L57 RelPol 290

Islamophobia & U.S. Politics

Fall 2020, M/W 10:00–11:20AM

This course examines the phenomenon of Islamophobia as a form of anti-Muslim racism.

WUCRSL
line drawing of three people teaching superimposed on each other
Biography

The presence of Muslim minorities in the West is increasingly divisive across the US and Europe as political leaders appeal to voters’ fear of the ‘Other’ to promote Islamophobic agendas that reshape immigration and asylum policies and redefine Western identity as Christian. Politicians further exploit the rise of extremist groups like ISIS to justify anti-Muslim rhetoric and critique multiculturalism, claiming that Islam and the West are inherently antithetical. In this course we examine the phenomenon of Islamophobia as a form of anti-Muslim racism. We explore how while the post-9/11 context gave way to an increase in incidents of anti-Muslim violence, contemporary manifestations of Islamophobia are deeply rooted in state level anti-black racism from the early twentieth century. We also analyze public US debates on the boundaries of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.