Islamophobia has a long history in the US


... From 1790 until 1952 whiteness was a legal prerequisite for naturalised American citizenship. And Islam was viewed as irreconcilable with whiteness.

In a 1913 decision called Ex Parte Mohreiz, the court denied a Lebanese Christian immigrant citizenship because they associated his "dark walnut skin" with "Mohammedanism".

And in 1942, a Muslim immigrant from Yemen was denied citizenship because, writing about "Arabs" the court noted: "it cannot be expected that as a class they would readily intermarry with our population and be assimilated into our civilization."

In this case, the court conflated "Arab" with "Muslim" identity. The courts too believed that such an identity was "inconsistent with the Constitution", and said so in public rulings.

These legal baselines, rooted in old case law, are part of the rhetoric used by both Mr Carson and Donald Trump. But they also form the foundation of a current breed of state-sponsored Islamophobia.

The 'logic' of targeted policing

Fear of Islam is tightly knit into the American fabric, and deeply rooted in its legal, political and popular imagination. Whenever a domestic terrorist attack takes place in America, many quickly turn to tropes of an "Islamic menace" or "violent foreigner". While these tropes have taken on new forms and frames, they are conceptually identical to their predecessors.

Where evidence is lacking, both political rhetoric and national security policing apparatuses will justify their scrutiny of Muslims by using these tropes.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or more recently, the Boston bombings (which spawned CVE policing), proponents of state-sponsored Islamophobia will justify disproportionate policing of Muslim Americans and the communities they live in on the grounds of isolated attacks involving Muslim culprits. ...

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