Nav: Home

Islamophobia represents a form of racism mixed with cultural intolerance

September 14, 2017

Islamophobia represents a form of racism mixed with cultural intolerance as a whole, rather than simply intolerance of Muslims and Islam, according to a new paper from a Rice University sociologist.

"The Racialization of Islam in the United States: Islamophobia, Hate Crimes and 'Flying While Brown'" is published in the journal Religions. Author Craig Considine, a lecturer in sociology at Rice, reviewed more than 40 news articles and referenced dozens of academic studies relating to the experiences of American Muslims and the stereotypical depictions of Muslims. His analysis revealed several findings from the various articles and research papers that support his argument that racism is a symbolic form of Islamophobia, which has been misrepresented as a form of religious bias that oppresses U.S. Muslims on the grounds that Islam is nefarious and antithetical to American values.

"We often hear that because Muslims are not a race, people cannot be racist for attacking Muslims," Considine said. "This argument does not stack up. It is a simplistic way of thinking that overlooks the role that race plays in Islamophobic hate crimes."

Considine summarizes the findings below:

In 2016 alone, incidents of Islamophobia, including acts of violence and nonviolent harassment, rose by 57 percent.

More than half of hate crimes in the U.S. in 2015 - 59.2 percent - were linked to a race/ethnicity/ancestry bias. Only 19.7 percent of hate crimes were linked to a religious bias, and 17.7 percent to a sexual orientation bias.

More than 50 percent of Muslims experienced some form of hostility between 2010 and 2014, and more than one-third of Muslims felt they had been targeted on the basis of being identified as Muslim.

News outlets give drastically more coverage to crimes by Muslims. Attacks by Muslim perpetrators received, on average, 449 percent more coverage than crimes carried out by non-Muslims.

Out of more than 1,000 Hollywood films depicting Arabs, 932 of these films depicted them in a stereotypical or negative light. For example, Arabs/Muslims were constructed as the ominous figure: the bearded, dark-skinned, turban-wearing terrorist. Only 12 films depicted these individuals in a positive way.

Considine said that in spite of the racialization of Islam, the population of Muslims in the U.S. is heterogeneous. Of the approximately 3.3 million Muslims of all ages living in the U.S. in 2017, no single racial or ethnic group accounts for more than 30 percent of the total population. Thirty percent of U.S. Muslims describe themselves as white, 23 percent as black, 21 percent as Asian, 6 percent as Hispanic and 19 percent as other or mixed race. In addition, 81 percent of Muslims in the U.S. are American citizens.

"Despite the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the U.S. Muslim population, they continue to be cast as potentially threatening persons based on perceived racial and cultural characteristics," Considine said.

He also said the racially motivated incidents of hate crime examined in this paper - including one incident where a Sikh in Mesa, Ariz., was shot and killed in the days following Sept. 11 by a man who said he wanted to "kill a Muslim" in retaliation for the terrorist attacks - suggest that Islamophobia does not belong in the realm of "rational" criticism of Islam or Muslims. In this situation, the perpetrator confused the man's beard and turban as a representation of Islam, and effectively used his "race" to categorize and ultimately harm him in the worst way imaginable, Considine said.

"This incident and other incidents referenced in the paper are examples of how Muslims have been racialized and thus subjected to a kind of racism," he said. "This has led to U.S. citizens getting an idea of who the so-called 'bad guys' are and acting based on this knowledge. Taking a 'colorblind' understanding of Islamophobia - that is, to dismiss the role that race plays in anti-Muslim racism - legitimizes certain racialized practices and maintains inequalities such as racial profiling at airports, police brutality, housing and job discrimination and voter disenfranchisement."

Considine hopes the paper will raise awareness of the racialization of Islam in the U.S. and help to counter the rising Islamophobia across the country.

"We would be misguided to dismiss the role that race plays in incidents where Muslims and non-Muslims are targeted due to stereotypes of 'Muslim identity,'" he said. "This identity, insofar as the American context goes, appears to be weighted with racial meanings."
-end-
The study is available online at http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/8/9/165.

For more information, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6327 or david@rice.edu.

This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related Materials:

Rice University bio: https://sociology.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=4294967355

Craig Considine website: https://craigconsidinetcd.com/

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

Rice University

Related Racism Articles:

