This is part of a series by the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) that presents selections of articles concerning the Middle East, Arab World, and current topics of interest. These articles were recently published in peer-reviewed academic journals of various disciplines. This series uses MESPI’s Peer-Reviewed Articles database to analyze and provide insight into trends in academia.
This is the second of three bouquets of articles on the topic “race” in academic journal articles from 1979–2019 in Middle East studies and related fields. This bouquet follows one on “Race in the Middle East and North Africa” and will be followed by another on “Palestine, Israel, and Race.”
In our survey of articles for “Race & the Middle East in the United States,” not counting those included in the other two installments, we note that the bulk of articles focus on the construction of whiteness, Black internationalism, Black-Palestinian solidarity, and securitization in the United States. We list them all below in reverse chronological order.
The purpose of these bouquets is two-fold. First, to identify those articles dealing with race as a research topic and analytic category in peer-reviewed articles published in journals focused on the Middle East or disciplinary journals that regulary feature content on the region. We recognize this does not include other journals that feature content on or relevant to race in/and Middle East and North Africa studies. This in turn leads to the second purpose of these bouquets, which is to recognize the uneven terrain of this topic and its relative marginalization thus far in the mainstay of Middle East and North Africa studies. We hope to provide a separate bouquet identifying relavent peer-reviewed articles that were, so to speak, published on the margins of the field, yet are precisely the types of works scholars of the field need to better engage with, help circulate, and encourage publication in the core journals of the field. If you have recommendations of such articles or journals to identify and look through, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fudging the Boundaries between Concept(s) of Race, Class, and Religion: The Two Cases of Donald Trump and Lothrop Stoddard
By: Mahmoud Haddad
Published in Contemporary Arab Affairs 12, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: For some time in the past century, the issue of racism emphasized color or race. However, it included religion in many cases. This attitude, which has subsided for some time, is making a strong comeback in many countries, foremost among them the United States, the world’s principal superpower. This study comments on the current racial ideas and compares them with ideas of a similar nature that were prevalent in the early twentieth century. It focuses on comparing the thinking of US President Donald Trump today with that of Lothrop Stoddard, known for his interest in the Muslim world, around the time of World War I and immediately after it.
By: Sankaran Krishna
Published in Third World Quarterly 40, no. 2 (2019)
Abstract: President Obama’s commitment to a creedal narrative of American exceptionalism and his understanding of the Third World as a space of ontological deficit together made for a presidency that could neither mitigate the structural racism of the United States nor deflect a racist foreign policy premised on an unending war against terror. By examining the murders of two American teenagers – Trayvon Martin and Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki – this essay argues that the very self-fashioning narratives that propelled Obama to the presidency of the United States rendered him incapable of effecting any substantive changes in the racism than animates its domestic and foreign policies.
By: Jenny Stümer
Published in New Global Studies 13, no. 3 (2019)
Abstract: Thirty years after the fall the Berlin wall, political walls in Europe, Israel and the United States safeguard divisions that are based on the defensive projection and protection of besieged “whiteness.” These new barriers take the shape of impassable fences, brick walls, barbed wire barricades, and precarious crossings, negotiating physical and imaginary boundaries. Reworking colonial power structures, contemporary walls are tethered to imperial fantasies that produce whiteness as the insidious marker of religious, economic and racial hierarchies. Notably, these walls sustain an intricate dynamic between visibility and invisibility, ensuring the proliferation of the borderless civilized West (so long as the other remains excluded and hidden from view). At the same time, political walls circumscribe the affective and expansive force-field of whiteness, revealing its enduring efficacy. In this article I look at the recent fortification of fortress Europe, Israel’s escalating security fence and Donald Trump’s promised wall in the US in order to discuss the ways in which the material and ideological walls reappearing around the world are animated by myriad defenses of toxic vulnerability and white affect.
