Covert racism and affect in the United States post-9/11

‘I am the least racist person,’ Donald Trump declared. This book unpacks how it is possible for various American administrations to impose discriminatory counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) measures on Muslim communities and yet declare that ‘Islam is peace’ or that ‘Muslims are our friends’. The book addresses some of the paradoxes of the securitisation by linking discourses about the role of Muslims in the war on terror in the United States with covert forms of racism. The book is concerned with a securitisation that is covertly rather than overtly expressed, which enables securitising actors like Trump to deny plausibility of racism and claim that they are ‘the least racist person’. The book offers a critique of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ approaches to CT and CVE and advances an alternative way to understand radicalisation and terrorism by introducing a quantum perspective. Lastly, drawing on the affective turn, the book adds body to the analysis by theorising emotions and affect in the securitisation of Islam. The book argues that this covert securitisation constructs white American subjects as innocent, unprejudiced and living in a post-racial society averse to racism, whilst constructing Muslim subjects as potential terrorists and thus as sites of securitisation. This book is a timely analysis of the securitisation of Islam since 9/11 and presents an original study that contributes to debates on Islamophobia, white fragility and white victimhood, which have proliferated since the rise of far-right (populist) parties in Europe and the US.

This book retraces the human and intellectual development that has led the author to one very firm conviction: that the tensions that afflict the Western world’s relationship with the Muslim world are at their root political, far more than they are ideological. It aims to limit itself to a precise scholarly arena: recounting, as meticulously as possible, the most striking interactions between a personal life history and professional and research trajectories. This path has consistently centered on how the rise of political Islam has been expressed: first in the Arab world, then in its interactions with French and Western societies, and finally in its interactions with other European and Western societies. It brings up-to-date theses formulated in the 2000s, in particular in the author’s previous book Islamism in the Shadow of al-Qaeda (2005, 2nd ed. 2010, English ed. 2010), by measuring them up against the lessons of the powerful revolutionary dynamics set off by the “Arab Spring” of 2011, followed by the counter-revolutionary ones.

This book is the fruit of twenty years’ reflection on Islamic charities, both in practical terms and as a key to understand the crisis in contemporary Islam. On the one hand Islam is undervalued as a global moral and political force whose admirable qualities are exemplified in its strong tradition of charitable giving. On the other hand, it suffers from a crisis of authority that cannot be blamed entirely on the history of colonialism and stigmatization to which Muslims have undoubtedly been subjected – most recently, as a result of the "war on terror". The book consists of seventeen previously published chapters, with a general Introduction and new prefatory material for each chapter. The first nine chapters review the current situation of Islamic charities from many different viewpoints – theological, historical, diplomatic, legal, sociological and ethnographic – with first-hand data from the United States, Britain, Israel–Palestine, Mali and Indonesia. Chapters 10 to 17 expand the coverage to explore the potential for a twenty-first century "Islamic humanism" that would be devised by Muslims in the light of the human sciences and institutionalized throughout the Muslim world. This means addressing contentious topics such as religious toleration and the meaning of jihad. The intended readership includes academics and students at all levels, professionals concerned with aid and development, and all who have an interest in the future of Islam.

A leap of faith

The tendency among ethnic minority Muslim immigrant communities in Europe towards identification with Islam as a marker of identity is discussed in an array of studies, but seldom have they explained sufficiently how the change took place. Islam and Identity Politics among British-Bangladeshis: A Leap of Faith probes the causes of and conditions for the preference of the members of the British-Bangladeshi community for a religion-based identity vis-à-vis ethnicity-based identity, and the influence of Islamists in shaping the discourse. It also examines whether this salience of Muslim identity is a precursor to a new variant of diasporic Islam. Islam and Identity Politics delves into the micro-level dynamics, the internal and external factors and the role of the state and locates these within the broad framework of Muslim identity and Islamism, citizenship and the future of multiculturalism in Europe.

not claim that Islam is a threat, in the same way using the word ‘hope’ prevented Trump from being accused of curtailing the Flynn investigation. This chapter offers an innovative twist to securitisation theory by introducing the notion of indirect securitising speech acts. It also speaks to everyday racism by exploring indirect securitising language – here, of minorities – as a type of everyday racism that is covert. This is an important task, for indirect securitisation and hate speech can go on unabated and unpunished because actors who

in The securitisation of Islam

This review of Amelia Fauzia’s Faith and the State: A history of Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia (Brill, 2013) was originally published in the Asian Journal of Social Science 42: 1–2 (2014), 165–7. An angle for comparative historical research is proposed here. To what extent did Christian institutions affect the

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times

Through its focus on secular Muslim public intellectuals in contemporary France, this book challenges polarizing accounts of Islam and Muslims, which have been ubiquitous in political and media debates for the last thirty years. The work of these intellectuals is significant because it expresses, in diverse ways, an ‘internal’ vision of Islam that demonstrates how Muslim identification and practices successfully engage with and are part of a culture of secularism (laïcité). The study of individual secular Muslim intellectuals in contemporary France thus gives credence to the claim that the categories of religion and the secular are more closely intertwined than we might assume. This monograph is a timely publication that makes a crucial contribution to academic and political debates about the place of Islam and Muslims in contemporary France. The book will focus on a discursive and contextualised analysis of the published works and public interventions of Abdelwahab Meddeb, Malek Chebel, Leïla Babès, Dounia Bouzar and Abdennour Bidar – intellectuals who have received little scholarly attention despite being well-known figures in France.

This review of Michael Cook’s Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic case in comparative perspective (Princeton University Press, 2014) and Akeel Bilgrami’s Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Harvard University Press, 2014) was published in the Times Literary Supplement on 10 September 2014 under the heading ‘What

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
The internal factors

3 Identity, Islamism and politics: the internal factors A nalytical and ethnographic studies about the British-Bangladeshi community conducted around the turn of the twentieth century1 and the events described in Chapter 2 demonstrate that a Muslim identity has gained salience among a section of British-Bangladeshis, especially the younger generation. ‘More and more young Bengalis now identify themselves first and foremost as Muslims rather than as Bengali or Bangladeshi,’ concluded Gardner and Shukur in 1994.2 Until the late 1980s, the Bengali ethnic identity

in Islam and identity politics among British-Bangladeshis

Chapter 1 unpacked the methodological tools to examine the securitisation of Islam post-9/11 in the US context and explored, broadly speaking, the question of language in the constitution of reality, which paved the way for applying these insights in securitisation studies. Chapter 2 examines securitisation theory from the perspective of the CS. Instead of viewing threats as objective, security from the CS perspective becomes a self-referential practice because the issue is presented as such by an elite (Buzan et

in The securitisation of Islam