Public Talk by Sherene Razack

Upholding White Supremacy through Anti-Muslim Racism

Public Talk by Sherene H. Razack
Distinguished Professor and the Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies in the Department of Gender Studies, UCLA

When: Thursday January 27, 2022 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Edmonton time)
Where: Online Zoom Webinar. For registration please CLICK HERE.

While much has been written about post-9/11 anti-Muslim racism (often termed Islamophobia), insufficient attention has been given to how anti-Muslim racism operates through law and is a vital part of law’s protection of whiteness. This presentation based on a forthcoming book fills this gap while also providing a unique new global perspective on white supremacy. Tracing how white subjects and majority-white nations in the post-9/11 era have consolidated their whiteness through the figure of the Muslim, Sherene H. Razack examines four sites of anti-Muslim racism: efforts by American evangelical Christians to ban Islam in the school curriculum; Canadian and European bans on Muslim women’s clothing; racial science and the sentencing of Muslims as terrorists; and American national memory of the torture of Muslims during wars and occupations. Arguing that nothing has to make sense when the subject is Muslim, she maintains that these legal and cultural sites reveal the dread, phobia, hysteria, and desire that mark the encounter between Muslims and the West. Through the prism of racism, she argues that the figure of the Muslim reveals a world divided between the deserving and the disposable, where people of European origin are the former and all others are confined in various ways to regimes of disposability. Emerging from critical race theory, and bridging with Islamophobia/critical religious studies, it demonstrates that anti-Muslim racism is a revelatory window into the operation of white supremacy as a global force.

Sherene H. Razack is a Distinguished Professor and the Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies in the Department of Gender Studies, UCLA. Her research and teaching focus on racial violence. She is the founder of the virtual research and teaching network Racial Violence Hub ( Her publications illustrate the thematic areas and anti-colonial, anti-racist feminist scholarship she pursues. Her recent books include Nothing Has to Make Sense: Upholding White Supremacy Through Anti-Muslim Racism (2022); and Dying from Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries into Indigenous Deaths in Custody (2015).