Between Indigence, Islamophobia, and Erasure: Poor and Muslim in 'War on Terror' America

41 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015 Last revised: 15 Mar 2017

See all articles by Khaled A. Beydoun

Khaled A. Beydoun

Arizona State Univeristy (ASU) College of Law

Date Written: November 3, 2015


Nearly half of the Muslim American population is interlocked between indigence and “Islamophobia,” or anti-Muslim animus. Of the estimated 8 million Muslim Americans, 45% earn a household income less than $30,000 per annum. A figure that clashes with pervasive stereotyping of Muslim Americans as middle class, economically upwardly mobile, or opulently wealthy, but corresponds with the legal poverty line in the United States.

Since 9/11, the legal literature analyzing national security, anti-terror policies, and Muslim American civil liberties has been prolific. The emergence of “counter-radicalization” policing within Muslim American communities drives this scholarly interest forward. However, since 9/11 and still today, Muslim Americans have been framed as similarly situated victims within legal literature, falling short of closely examining vulnerable indigent and working class spaces where public and private Islamophobia is disproportionately unleashed; and injuries are compounded.

This intervention examines these liminal, and overlooked, spaces where indigence and Islamophobia collide. In turn, highlighting how the convergence of poverty, religious profiling and prosecution, and mounting counter-radicalization policing disparately impacts Muslim America’s most vulnerable demographic amid the still escalating “War on Terror.”

Suggested Citation

Beydoun, Khaled, Between Indigence, Islamophobia, and Erasure: Poor and Muslim in 'War on Terror' America (November 3, 2015). California Law Review, Vol. 104, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Khaled Beydoun (Contact Author)

Arizona State Univeristy (ASU) College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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