September 23, 2021

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“Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire”: Deepa Kumar on How Racism Fueled U.S. Wars Post-9/11

2 min read

According to the Costs of War Project, the wars launched by the United States following 9/11 have killed an estimated 929,000 people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. The true death toll may never be known, but the vast majority of the victims have been Muslim. “Racism is baked into the security logic of the national security state in the U.S., as well as in terms of how it operates abroad,” says Islamophobia scholar Deepa Kumar, a professor of media studies at Rutgers University. “The war on terror was sold to the American public using Orientalist and racist ideas that these societies are backward.” Kumar is the author of “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire: 20 Years After 9/11,” an updated version of her 2012 book that examined how the war on terror ushered in a new era of anti-Muslim racism.

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