On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by joined by Imraan Siddiqi. Imraan is a writer, activist and Executive Director of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Arizona branch. He’s also head of the Islamophobia tracking project Hate Hurts.
Imraan explains how Islamophobia manifests in ways that go far beyond mere criticism of Islam, despite what folks like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins would have you believe. He explains how Islam, despite not being a race, is racialized, with non-Muslims falling victim to Islamophobic attacks based on characteristics including race and national origin that are incorrectly perceived as Islamic.
We discuss how the war on terror, even when dressed up in liberal rhetoric by politicians like Obama and Clinton, inevitably feeds Islamophobia by implicitly and explicitly devaluing Muslim lives. We also discuss how economic insecurity in working-class rural white communities, as well as in Muslim communities, creates fertile ground for hatred and fear-mongering. Defeating Islamophobia will ultimately require dramatic structural fixes, including ending the war on terror and seriously addressing wealth inequality.