By: Taurean J. Webb
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This article claims that insofar as they continue to omit analyses of colonialism and racialization, retellings of the biblical Exodus and of twentieth-century Black-Jewish relations—two massively significant narratives in the U.S. Black Christian imaginary—will inevitably continue to fuel the Zionist impulse that prevents much of Afro-Christianity from intentionally engaging Palestinian justice. Furthermore, the religious trope of chosenness, along with the dominant narration of the European Jewish Holocaust moment, have provided a politico-ethical basis for a unique type of dispensation that filters the two aforementioned retellings to ultimately deselect non-Jewish Palestinians from a recognizably complex humanity. The tools of the Black radical tradition, however, coupled with a reimagining of coalitional politics, carve out a radical Black Christian sensibility that is best equipped to speak to the devastations of military occupation and racist exclusion and forge life-giving relationships within the freedom struggles against them.
By: Russell Rickford
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This essay traces the arc of Black American solidarity with Palestine, placing the phenomenon in the context of twentieth-century African American internationalism. It sketches the evolution of the political imaginary that enabled Black activists to depict African Americans and Palestinians as compatriots within global communities of dissent. For more than half a century, Black internationalists identified with Zionism, believing that the Jewish bid for a national homeland paralleled the African American freedom struggle. During the 1950s and 1960s, however, colonial aggression in the Middle East led many African American progressives to rethink the analogy. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, African American dissidents operating within the nexus of Black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and Third Worldism constructed powerful theories of Afro-Palestinian kinship. In so doing, they reimagined or transcended bonds of color, positing anti-imperialist struggle, rather than racial affinity, as the precondition of camaraderie.
By: Robin D.G. Kelley
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019)
Abstract: This essay questions a key takeaway from the Ferguson/Gaza convergence that catalyzed the current wave of Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity: the idea that “equivalence,” or a politics of analogy based on racial or national identity, or racialized or colonial experience, is the sole or primary grounds for solidarity. By revisiting three recent spectacular moments involving Black intellectuals advocating for Palestine—Michelle Alexander’s op-ed in the New York Times criticizing Israeli policies, CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s initial decision to deny Angela Davis its highest honor—this paper suggests that their controversial positions must be traced back to the post-1967 moment. The convergence of Black urban rebellions and the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war birthed the first significant wave of Black-Palestinian solidarity; at the same time, solidarities rooted in anti-imperialism and Left internationalism rivaled the “Black-Jewish alliance,” founded on analogy of oppression rather than shared principles of liberation. Third World insurgencies and anti-imperialist movements, not just events in the United States and Palestine, created the conditions for radically reordering political alliances: rather than adopting a politics of analogy or identity, the Black and Palestinian Left embraced a vision of “worldmaking” that was a catalyst for imagining revolution as opposed to plotting coalition.
By: Vito D’Orazio and Idean Salehyan
Published in International Interactions 44, no. 6 (2018)
Abstract: What does the American public label as “terrorism?” How do people think about the factors motivating violence, and in turn, the policies that are favored? Using ingroup and outgroup dynamics, we argue that the terrorist label is more readily applied to Arab-Americans than Whites, and to members of militant groups. Moreover, people attribute different motives to violence committed by Arabs versus Whites, and favor different policies in response. We conducted an experiment where we randomly assigned one of six stories about a failed armed attack, each with a different combination of ethnicity and group affiliation. We find that an Arab ethnicity and Islamist group affiliation increase the likelihood of labeling an act as terrorism. Attacks by Whites and members of a White supremacist group are less likely to be labeled terrorism. Rather, Whites are more likely to be called “mass shooters.” Despite never discussing motive, Arab-American attackers are more likely to be ascribed political or religious motives, while White suspects are more likely to be seen as mentally ill. Lastly, an Arab ethnicity increases support for counterterrorism policies and decreases support for mental health care.
By: Lynn Darwich and Sirene Harb
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 40, no. 4 (2018)
Abstract: This article proposes an alternative analytical model to examine the shifting devaluation of racialized, classed, and gendered lives in Randa Jarrar’s A Map of Home. As the novel depicts powerful instances of nonnormative practices, it lends itself to new analytical approaches for understanding the relationship between power, normativity, and value in Arab American fiction. The intellectual and political frameworks that inform this reading of the novel draw on Arab and Arab American feminisms, women of color feminisms, and queer of color critique. This emphasis marks a shift from existing criticism in proposing to interpret the characters’ experiences, not as struggles of identity and belonging but as tense processes of gendered and classed racialization, self-representation, and political determination. In doing so, the discussion moves toward a critique of coercive practices that render Arab and Arab American lives in the United States vulnerable to threats of violence/exploitation in the context of neoliberalism.
