Events Calendar

Islam in/and America, 20 Years After 9/11: Muslims, Blackness, & Anti-Blackness
Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 03:00pm - 06:00pm
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Panel 1 – 3:00-4:20pm EST
Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer (UMich), Dr. Zareena Grewal (Yale), Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui (Winston-Salem State)

Panel 2 – 4:30-6:00pm EST Rutgers Faculty Panel
Dr. Ousseina Alidou (NB), Dr. Donna Auston (NB), Dr. Wendell Hassan Marsh (Newark), Dr. Adnan Zulfiqar (Rutgers Law, Camden)

Both panels moderated by Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik, American Studies and WGSS (RU-NB)

To this day, U.S. political, cultural, and media discourses often portray “Islam” and “Muslims” as suddenly “appearing” upon the national stage on September 11, 2001. As a result, in the two decades since, Islam and Muslims have come to be irrevocably linked to the language and logics of the War on Terror, and viewed as an external, foreign threat, associated with the Middle East, and to a lesser extent, South Asia. Yet such notions belie the reality of the historical presence of Islam and Muslims in the United States—and indeed across the Americas—which was established through the lives of Black people, Black communities, and Black culture. From enslaved African Muslims, to members of the Nation of Islam, to diasporic Muslim communities from Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan, Black Americans are foundational to Islam in/and America, and to this day, comprise almost a fourth of the U.S. Muslim community. Yet their perspectives and presence are often overlooked in political, cultural, and scholarly conversations about Islam and Muslims, while Black American Muslims themselves negotiate anti-Muslim and anti-Black racism through discourses of activism and advocacy that do not account for intersecting trajectories of race and religion.

Twenty years after 9/11, seven scholars across various fields offer their reflections on how they teach, write, and think about Muslims, Blackness, and anti-Blackness in the contemporary moment, and how this has shifted across the last two decades. The first panel consists of leading scholars in the field of Islam and Muslims in the United States who teach in the fields of American Studies, Black Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. The second panel engages faculty across Rutgers campuses to discuss their approaches to the topic, and how they incorporate it into their teaching and research.