Ideology, Identity, and Law in the Production of Islamophobia
38 Dialectical Anthropology __ (2014 Forthcoming).
20 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2014 Last revised: 9 Sep 2014
Date Written: June 30, 2014
This essay suggests three avenues of exploration in the study of Islamophobia to augment the arguments in Deepa Kumar’s Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire. First, it is important to examine both the Liberal philosophical roots of Islamophobia and the use of Orientalism and history in the production of the discourse -- as well as in its resistance -- to show how liberal and right wing Islamophobia are intimately connected. Second, law as a marker of identity domestically and the international legal changes that have eroded the rights of Muslims in the War on Terror are critical to understanding the ways in which Muslims are regulated. And, finally, the essay raises once again the problem of secularism and solidarity with anti-imperialist activists and social movements in the post-9/11 and post-Arab Spring world. The essay argues that in order to fully comprehend and combat Islamophobia in both its local and global forms, left secularists must engage the roots of the phenomenon in Liberal philosophy, the legal dimensions of imperialism and racism, and practices of the War on Terror/Islamophobia. Further they must reconsider and rearticulate their commitments to secularism with particular attention to how calls for secularism has advanced imperialism and how it can be reasserted in order to promote progressive aims of equality and justice.
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By Rosa Brooks