By: Pamela E. Pennock
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 40, no. 1 (2018)
Abstract: This article examines the US government’s targeting of Arab Americans for surveillance and harassment in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the Palestinian terrorist group Black September’s murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. In the late 1960s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) included Arabs as targets of its COINTELPRO surveillance program, and in 1972 the Nixon administration created the Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism and the visa check system Operation Boulder to monitor Arab residents and Arab Americans. The federal government overstepped its constitutional boundaries and used its powers to repress Arab American activism on behalf of Palestine. The article explores Arab Americans’ responses and resistance to government violations of their civil liberties. Ironically, the government’s attempt to divide and intimidate Arab Americans actually served to heighten their unity and advance their activism.
By: Suraya Khan
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 40, no. 1 (2018)
Abstract: This article examines how the Association of Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) articulated the Palestine question as both an Arab-American and a Third World issue after the 1967 War. Using archival documents and recollections from several AAUG members, this article traces the ways in which activism on Palestine and other issues facilitated the creation of a transnational Arab-American “intellectual generation.” Although the AAUG often focused on Palestine, it educated its members and engaged in activism on issues affecting other communities who grappled with racism, imperialism, and colonialism. In doing so, it attracted diverse allies to the Palestinian cause, such as Black Americans, Africans, South Asians, and other members of the “global Third World.” This article further analyzes the AAUG’s transnational engagement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) during its first decade. Using both traditional and academic activism, the AAUG firmly associated Palestine with the Third World and fostered an Arab-American intellectual movement.
By: Begüm Adalet
Published in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 38, no. 3 (2018)
Abstract: This article assesses James Baldwin’s status as a symbol of third world solidarity by situating his nonfiction writings in the context of his travels to France, Turkey, Israel, and West Africa, as well as the Cold War institutions and ideologies that shaped the contours of his internationalism. Adalet suggests a reading of Baldwin as a comparative thinker who increasingly abandoned an imperial framework of comparison in favor of a more fluid approach that could unearth the particularities of oppression. In early writings, for instance, Baldwin enacted a Cold War politics of comparison, recycling a worldview in which Africa was deemed to be savage and alien, the Soviet Union totalitarian and sinister, and the United States open and free. In later writings, Baldwin arrived at a more critical lexicon that relied less on the maintenance of boundaries between discrete and fixed units than the possibility of their commensurability. Such an approach enables us to think through and historicize the “politics of comparison,” with its implications for anticolonialism, antiracism, and transnational solidarity.
By: Tariq Khan and Safeer Awan
Published in The Dialogue 12, no. 3 (2017)
Abstract: While drawing on the ethnographic data, this study explores the complex ways in which the Pakistani-American immigrants must negotiate to achieve cultural hybridity with the host communities in America. It explores how Islamization of all immigrants from Muslim countries affects integration with various groups in the host country. The dissonance that the immigrant community has about interacting with the host community is explored in depth, and the genesis spelled out in an analytical perspective. The hosts see the Pakistani-American immigrants as prone to intolerant criminal acts and terrorist acts. The immigrants, on the other hand, do not desire to embrace American values and way of life even as they seek to benefit with American capital. Regarding the whole community as intolerant, violent, sadistic and radicalized because of the experiences of a few in the community is an issue that the Pakistani immigrants have to grapple with as the hosts demonize the community in view of eliminating radicals. The paper also explores how nationalism and religious doctrines inform the little interaction between the two communities with the view of finding common ground and ending bias. Rather than seeing each other as part of the global diversity, the two sides form parallel narratives on which community is at fault in a manner that stifles social cohesion. The present position paper (through critical discussion) explores how Pakistani community gets detached from and disengaged with America in the wake of 9/11 strikes due to maltreatment they stumble across.
