what we preach? A meta-analytic review of religious racism. Personality and Social Psychology Review , 14(1): 126139. doi:

Haslam Nick . (2006). Dehumanization: an integrative review. Personality and Social Psychology Review , 10(3): 252264. doi:

Haslam Nick , Loughnan Stephen , Kashima Yoshihisa , and Bain Paul . (2008). Attributing and denying humanness to others. European Review of Social Psychology , 19: 5585. doi: 10.1080/10463280801981645.

Henderson Errol A. and Tucker Richard . (2001). Clear and present strangers: the clash of civilizations and international conflict. International Studies Quarterly , 45(2): 317338. doi: 10.1111/0020-8833.00193.

Henry Ian P. , Amara Mahfoud , and Al-Tauqi Mansour . (2003). Sport, Arab nationalism and the Pan-Arab games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport , 38(3): 295310. doi:

Hogg M.A. (2004). Uncertainty and extremism: identification with high entitativity groups under conditions of uncertainty. In Yzerbyt Vincent , Judd Charles M. , and Corneille Olivier (eds.), The Psychology of Group Perception: Perceived Variability, Entitativity, and Essentialism , pp. 401418. New York: Psychology Press. doi: 10.4324/9780203644973.

Hogg M.A. (2006). Social identity theory. In Burke Peter J. (ed.), Contemporary Social Psychological Theories, pp. 111136. Palo Alto, ca: Stanford University Press.

Inglehart Ronald , Moaddel Mansoor , and Tessler Mark . (2006). Xenophobia and in-group solidarity in Iraq: a natural experiment on the impact of insecurity. Perspectives on Politics , 4(3): 495505. doi:

Jennings Lauren E. and McLean Kate C. . (2013). Storying away self-doubt: can narratives dispel threats to the self? Journal of Research in Personality , 47(4): 317329. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2013.02.006.

Johnson Megan K. , Rowatt Wade C. , Barnard-Brak Lucy M. , Patock-Peckham Julie A. , LaBouff Jordan P. , and Carlisle Robert D. . (2011). A mediational analysis of the role of right-wing authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in the religiosity-prejudice link. Personality & Individual Differences , 50(6): 851856. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2011.01.010.

Kassem Maye . (2006). Egypt: politics in the new millennium. unisci Discussion Papers , 12: 121134.

Kimball Charles . (2002). When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs. San Francisco: Harper Collins.

Koran Laura . (2016). Will refugees bring Europe’s terror woes to us homeland? cnn. Retrieved 21 January 2017 (

Kunovich Robert M. and Hodson Randy . (1999). Conflict, religious identity, and ethnic intolerance in Croatia. Social Forces , 78(2): 643668.

Legewie Joscha . (2013). Terrorist events and attitudes toward immigrants: a natural experiment. American Journal of Sociology, 118(5): 11991245. doi: .

Leon Federico R. and Cuesta Agustín . (1993). The need for quasi-experimental methodology to evaluate pricing effects. Studies in Family Planning, 24(6): 375381. doi: 10.2307/2939247.

Levey Geoffrey B. (2009). Review article: what is living and what is dead in multiculturalism. Ethnicities , (9)1: 7593. doi:

Lichtblau Eric . (2016). Hate crimes against American Muslims most since post-9/11 era. The New York Times. Retrieved 21 January 2017 (

Mahmood Saba . (2004). Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject . Princeton, nj: Princeton University Press.

Matlock, Jack F. Jr. (1999). Can civilizations clash? Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society , 143(3): 428439.

McDougall James . (2011). Dream of exile, promise of home: language, education, and Arabism in Algeria. International Journal of Middle East Studies , 43(2): 251270. doi: 10.1017/S0020743811000055.

McGregor Ian , Haji Reeshma , Nash Kyle A. , and Teper Rimma . (2008). Religious Zeal and the uncertain self. Basic and Applied Social Psychology , 30(2): 183188. doi:

Moaddel Mansoor . (2003). 2002 keynote address: September 11, global exigencies, and sociology: a new challenge. Michigan Sociological Review , 17(Fall): 15.

Moaddel Mansoor and Abdul-Latif Hamid . (2006). Events and value change: the impact of September 11, 2001 on the worldviews of Egyptians and Moroccans. In Moaddel Mansoor (ed.), Values and Perceptions of the Islamic and Middle Eastern Publics , pp. 249297. New York, Palgrave Macmillan us. doi: 10.1057/9780230603332_10.

Mol H. (1976). Identity and the Sacred: A Sketch for a New Social-Scientific Theory of Religion. New York: Free Press.

Morgan G. Scott , Wisneski Daniel C. , and Skitka Linda J. . (2011). The expulsion from Disneyland: the social psychological impact of 9/11. American Psychologist , 66(6): 447454. doi: 10.1037/a0024772.

Najjar Fauzi . (2005). The Arabs, Islam and globalization. Middle East Policy , 12(3): 91106. doi: 10.1111/j.1061-1924.2005.00215.x.

Panagopoulos Costas . (2006). The polls-trends: Arab and Muslim Americans and Islam in the aftermath of 9/11. The Public Opinion Quarterly , 70(4): 608624. doi: 10.1093/poq/nfl029.

