Monday, June 21, 2010

Excerpts from Workshop: Islamophobia and the Jewish Location

Islamophobia and the Jewish Location from 2010Assembly on Vimeo.

The workshop description is as follows:

The US post 9/11 context has resulted in an outpouring of fear, hatred, discrimination and exclusion directed at Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians, which has come to be termed "Islamophobia." Additionally, regardless of the fact that the oldest Jewish communities in the world are in the middle east, Jews and Jewish identity have been constructed in opposition to the Muslim "other," resulting in an almost inexorable relationship between the two identities, and certain assumptions about each of the group's relationships' to things like loyalty/ citizenship, enlightenment values and whiteness. All of us who care about becoming strong Jewish allies to Palestinians need to uncover the issues this juxtaposition raises: how can we reconcile our traditional understandings of Jewish oppression with our current privilege? How do we assert non-European Jewish identities that serve to foil the idea of Jewishness being equated to whiteness and Jewishness (such as biracial Jews and Mizrachim)? How do we start to methodically untangle the ways our identity has been implicated in the hostile, often perilous climate Muslims have had to face over the past decade? Given that so much attention is paid to Jewish experiences of oppression, how do we address this reality without hyperfocusing on Jews and erasing the experience of Muslims and Arabs facing extreme marginalization? This workshop will consist of an introduction to the post-9/11 climate in the US for Islam, Muslim, Arab and South Asians, a discussion of the roots of their experience, and an examination of how Jews have both been constructed within and participated in this marginalization.


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