- Professor of International Relations at James Madison College and Michigan State University
- Aims to debunk what he describes as Westerners’ misconception that Islam is "monolithic [and] violent"
- Claims that the Islamic world’s anti-Americanism is rooted not in aggression but rather in a "quest for dignity"
Born in 1942, Mohammed Ayoob is a Muslim of Indian descent. He currently holds a joint appointment as a Professor of International Relations at James Madison College (where he is Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program) and at Michigan State University (where he has taught in the Department of Political Science since 1990). He has authored 11 books and more than 80 papers chiefly concerning the intersection of religion and politics in the Muslim world.
Prior to his current appointments, Ayoob was a faculty member at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (India) and the Australian National University in Canberra. In addition, he has held visiting appointments at Columbia, Oxford, Princeton, and Brown Universities, and at Bilkent University in Turkey. Moreover, he has been awarded fellowships and grants by the Ford, MacArthur, Rockefeller, and Michigan State University Foundations, as well as by the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ayoob aims to debunk what he describes as Westerners’ misconceptions about Islam, namely the notion that Islam is “monolithic [and] violent, and [that] the intermingling of religion and politics is unique to Islam.”
Ayoob contends that violence is just one of a number of tools that Islamists employ to achieve their goals. He explains, for instance, that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has channeled its political activism into numerous “parliamentary, democratic, and constitutional means [that are] available to them.”
According to Ayoob, the Islamic world’s anti-Americanism is rooted not in aggression but rather in a “quest for dignity.” “For most Muslims,” Ayoob says, “the antipathy [toward] America is based on America’s foreign policy, especially the blatant uses of double standards in relation to the Middle East.”
On September 11, 2007, Ayoob spoke at a Michigan State University event titled "Hope Not Hate: The Future of U.S.-Muslim World Relations." Co-sponsored by the University’s Muslim Students Association and Americans for Informed Democracy, this event aimed to develop “a comprehensive strategy towards more positive relations between the United States and the Muslim World, instead of relations based on fear and misunderstanding.” Other guest speakers included Shereef Akeel and Rosina Hassoun.