By: Any Kaplan
Published in Middle East Report 283 (2017)
Abstract: Torch-bearing white supremacists and neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017 shocked many with their chants of “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” Days later, white nationalist Richard Spencer was interviewed on Israeli TV about the role of the so-called “alt-right” in Charlottesville rally that turned deadly. When pressed about their anti-Semitic slogans, he asserted that Jews are overrepresented both on the left and in the “establishment” as “Ivy League-educated people who really determine policy,” while ”white people are being dispossessed from this country.”  He excluded Jews from this circle of persecuted “white people.” Indeed, he implied that Jews were the persecutors, dispossessing white people of their country by imposing a multicultural regime that allowed black and brown people to displace whites and deprive them of their national heritage. Despite his overt anti-Semitic rhetoric, Spencer called on Israelis to “respect someone like me, who has analogous feelings about whites” to theirs about Jews. “You could say that I am a white Zionist,” he proudly stated, “in the sense that I care about my people, I want us to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.”
By: Andy Clarno
Published in Middle East Report 282 (2017)
Abstract: Black-Palestinian unity and solidarity is at its absolute height in the US, because both peoples recognize that the racist nature of the US government and the racist nature of Israel are the same. When I saw those white racists marching in Virginia, all I could think of was the white settlers in Israel burning Palestinian children to death or marching to attack my people in Jerusalem. —Rasmea Odeh
By: Susan Payne Carter, Alexander A. Smith, and Carl Wojtasek
Published in American Economic Review 107, no. 5 (2017)
Abstract: Who fought the War on Terror? We find that as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan progressed, there was an increase in the fraction of active-duty Army enlistees who were white or from high-income neighborhoods and that these two groups selected combat occupations more often. Among men, we find an increase in deployment and combat injuries for white and Hispanic soldiers relative to black soldiers and for soldiers from high-income neighborhoods relative to those from low-income neighborhoods. This finding suggests that an all-volunteer force does not compel a disproportionate number of non-white and low socio-economic men to fight America’s wars.
By: Tariq Amin-Khan
Published in Third World Quarterly 33, no. 9 (2012)
Abstract: The new Orientalism idea is predicated on the clash of civilisations thesis of Samuel Huntington and others—an outlook which has spread swiftly in Western states since September 11. I explore the implications of the new Orientalism and the assertion of white supremacy for diaspora Muslims in Western societies. Its expression in the media in the form of raced and gendered portrayals and demonised cultural representations of Muslims and Islam, with the accompanying assumption of the superiority of Western culture, is identified here as incendiary racism. This racism also underpins the simultaneous vilification of Muslims and Islam, a claim supported by my analysis of media coverage of the ‘niqab debate’, terrorism and sports. Thus, at one level, I analyse the Western media’s depictions. At another, I examine the consequences of securitisation and the Long War, and critically assess the argument that securitisation has existed from time immemorial and represents nothing new—which leads me to challenge its ahistorical assumptions, and the treatment of the securitiser and the securitised as coeval.
By: Ivan Y. Sun, Yuning Wu, and Margarita Poteyeva
Published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 34, no. 7 (2011)
Abstract: While domestic and international terrorism have become the focal concern of the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, little is known about Arab Americans’ attitudes toward counterterrorism policies that center on aggressive law enforcement practices. Using survey data collected from 810 Arab Americans, this study reported the general pattern of support for antiterrorism measures, including surveillance, stop and search, and detention, and examined the effects of race, ethnicity, and religion on measures targeting the U.S. citizens generally and Arab Americans specifically. The results revealed that the majority of Arab Americans showed weak to modest support for aggressive law enforcement practice, especially those targeting Arab Americans. Arab Americans’ attitudes toward antiterrorism measures were significantly related to their ethnic identities and religion with those who identified themselves as Arab Americans and Muslim showing less favorable attitudes toward counterterrorism measures. Arab Americans’ confidence in the federal government was also found to be positively associated with support for antiterrorism practices. Implications for research and policy are discussed.
