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Behind the backlash : Muslim Americans after 9/11 /

Peek chronicles the exclusion that Muslim American men and women faced before and especially in the aftermath of 9/11. Personal narratives describe the range of discrimination they experienced, the personal and collective impacts of the backlash, and the ways in which Muslims adapted in the... Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Temple University Press, 2011
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As the nation tried to absorb the shock of the 9/11 attacks, Muslim Americans were caught up in an unprecedented wave of backlash violence. Public discussion revealed that widespread misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Islam persisted, despite the striking diversity of the Muslim community.

Letting the voices of 140 ordinary Muslim American men and women describe their experiences, Lori Peek's path-breaking book, a"Behind the Backlash"apresents moving accounts of prejudice and exclusion. Muslims speak of being subjected to harassment before the attacks, and recount the discrimination they encountered afterwards. Peek also explains the struggles of young Muslim adults to solidify their community and define their identity during a time of national crisis.

"Behind the Backlash"aseeks to explain why blame and scapegoating occur after a catastrophe. Peek sets the twenty-first century experience of Muslim Americans, who were vilified and victimized, in the context of larger sociological and psychological processes. PeekOCOs book will be of interest to those in disaster research studies, sociology of religion, and race and ethnic relations.


List of Figures
2Under Attack
3Encountering Intolerance

Review by Choice Review

In this savvy, research-based book, sociologist Peek (Colorado State Univ.) reports on interviews with Arab and South Asian Muslim Americans conducted after the 9/11 attacks. Peek provides an excellent introduction to the oppressive realities these Americans face, including sharp increases in hate crimes and illegal government spying after 9/11. Chapters mostly deal well with the attack's aftermath--racist stereotyping and harassment Muslim American respondents face in many areas, such as racial profiling on the streets and violent confrontations, and the sharply increased fear, isolation, and other negative impacts they experience. A penultimate chapter lays out their significant adaptations and resistance strategies. This important book counters many US myths about Muslim Americans, their origins, and their life experiences. It makes them "come alive" as important US residents seeking to counter "othering" by fellow Americans. One limitation is that the analysis is mostly informed theoretically by the useful disaster research literature (the author's specialty) and makes less use of previous social science research on Muslim Americans and relevant theories of race/racism than is necessary to make full sense of these anti-Muslim realities. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. J. R. Feagin Texas A&M University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, U.S. anti-Muslim sentiments were largely hidden, and their overt manifestations were generally limited to fringe hate groups. Since 9/11, there has been a backlash of violence and discrimination against Muslims in America; anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia have reached an unprecedented level. In this highly readable and informative book, Peek (sociology, Colorado State Univ.) allows readers to hear from 140 Muslim Americans on their personal encounters with prejudice, discrimination, and general harassment in their day-to-day existence. Although Muslims constitute about two percent of the American population, a sizable section of the U.S. political Right has now made Muslim bashing an integral part of its sociopolitical and cultural discourse. Peek's research ended before the most recent public campaigns against Muslims, but this does not diminish the value of her work as she seeks to explain how and why vilification and scapegoating of a minority intensifies after a major catastrophe. VERDICT This is a book that should be read by all concerned Americans as well as students of ethnic relations.-Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Lori Peek is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University. She has been involved in disaster research for more than a decade and has published widely in the areas of risk and social vulnerability.

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