The three texts read for the class discussion this week were based on the South Asian population, also often referred to as the Near East or Middle East in scholarly text, and their racial formation in the United States post 9/11. We have one piece by Sunaina Maira that is written about the Muslim youth of America in a narrative and interviewed format, an article by Nadine Naber written with heavy historical and referential context, and finally a piece by Junaid Rana concerning the moral panic and Muslim peril that engulfed the U.S. Post 9/11. All three articles juxtapose the ideas that after the attacked on the United States by terrorists on September 11th, a particular rise in racism and racial formation of the Asian populations that could be visible labeled as “Muslim terrorists” arose. They also heavily discuss the reason for the development of such practices historically as well as give ample examples of situations of how the State uses it’s authoritative power to instill fear and methods of control against the target population through news discourses, legal actions (i.e. Patriot Act), and selective exclusion of populations as we’ve seen repeated through history towards minorities. Even Naber makes such a correlation with the reference to the Japanese during World War II and their internments and prosecutions for similar circumstances and events as suffered by the Muslim people in our current era.
We also have new concepts introduced in these pieces, including the ideas of Flexible/Cultural/Multicultural Citizenship in relation to Muslim youth and their perspective, racial and moral peril that Muslims pose to America through the association of terrorism as a social, psychological and pathological entity of their ethnicity and culture, and the promotion of racial justice under the pretense of circumstance. All of these new ideas together promote the collective rationalization of dehumanizing and stereotyping the Muslim population in order to create a sense of rightness in regards to the wrong that had been dealt to the United States from the events of 9/11. Naber, Rana, and Maira agree that though this is how the nation and American people have developed, it is nonetheless immoral and criminal to behave this way and treat citizens in a manner that violated their basic human rights. Maira citizenship topics reflective of the documentary “Village Called Versailles” mentions of citizenship for Vietnamese Asians in America and their freedoms being diminished or outright ignored. These issues brought up an image of America that is, no matter how technologically advanced and innovative, backwards we can still be in terms of racial mentality.