By: Dina Jadallah and Laura El-Khoury
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 32, no. 4 (2010)
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between the State and Arab Americans, especially in the aftermath of September 11th, focusing on the effects on individual self-perception and behavior that may or may not follow in the wake of a racial profiling experience. Michel Foucault’s concepts of power-knowledge (pouvoir et savoir) and some of the theoretical concepts of the state in times of war and resistance developed by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri are used. This is done to extend the purview of Foucault’s theory so as to analyze state-individual socio- political dimensions of racial profiling and their effects on the constitution of the Arab American individual vis-à-vis the state. The article analyzes discourses obtained through in-person interviews to illuminate key issues in Foucault’s paradigm, specifically subjectivity formation, possible effects of the encounters on behavior, spatial control, reactions (compliant and resistant), existence (or not) of internalization of dominant norms, and effects on identity. The accordance, or not, of these concerns with Foucault’s concept of dressage, whereby the individual internalizes the dominant controls and self-monitors his or her own behavior and movement, is also evaluated. The article concludes that discrimination results in resistance of varying intensity, type, and effect for Arab Americans. Of prime importance is knowledge that is produced outside the sphere of state power. Those who are networked intellectually, socially, and politically in matrices that are beyond the state’s capacity to control are more likely to exhibit resistance or opposition among Arab Americans. This is true even when an individual is spatially controlled or monitored and is outwardly compliant: the mind may remain free of domination and able to envision an alternative way of living that is different from the dominant version supplied by power.
By: Carolyn Somerville
Published in International Journal of Middle East Studies 41, no. 2 (2009)
Abstract: In Pensée 1, “Africa on My Mind,” Mervat Hatem questions the perceived wisdom of creating the African Studies Association (focused on sub-Saharan Africa) and the Middle East Studies Association a decade later, which “institutionalized the political bifurcation of the African continent into two academic fields.” The cleaving of Africa into separate and distinct parts—a North Africa/Middle East and a sub-Saharan Africa—rendered a great disservice to all Africans: it has fractured dialogue, research, and policy while preventing students and scholars of Africa from articulating a coherent understanding of the continent
By: Kerem Ozan Kalkan, Geoffrey C. Layman, and Eric M. Uslaner
Published in The Journal of Politics 71, no. 3 (2009)
Abstract: The obvious explanation for the unpopularity of Muslims in contemporary American society centers on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. However, we contend that feelings about Muslims are shaped primarily by a general sense of affect for groups that fall outside of the cultural mainstream and the personality and value orientations typically associated with such affect. Thus, the current structure of Muslim evaluations should not differ much from that before the 9/11 attacks. Moreover, Muslims may be distinctive in that, unlike most minority groups, they are associated with both positively viewed racial and religious minority groups and with negatively viewed cultural minority groups. Analyses of data from the 2004 American National Election Study and other surveys conducted between 2000 and 2007 strongly support our argument.
Strategic Framing of Racial-Nationalism in North America and Europe: An Analysis of A Burgeoning Transnational Network
By: Stuart A. Wright
Published in Terrorism and Political Violence 21, no. 2 (2009)
Abstract: Following the deadly Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, far-right racialist leaders responded rapidly to changes in the political environment, disavowing militia and Patriot violence and exploiting increased public concerns about immigration and the growth of nonwhite populations. Evidence suggests that Patriot movement demobilization may have actually helped to swell the ranks of racial-nationalists. As attention to political violence shifted to international terrorism in the aftermath of September 11, racial-nationalist movement actors again moved quickly to seize the opportunity. The strategic framing of the crisis by racial-nationalist leaders revealed the existence of a transnational network of allies promoting a two-pronged message, 1) a virulent anti-Semitic assault on pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy and 2) a broadside on immigration and multiculturalism. The lineaments of these transnational networks are analyzed in an effort to explain a “trajectory of contention” regarding this emergent movement. Possible links between racial-nationalists and Islamic militants are also explored.
By: Azmi Bishara
Published in Contemporary Arab Affairs 1, no. 4 (2008)
Abstract: This article tackles the historical basis and development of the issue of antiSemitism and examines its perception and impact in the Arab world. The author argues persuasively that anti-Semitism is specific to European racism against Jews. He does not attempt to deflect the term by arguing, as some have done, that Arabs are a Semitic people, but rather unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism and racism of any sort. The author debunks major myths or misconceptions about anti-Semitism and deals frankly with questions of its political utility with regard to Zionism, Israel and Palestine. In the present day, Holocaust denial is unconscionable and, in the end, is not only morally unacceptable, but in the words of the author ‘just plain stupid’. The author castigates Arab and Muslim groups which may take such a stance, arguing that the correct response and Arab reaction to the Holocaust was the simple, straightforward and rational one – a European tragedy, but not one for which the Arabs should assume responsibility.
