This workshop aims to demonstrate the ideological roots and impact of Islamophobia on the lives of everyday people. Despite reports showing that Islamic terrorists pose a very small threat to Americans many are willing to divest from their civil liberties, encroach on American Muslims rights, and spend tax dollars on feeling more security. The Nation reported that the war on terror has cost this nation $5.6 trillion and the annual budget for the FBI’s counterrorism unit is $8.3 billion. The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported that between 2008-2013, over $200 million was spent to foster hatred and anti-Muslim legislation. The current climate highlights the link between political discourse, media narratives, and interpersonal violence. With the current administration enacting the Muslim Ban, there has been an increased focus on Islamophobia from the Right, as well as the spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes leading up to the 2016 election and following. However many Islamophobic policies pre-date the current administration and have deep roots in anti-Black racism, genocide, and imperialism.
This workshop aims to shed light on the ways in which Islamophobia is an outgrowth of structural racism, who it harms, and the ways in which the Islamophobia imperils our democracy. Participants will explore the roots of anti-Muslim bias, addressing the ways in which Muslims in the US are impacted by the criminal justice, immigration, and national security system.