Pelowski Allan . (1971). On the use of a quasi-experimental design in the study of international organization and war . Journal of Peace Research , 8(3/4): 279285. doi:

Pew Research Center. (2012). Egyptians have sharply negative attitudes towards the u.s. Retrieved 2 February 2017 (

Pintak Lawrence . (2009). Border guards of the ‘imagined’ Watan: Arab journalists and the new Arab consciousness. The Middle East Journal , 63(2): 191212. doi: 10.1353/mej.0.0047.

Powers Jillian L. (2011). Reimaging the imagined community: homeland tourism and the role of place. American Behavioral Scientist , 55(10): 13621378. doi:

Quillian Lincoln . (1995). Prejudice as response to perceived group threat: population composition and anti-immigrant and racial prejudice in Europe. American Sociological Review , 60(4): 586611. doi:

Rimé Bernard , Paez Darío , Basabe Nekane , and Martinez Francisco . (2010). Social sharing of emotion, post-traumatic growth, and emotional climate: follow-up of Spanish citizen’s response to the collective trauma of March 11th terrorist attacks in Madrid. European Journal of Social Psychology , 40(6): 10291045. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.700.

Romanelli Elaine and Tushman Michael L. . (1986). Inertia, environments, and strategic choice: a quasi-experimental design for comparative-longitudinal research. Management Science, 32(5): 608621. doi:

Russett Bruce M. , Oneal John R. , Cox Michaelene . (2000). Clash of civilizations, or realism and liberalism déjà vu? Some evidence. Journal of Peace Research , 37(5): 583608. doi:

Said Edward W. (1977). Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.

Schafer Chelsea E. and Shaw Greg M. . (2009). Trends-tolerance in the United States. Public Opinion Quarterly , 73(2): 404431. doi:

Scheepers Peer , Gijsberts Mèrove , and Hello Evelyn . (2002). Religiosity and prejudice against ethnic minorities in Europe: cross-national tests on a controversial relationship. Review of Religious Research , 43(3): 242265. doi:

Schwarzer Ralf , Bowler Rosemarie M. , and Cone James E. . (2014). Social integration buffers stress in New York police after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Anxiety Stress and Coping , 27(1): 1826. doi:

Scott Rachel M. (2010). The Challenge of Political Islam: Non-Muslims and the Egyptian State. Stanford, ca: Stanford University Press.

Shaheen Jack G. (2003). Reel bad Arabs: how Hollywood vilifies a people. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 588(1): 171193. doi:

Shen Megan Johnson , Megan C. Haggard , Daniel C. Strassburger , and Wade C. Rowatt . (2013). Testing the love thy neighbor hypothesis: religiosity’s association with positive attitudes toward ethnic/racial and value-violating out-groups. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality , 5(4): 294303. doi: 10.1037/a0033648.

Sherbiny Naiem A. (2005). Can Russia and Germany save the Middle East? Russia in Global Affairs , 3(1): 167175.

Shamir Shimon . (1987). The evolution of Egyptian nationality laws and their application to the Jews in the monarchy period. In Shamir Shimon (ed.), The Jews of Egypt, A Mediterranean Society in Modern Times , pp. 3367. Boulder: Westview Press.

Silberman Israela . (2005). Religion as a meaning system: implications for the new millennium. Journal of Social Issues , 61(4): 641663. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00425.x.

Silberman Israela , Tory Higgins E. , and Dweck Carol S. . (2005). Religion and world change: violence and terrorism versus peace. Journal of Social Issues , 61(4): 761784. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00431.x.

Smith Anthony D. (1995). Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era. Cambridge, ma: Polity Press, Blackwell.

Tajfel Henri . (1972). Social categorization. In Moscovici Serge (ed.), Introduction à la psychologie sociale, pp. 272302. Paris: Larousse.

Tajfel Henri . (1974). Intergroup behaviour, social comparison and social change. Unpublished Katz-Newcomb lectures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Tiryakian Edward A. (2011). The missing religious factor in imagined communities. American Behavioral Scientist , 55(10): 13951414. doi:

Tsygankov Andrei . (2003). The irony of western ideas in a multicultural world: Russians’ intellectual engagement with the ‘end of history’ & ‘clash of civilizations.’ International Studies Review , 5(1): 5376. doi: 10.1111/1521-9488.501003.

Turner John C. , Hogg Michael A. , Oakes Penelope J. , Reicher Stephen D. , and Wetherell Margaret S. . (1987). Rediscovering The Social Group: A Self-Categorization Theory. Oxford, England: Blackwell.

Weber Max . (2009). The social psychology of world religions. Gerth Hans H. and Wright Mills C. (ed.) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, pp. 267301. New York: Routledge.

Weeks Mathew and Lupfer Michael B. . (2004). Complicating race: the relationship between prejudice, race, and social class categorizations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 30(8): 972984. doi:

Wien Peter . (2011). The long and intricate funeral of Yasin Al-Hashimi: pan-Arabism, civil religion, and popular nationalism in Damascus, 1937. International Journal of Middle East Studies , 43(2): 271292. doi: 10.1017/S0020743811000067.

World Value Survey. (2009). World Values Survey 1-981–2008 official aggregate v.20090902, 2009. World Values Survey Association ( Aggregate File Producer: asep/jds Data Archive, Madrid, Spain.

Yan Holly , Sgueglia Kristina , and Walker Kylie . (2016). ‘Make America white again’: hate speech and crimes post-election. cnn . Retrieved 21 January 2017 (


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 40 40 18
Full Text Views 6 6 6
PDF Downloads 1 1 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0