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.