Punishing Violent Thoughts: Islamic Dissent and Thoreauvian Disobedience in Post-9/11 America
Journal of American Studies, Forthcoming
32 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 24, 2017
American Muslims increasingly negotiate their relationship to a government that is suspicious of Islam, yet which recognizes them as rights-bearing citizens, within a culture they claim as their own. To better understand how the post-9/11 state is reshaping American Islam, I examine the case of Muslim American dissident Tarek Mehanna, sentenced to seventeen years in prison in 2012 for providing material support for terrorism. I read Mehanna’s verbal and visual depictions of his persecution in relation to the American dissidents Mehanna claims as intellectual predecessors, above all Henry David Thoreau and John Brown, while situating this dissent within a long history of American activism.
Keywords: American Islam, dissent, terrorism, violence, non-violence, prison writing, Thoreau, Tarek Mehanna
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation