Over fifteen years after the attacks on September 11, 2001, racist and Islamophobic responses–both in law and culture–have not relented.
In the face of ongoing anti-Muslim violence, Center for New Community Fellow Manzoor Cheema and Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC, wrote an important piece about why it is essential to understand Islamophobia as deeply connected to other forms of oppression, and how an intersectional approach can help lead to liberation for all of us.
Discriminating against and demonizing Muslims for their religious belief and practices is unjust and a product of widespread fear mongering. Muslims are also victims of increased profiling and surveillance by law-enforcement, another form of institutional Islamophobia.
Throughout the U.S. history, bigoted legislation has had far-reaching effects. Jim Crow laws were more than segregating water fountains. Such laws based on bigotry reduced an entire group of people to second-class citizens.
It is time to recognize that bigotry against Muslims is deeply connected to other forms of oppression. In a study of 102 anti-Shariah laws introduced in this country between 2011 and 2013, it was found that 80 percent were introduced by the same legislators who introduced voter suppression, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-union, and anti-immigrant laws.
This piece was published in North Carolina’s News and Observer on October 3, 2016.