By: Cathy Lisa Schneider
Published in Politics & Society 36, no. 1 (2008)
Abstract: This article looks at riots that consumed Paris and much of France for three consecutive weeks in November 2005. The author argues that the uprisings were not instigated by radical Muslims, children of African polygamists, or despairing youth suffering from high unemployment. First and foremost, they were provoked by a terrible incident of police brutality, a tragedy among a litany of similar tragedies. Black and Arab youth were already frustrated: decades of violent enforcement of France’s categorical boundaries—both racial and geographic—had filled many with rage. When Minister of Interior Nicholas Sarkozy responded to the violent death of three teenage boys on October 25, 2005, by condemning the boys rather than the police officers who had killed them, he merely reaffirmed what many young blacks and Arabs already believed: that their lives have no value in France.
By: Hisham Aidi
Published in Middle East Report 234 (Spring 2005)
Abstract: In October 1999, PBS aired The Wonders of the African World, a six-part documentary produced by the renowned African-American intellectual, Henry Louis Gates, wherein the Harvard educator travels from Egypt to Sudan and down the Swahili coast of East Africa and up though parts of West Africa examining the encounter between Africa and Arab civilization and the role of Africans and Arabs in the enslavement of Africans. In Egypt, Gates reflects on the “facial features” of monuments in Aswan, noting the “blackness” of the pharaohs and pondering whether construction of the Aswan Dam that inundated ancient Nubia was an act of Arab racism. In the coastal Kenyan cities of Lamu and Mombasa, and on the island of Zanzibar, he talks to a number of natives who, to his dismay, define themselves as being of “Arab” or “Persian” descent. “To me, people here look about as Persian as Mike Tyson,” Gates remarks. “It’s taken my people 50 years to move from Negro to black to African-American. I wonder how long it will take the Swahili to call themselves African.”
Conflict Over Israel: The Role of Religion, Race, Party and Ideology in The U.S. House of Representatives, 1997–2002
By: Elizabeth A. Oldmixon, Beth Rosenson, and Kenneth D. Wald
Published in Terrorism and Political Violence 17, no. 3 (2005)
Abstract: This paper explores the contours of support for the state of Israel in the House of Representatives from 1997 to 2002. In an analysis of votes and cosponsorship decisions, we find that when Congress considers innocuous resolutions of support for Israel, support is consensual and nonpartisan. However, as the violence escalated between Israel and the Palestinians in the 106th and 107th Congresses (1999–2001), the House increasingly considered bills and resolutions that directly engaged the Palestinian issue and forced legislators to take a side in the ongoing conflict. This transformed the politics of support for Israel and increased the level of conflict among legislators. With that, new partisan, ideological, religious, and racial cleavages emerged. Democrats, liberals, and African Americans started to identify with the Palestinians—not Israel—as the oppressed group. At the same time, religious and ideological conservatives and Republicans started to identify with Israel as a just state under attack from lawless individuals considered to be outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. At least with regard to Israel, this suggests that the development of U.S. foreign policy, which is often characterized as an elite-driven pursuit of national interests, is heavily marked by domestic ethno-religious forces.
Racialized Nations, Evangelizing Christianity, Police States, and Imperial Power: Missing in Action in Bunzl’s New Europe
By: Nina Glick Schiller
Published in American Ethnologist 32, no. 4 (2005)
By: Sarah Gualtieri
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 26, no. 3 (2004)
Abstract: “MOB IN FLORIDA LYNCHES WHITE Man; Wife Slain” announced the bold-type headline of the New York Evening World newspaper on 17 May 1929. The accompanying article describes briefly the circumstances surrounding the killing of “N.G. Romey, white, a grocer,” by a mob after a dispute with the local Chief of Police. Other reports in the English and Arabic-language press revealed that the dead man was Nicholas Romey who, with his wife Fannie and their children, was a member of one of two Syrian families living in Lake City, Florida. Early in the morning of 17 May 1929 he became the victim of the state’s well-established tradition of extralegal violence, more commonly referred to as lynching, and his death became part of a larger story of the frequency with which Americans brutally inflicted what they called justice on the bodies of the powerless.
