Twenty Years after 9/11: Islamophobia and the politics of Empire
Friday, September 10, 2 PM Pacific
In Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, leading scholar Deepa Kumar traces the history of Islamophobia from the 16th century to the “War on Terror.” In the twenty years since 9/11, she writes, Islamophobia has functioned in the United States both as a set of coercive policies and as a body of ideas that take various forms: liberal, conservative, and rightwing.
This particular form of bigotry continues to have horrific consequences not only for people in Muslim-majority countries who become the targets of an endless War on Terror, but for Muslims and those who “look Muslim” in the West as well. Importantly, Kumar contends that Islamophobia is not simply religious intolerance or the reaction of an empire in crisis; it must be recognized instead as racism—the kind that manifests in mass surveillance, arbitrary arrests, and deportation, much like other forms of centuries-old systemic racism. And this anti-Muslim racism in turn sustains empire.
Kumar will be joined by Noura Erakat, Naomi Klein, Jasbir Puar, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor for a discussion of all the ways these racist ideas have been stoked since 9/11, and what we can do to oppose them.