What strategies help ethnic minority adolescents cope with racism?
A new study finds that maintaining a strong ethnic identity and high levels of social support can help Latino adolescents in the United States cope with racism.
Study examines adolescents' responses to racism in school
When adolescents read a hypothetical scenario about verbal racism in school, age, ethnicity, cross-group friendships, and ethnic socialization predicted their bystander responses.
A suspicious mind leads to a suspicious face
In a series of studies, social psychology researchers show that Black participants who hold suspicious views of Whites visualize White faces, even smiling ones, as less trustworthy, less authentic and sometimes more hostile.
Study finds exposure to racism harms children's health
New research to be presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies 2017 Meeting illustrates the unhealthy effects racism can have on children, with reported exposure to discrimination tied to higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression, as well as decreased general health.
'Race tests' may be fueling segregation in white evangelical churches
A new study explores why nominally welcoming churches remain racially segregated in the post-civil rights era.
The Lancet: Structural racism, mass incarceration, and health care system fuel growing health inequalities in the USA
Structural racism, mass incarceration, and the widening income gap between rich and poor all feed growing health inequalities in the USA, which the health care system -- by its very design and financing -- only helps exacerbate, according to a new five paper Series published in The Lancet.
Study of college-age white men reveals cultural awareness deficit
In a new study presented during the 41st annual Association for the Study of Higher Education conference, University of Arizona researcher Nolan L.
Risk-taking behaviors tied to racial disparities in HIV in gay communities
Researchers from Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health re-examined data showing a disparity between HIV prevalence in black and white men who have sex with men and found that a racial gap between them was reduced once levels of risk within their communities were considered.
White racism tied to fatal heart disease for blacks and whites
Living in unabashedly racist communities can shorten the lives of both blacks and whites, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Violent groups revealed on Twitter
New sentiment analysis algorithms developed by researchers at the University of Salamanca are able to monitor the social network Twitter in search of violent groups.

Related Racism Reading:

Racism: A Very Short Introduction
by Ali Rattansi (Author)

From subtle discrimination in everyday life, to horrors like lynching in the Old South, cultural imperialism, and "ethnic cleansing", racism exists in many different forms, in almost every facet of society. Despite civil rights movements and other attempts at progress, racial prejudices and stereotypes remain deeply embedded in Western culture. Racism takes a frank and objective look at why these notions exist. It explores how racism has come to be so firmly established, and looks at how race, ethnicity, and xenophobia are related. This book incorporates the latest research to... View Details


A Practical Guide to Racism
by C. H. Dalton (Author)

Meet C. H. Dalton, a professor of racialist studies and an expert on inferior people of all ethnicities, genders, religions, and sexual preferences. Presenting evidence that everyone should be hated, A Practical Guide to Racism contains sparkling bits of wisdom on such subjects as: · The good life enjoyed by blacks, who shuffle through life unhindered by the white man's burdens, to become accomplished athletes, rhyme smiths, and dominoes champions · The sad story of the industrious, intelligent Jews, whose entire reputation is sullied by their taste for the blood of Christian babies · A... View Details


Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America
by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (Author)

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. The fifth edition of this provocative book makes clear that color blind racism is as insidious now as ever. It features new material on our current racial climate, including the Black Lives Matter movement; a significantly revised chapter that examines the Obama presidency, the 2016 election, and Trump’s presidency; and a new... View Details


Racism: A Short History (Princeton Classics)
by George M. Fredrickson (Author), Albert Camarillo (Foreword)

Are antisemitism and white supremacy manifestations of a general phenomenon? Why didn't racism appear in Europe before the fourteenth century, and why did it flourish as never before in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Why did the twentieth century see institutionalized racism in its most extreme forms? Why are egalitarian societies particularly susceptible to virulent racism? What do apartheid South Africa, Nazi Germany, and the American South under Jim Crow have in common? How did the Holocaust advance civil rights in the United States?


With a rare blend of learning,... View Details


Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (National Book Award Winner)
by Ibram X. Kendi (Author)

WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION
-
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | 
WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER-
NAMED A FINALIST for the 2016 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION 
-NOMINATED for the 2016 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK OF NONFICTION, and the 2017 HURSTON/WRIGHT LEGACY AWARD IN NONFICTION-NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed,... View Details


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander (Author), Cornel West (Introduction)

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice... View Details


Uprooting Racism - 4th edition: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
by Paul Kivel (Author)

In 2016, the president-elect of the United States openly called for segregation and deportation based on race and religion. Meanwhile, inequalities in education, housing, health care, and the job market continue to prevail, while increased insecurity and fear have led to an epidemic of scapegoating and harassment of people of color. Yet, recent polls show that only thirty-one percent of white people in the United States believe racism is a major societal problem; at the same time, resistance is strong, as highlighted by indigenous struggles for land and sovereignty and the Movement for... View Details


Understanding and Dismantling Racism: The Twenty-First Century Challenge to White America (Facets)
by Joseph Barndt (Author)

More than 15 years have passed since Joe Barndt wrote his influential and widely acclaimed Dismantling Racism (1991, Augsburg Books). He has now written a replacement volume - powerful, personal, and practical - that reframes the whole issue for the new context of the twenty-first century. With great clarity Barndt traces the history of racism, especially in white America, revealing its various personal, institutional, and cultural forms. Without demonizing anyone or any race, he offers specific, positive ways in which people in all walks, including churches, can work to bring racism to an... View Details


The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege
by Robert Jensen (Author)

In The Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that the question whites wanted to ask him was: “How does it feel to be a problem?” In The Heart of Whiteness, Robert Jensen writes that it is time for white people in America to self-consciously reverse the direction of that question and to fully acknowledge that in the racial arena, they are the problem.

While some whites would like to think that we have reached “the end of racism” in the United States, and others would like to celebrate diversity but are oblivious to the political, economic, and social... View Details


How Racism Takes Place
by George Lipsitz (Author)

Argues that racism continues to the present day due to practices that force different racial groups into specific areas, where such commodities as education, transportation, and jobs are unevenly distributed to the residents based on the area. View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."