Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics is a powerful introduction to the topic of the anti-Muslim landscape in the U.S. In it, Kazi shows that Islamophobia is not a set of anti-Muslim attitudes and prejudices. Instead, this book shows how Islamophobia is part of a greater reality: systemic U.S. racism. In other words, Islamophobia is neither a blip nor a break with a racially harmonious American social order, but rather the outcome of destructive foreign policy practices and an enduring history of white supremacy.
This book illustrates how popular understandings of Islamophobia are often flawed. For instance, the assumption that the right wing is especially anti-Muslim overlooks the bipartisan history of Islamophobia in the U.S. The author draws from years of ethnographic fieldwork with Muslim American organizations to show how diversity and inequality among Muslims in the U.S. drastically shapes the experience of Islamophobia and racism. While swaths of undocumented, working class, or incarcerated Muslims bear the brunt of U.S. racism, a small subset of relatively privileged Muslim spokespeople hold the platform from which to speak about Islamophobia.
The book is engaging for readers, as it shifts between a historical analysis (for instance, of the arrival of enslaved Muslim from Africa during the settling of the United States), the voices of those from the author’s research with Muslim American advocacy groups, and commentary on the current political landscape. The book offers a comprehensive overview of the roots of U.S. racism as an inherent part of the nation’s economic and foreign policy practices. Since 9/11/2001 and, more recently, the ascendancy of Trump, there remains a growing curiosity about Muslims and Islamophobia. The book offers a nuanced view on racism and Islamophobia that is often missing from popular understandings on the topic.
Nazia Kazi is associate professor of anthropology at Stockton University. She has lectured widely on Islamophobia, including her TEDx talk “Islamophobia and Islamophilia," and has published articles such as “Teaching Against Islamophobia in the Age of Terror” in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Praise for Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics
“In this fascinating little volume, Nazia Kazi successfully demonstrates that Islamophobia is not just a response to 9/11 or other violence in the name of Islam, but rather a complicated set of attitudes and behaviors accompanying aggressive Western government actions in the Islamic world and endemic racism in the US and elsewhere.”
“Nazia Kazi’s Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics is a brilliant and powerful meditation on the intersection and interaction of Islamophobia, racism, and U.S. imperial state power. This book seeks to reorient our understanding of Islamophobia from a phenomenon centered on individual attitudes and perceptions of hate, to one which is indelibly entrenched to the structural logics of modern state sovereignty, and to the long-running history of racism in the U.S.”
“Kazi’s book [is] necessary reading for any American invested in real transformation of this country.”
9/11/22, Middle East Eye: Nazia Kazi spoke about how young Americans know little about the “war on terror.”