Anti-Muslim racism is the expression of systemic discrimination against Muslims and those racialised as Muslims. It is the marginalisation of these subjects in daily life through education, policing, border agencies, health, the courts, politics, and countless other areas which touch them.
With a long history, in large part steeped in discourses of Orientalism, anti-Muslim racism (alternatively called “Islamophobia”) can be seen on both the level of the personal and structural. With the personal, we can see it in physical attacks in public, disproportionate referrals to the Prevent scheme, and various prominent cases of bullying and intimidation of Muslims by individuals across the political spectrum.
These individualised accounts of anti-Muslim racism can see echoes in the structural nature of it. While the current political climate displays a more barefaced, hateful sentiment against Muslims (seeing them as the perpetual dangerous outsiders), “liberal” anti-Muslim racism has an equally long history and has shown itself through foreign expeditions (in large part justified on the grounds of Muslims needing Western salvation), wholesale criminalisation through the media, and an aggressive push towards “liberal values” which Muslims always fall short of embodying.
Despite the violent words and acts inflicted upon Muslims on a daily basis, resistance to this is very much alive. Activists across the world have mobilised to combat racist immigration policies, the far-right, mainstream politicians invested in demonising Muslims, and stand in solidarity with the oppressed and listen to them in their struggle.
To learn more you can could start by reading our discussion piece on anti-Muslim racism Arun Kundnani’s “The Muslims Are Coming!”, Deepa Kumar “Islamophobia and the politics of empire”, the poetry of Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, and writing of Nisha Kapoor.
The Trojan Horse case in England is one example of state anti-Muslim racism, and this report from SACC shows its extent in schools in Edinburgh.