"Troubling Islamophobia: The Politics of Naming and the Rise of Islamophobia Studies"
Islamophobia studies is a nascent field of scholarship whose relevance has intensified in both the post-9/11 moment and again in the aftermath of the Trump election. Yet what is meant by Islamophobia and who are U.S. Muslims? Prof. Kazi argues that it is critical to invoke both terms with caution, avoiding the temptation to homogenize a population that experiences Islamophobia varyingly. My research reveals a turn toward dismantling attitudinal Islamophobia is that has become the sine qua non of many Muslim advocacy groups and that is, targeting peoples perceptions, attitudes, and prejudices about Muslims and Islam. In this way, much of this Muslim multiculturalism mirrors the troubling is model minority trope that has been used to mischaracterize Asian American experiences. I consider whether targeting attitudinal Islamophobia has come at the expense of grappling directly with the geopolitical and racial realities of the U.S. war on terrorism.
Nazia Kazi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Stockton University, where she teaches on race, migration, and Islamophobia. Her ethnographic work explores the rise of the age good Muslims trope and the role Muslim advocacy groups play in shaping public discourse on Islamophobia. Most recently, she has been examining the impact of the Trump election on the work of these organizations.