By: Ghada Osman and Camille F. Forbes
Published in Journal of Islamic Studies 15, no. 3 (2004)
Abstract: The work, a critical study of the slave narrative, could not have anticipated the 1995 rediscovery of a particularly significant text in the history of the African-American narrative, which would trouble this declared pregeneric myth: the 1831 slave narrative of Omar ibn Said. Commissioned to write in the Arabic language, Omar wrote the earliest piece of extant Arabic writing on American soil, and the only existing autobiography of an American slave in Arabic, thereby complicating Stepto’s statement regarding African-American literature. Omar’s narrative, written in the language of a slave already literate before coming to America, thus sets aside the driving myth of the quest for literacy. Furthermore, his having written in Arabic seems to dispense with the standard requirement for authenticating documents — endorsed by slaveholders or abolitionists — that historically proved the slave’s capacity to write his or her own narrative.
“I Wish to Be Seen in Our Land Called Afrika”: ‘Umar B. Sayyid’s Appeal to Be Released from Slavery (1819)
By: John Hunwick
Published in Journal of Arabic & Islamic Studies 5 (2003/2004)
Abstract: While Muslims were forbidden to enslave Muslims, in Africa, in battles between Muslims and non-Muslims, sometimes the latter captured Muslims, and sold them to European/American ship crews, who were seeking slaves to take across to America and sell, since Americans could use Muslims as slaves. ʿUmar b. Sayyid (or, more likely, Saʿīd) was captured in Futa Toro in 1806/7, exported, and sold as a slave in South Carolina. Later he was bought by the brother of a subsequent governor of North Carolina and lived with both of them for some thirty years. ʿUmar had learned Arabic in Africa, but as an aging slave forgot some of the rules of the language. Nevertheless, in 1819 he wrote an Arabic document, translated below, in which he quotes many parts of the Koran and seeks return to his homeland in Africa. The Koranic passages surround his statement: “I wish to be seen in our land called Āfrikā”. However, he was forced to stay in America until he died in 1864, long after writing an Arabic autobiography.
By: Fran Markowitz, Sara Helman, and Dafna Shir-Vertesh
Published in American Anthropologist 105, no. 2 (2003)
Abstract: Based on the experiences of the Black Hebrews in Israel, this article introduces “soul citizenship,” an alternate discourse that asserts the right of individuals and groups to match their self-defined identities with existing states. After years of living in the Jew- ish State as an illegal yet tolerated presence, the African Hebrew Israelite Community (AHIC) gained temporary residence status, or ac- cording to the postnational model of membership, de facto citizenship. Nonetheless, having reformulated their claims in terms of Jewish cultural pluralism instead of race, the Black Hebrews continue to demand full Israeli citizenship. Rejecting postnational splits among identity, legal status, and territory, their soulful claims suggest a model of citizenship that opens new space for misplaced people(s) to gain membership in the states that meet their cultural aspirations and nourish their souls.
By: T.Y. Ismael and John Measor
Published in Arab Studies Quarterly 25, no. 1/2 (2003)
Abstract: In the live coverage of events in New York and Washington on the morning of 1 1 September 2001 Canadian media molded the immensely powerful imagery of the tragedy into a concise discourse for Canadian media consumers. Immediately following the World Trade Center’s collapse, Canadian television broadcasts and newspaper reportage represented the sentiments of many Canadians by conveying an outpouring of emotional support for Canada’s American neighbors – as well as the Canadian victims – in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. Within the first few hours, in an effort to provide explanation and context for the enormously emotional images transmitted into Canadian homes, trends began to emerge from the coverage as news producers and editors selected what they saw as “the story.”
