Arabs, Race and the Post-September 11 National Security State

by Salah Hassan
published in MER224

In the face of a post-September 11 wave of racially motivated attacks against people from the Middle East and South Asia, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division announced in a September 13, 2001 press release that "any threats of violence or discrimination against Arab or Muslim Americans or Americans of South Asian descent are not just wrong and un-American, but also are unlawful and will be treated as such."

Interventions

Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

The Race Is On

Muslims and Arabs in the American Imagination

by Moustafa Bayoumi | published March 2010

“We are so racially profiled now, as a group,” the Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah says in his routine, “that I heard a correspondent on CNN not too long ago say the expression, ‘Arabs are the new blacks.’ That Arabs are the new blacks.” Obeidallah continues:

Slavery, Genocide and the Politics of Outrage

Understanding the New Racial Olympics

by Hisham Aidi
published in MER234

Civil Wrongs

by Louise Cainkar
published in MER249

Within 24 hours of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Bush administration had announced the identities of the alleged perpetrators, all but one dead, and had largely reconstructed the plot as it understood it. In short order the administration put forth the notion that another such attack was imminent and authorized immediate, aggressive law enforcement and domestic anti-terrorism actions. These activities were justified with statements such as this from Attorney General John Ashcroft: “Today’s terrorists enjoy the benefits of our free society even as they commit themselves to our destruction. They live in our communities—plotting, planning and waiting to kill Americans again.”

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