The Racialization of Islam and Attacks On Non-Muslims

Islamophobia is real. An event like “2 Indian-Americans Shot, Mistaken for Arabs” reminds us that Islamophobic sentiments are currently produced through a racialization that includes a combination of “old racism” (skin color and ancestry) and “new racism” (culture and religious background).

The shooter in this event linked imagined features of “Muslim-ness” to people who are not even Muslim, and he subsequently subjected them to violence as a result of the racialization of Islam. The shooter clearly confused the victims’ physical appearance as a representation of Islam. He effectively used their bodies to categorize and to ultimately harm them in a terrible way.

The conflation of Indians and Middle Easterners shows how shallow Islamophobia can be. These two heterogeneous groups are from completely different parts of the world, and have significant differences in terms of ethnicity, cultural, religion, politics, etc. The shooter obviously does not care about – or apparently know about – such fine distinctions.

Ultimately, this story reminds us that you do not have to be a Muslim in any theological or cultural sense to be singled out for assault. Rather, what matters is how one looks, and whether those looks are conflated with Islam and Muslims.

That is why we say: Islamophobia is a form of racism.

4 thoughts on “The Racialization of Islam and Attacks On Non-Muslims

  1. Islam is radical. Quran followers obey a being that is not God visually seen. Lucifer is a sparkling being. Allah denies that there is a Lucifer. Allah calls himself a sparkling being. Allah is Lucifer. How can people not see that?


  2. I have spent a decade battling the gagging trope of Islamophobia….which for years, until the rise of ISIS, was used to silence ALL arguments against encroaching Islamism in eg our educational and political institutions nb ‘trojan horse ‘ stories in UK, in areas which are no go to non Muslims, where British Muslim women are subject to Shariah law and not given the freedoms of British law and benefits won by feminism

    I am married to an Indian who has been at the end of racism and wrongly thought of as a Muslim

    I contend that Islamophobia is an inadequate tool to deal with racism and fear of Muslims because I fear it. I fear it allows, when given its head, encroaching Islamism over all institutions and ultimately way of life and freedoms.

    We need to tackle political Islamic ideologies. We need to be allowed to wrestle with them and try and stop the excesses which would change the future our cultures in its patriarchy, it’s ‘superior’ theism…all submit to Allah.

    We need a better tool to deal with racism but allow ideological argument


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