By: Cheryl Mattingly, Mary Lawlor, Lanita Jacobs-Huey
Published in American Anthropologist 104, no. 3 (2002)
Abstract: This article considers the September 11 tragedy as an event that has created a powerful experience-an astonishing and unthinkable “breach” from the expected and routine-that has riveted the American public and provoked personal storytelling. September 11 and its aftermath have provided an occasion for rethinking and reworking cultural identity. We explore how September 11 and subsequent events have been experienced, constructed, and narrated by African American women, primarily from working-class and low-income backgrounds. These stories, and the commentaries and discussions that surround them, provide vehicles for these women to ponder what sort of social contexts they inhabit, within what sort of subject positions they are placed, and how these may be shifting in light of the attacks and America’s “War on Terrorism.
By: Salah Hassan
Published in Middle East Report 224 (2002)
Abstract: 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.”
By: Andrew J. Shyrock
Published in American Anthropologist 104, no. 2 (2002)
Abstract: On September 11, 2001, Arab Detroit entered its own state of emergency. Its image as “an immigrant success story,” as “the capital of Arab America,” changed within hours of the attacks; suddenly, it was a scene of threat, divided loyalties, and potential backlash. In Dearborn, epicenter of the Arab community, people began to describe their own neighborhoods as “ghettoes” and “enclaves,” a terminology of Otherness that was popular in 19th-century newspaper accounts of immigrants from Mt. Lebanon. “The September 11 attacks,” I was told countless times, “set us back a hundred years.” A resurgent imagery of Otherness and marginalization, increasingly Muslim in focus, is now the backdrop against which Arabs in Detroit are struggling to (re)define themselves as “good citizens.” As an ethnographer who has played an active role in creating a diverse array of backdrops against which Arab Detroit can be seen (in photography exhibits, films, and museum displays), I find that my own representational work, and my ability to represent, have been radically altered by the lens of September 11. What follows is a brief account of these alterations and their effects.
By: Sylviane A. Diouf
Published in Journal of Islamic Studies 10, no. 1 (1999)
By: Ricardo René Laremont
Published in Journal of Islamic Studies 10, no. 1 (1999)
The Revived Nation of Islam and America’s Western System in the 1990’s: Ambiguous Protest of New Black Elite
By: Dennis Walker
Published in Islamic Studies 37, no. 4 (1998)
Abstract: This paper will analyse critiques of the surrounding Western institutions and of White Christians and Jews articulated from the media of the Black Muslim faction of Louis Farrakhan (“The Nation of Islam” or NOI). We have selected our sampling of communications from The Final Call, the mass-circulation bi-weekly newspaper of Minister Farrakhan’s Chicago based movement. While we aim to trace ways in which Islamic and Arab motifs provide rallying points for this millenarian sect’s protest against White Christian America, we also aim to show how mainstream American culture also covertly tints and structures the protest identity it focuses. The communications of this African-American opposition movement thus testify to the overall strength of America’s central Anglomorphic power-system and culture, which however penalizes itself through its supremacist and exclusionist reflexes that are inherently ingrained in it. Further research will assess the potentiality of a new Americanist liberalism to close the U.S. system’s self-inflicted malfunctions and incorporate groups like the Black Muslims that the system has pushed to the margin.
By: Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi
Published in Middle East Report 160 (1989)
Abstract: The Black Hebrews are a group of African-Americans who have settled in Israel, where their controversial presence has fed charges of Israeli racism. Who are these Black Hebrews, and why have they attracted so much attention? Ben-Ami Carter, leader of the Kingdom of God Nation, as the community formally designates itself, was born in Chicago in 1940 as Gerson Parker. In the 1960s he became a storefront preacher at the Abeita Culture Center, an evangelical church on Chicago’s South Side, and developed his Black Hebrew theology. The basis for the Black Hebrews’ faith is the claim that the original Israelites of the Old Testament, exiled from Israel 4,000 years ago, were blacks. Descendants of those blacks, they believe, should now go back and claim that land.
By: Ronald W. Walters
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 10, no. 2 (1981)
By: Jake C. Miller
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 10, no. 2 (1981)
By: Ernest J. Wilson III
Published in Journal of Palestine Studies 10, no. 2 (1981)