Drawing on forty semistructured interviews with young Muslim American women, FBI hate crimes data, and civil rights policy reports, this research explores the rise of institutionalized private violence directed at Muslim women. While saving Muslim women from Muslim men through U.S. military invasion remains a dominant cultural ideology and justification for the global War on Terror, I argue that “saving Muslim women” from violence garners significant attention only when foreign Muslim men are positioned as the assailants of such violence. One central form of violence that remains unexamined for Muslim women’s lives is the increased exposure to violence in the public sphere following the rapid securitization of the United States after the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Of the women interviewed for this study, 85 percent reported experiencing verbal assaults or threats within public spaces, and 25 percent reported experiencing physical violence. This research finds that, although white American men are disproportionately responsible for public forms of Islamophobic violence, the race and gender of these assailants often remain invisible within media accounts.


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pp. 73-97
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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