Wed, 7 September 2016
September 11, 2001 ushered in an era marked by the unending War on Terror, dragnet government surveillance programs, and escalating attacks on people perceived to be Muslim. Just last month, Khalid Jabara, a 37-year old Lebanese American man was shot and killed on his front porch in Tulsa Oklahoma by a neighbor who had harassed his family for years, calling them ‘dirty Arabs’ and ‘Mooslems’.
This is just one of the many reported attacks on people perceived as Muslims in the United States. Last year, there were 174 incidents of anti-Muslim violence, and that’s only if you count the attacks that made headlines.
This backlash is just tip of the iceberg. Below the surface is a growing Islamophobia with deep roots in history and empire. Where does the idea of the ‘Muslim enemy’ come from? And how has it evolved into what we see today?
Fifteen years after 9/11, Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, takes us back nearly 15 centuries to find out.