Gender, race, and American Islamophobia

Authored by: Megan Goodwin

The Routledge Handbook of Islam and Gender

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815367772
eBook ISBN: 9781351256568
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter addresses anti-Muslim actions and attitudes – often called Islamophobia – as a gendered and racialized phenomenon, especially in the contemporary United States. I consider the ways gender and race have shaped the language, history, adjudication, and material effects of American anti-Muslim hostility. I survey statistics on recent increases in anti-Muslim violence and sentiment, provide definitions for key terms, review the timeline of anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions throughout US history, and consider several key incidents in recent anti-Muslim hostility as it pertains to gender and race. The last decade has seen a sharp increase in violence and hostility toward Muslims, underscoring the pressing need for a nuanced understanding of so-called Islamophobia and its operations. A comprehensive analysis of anti-Muslim hostility in the United States as a gendered and racialized phenomenon does not simply highlight American Muslim women’s vulnerability to religio-racist harassment and violence, nor to the collapsing of American Muslim masculinity into terrorism and domestic abuse. Rather, any analysis of American anti-Muslim hostility requires acknowledging white women’s complicity in perpetuating that hostility, noting the elision of Christianity with American whiteness, and observing how the Islamophobia industry obscures white men as the true face of terrorist violence in the contemporary United States.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.