The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom (Sahar Aziz)

Apr 06 2022
By B. Rose Huber & Brittany N. Murray
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right in the religion clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. By definition, this should reflect America’s diversity and cover all people equally — whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, or atheist.

In practice, however, Americans sometimes support policies that seemingly violate the civil rights of Muslims. Although the U.S. Census identifies Muslim immigrants of the Middle East and North Africa as white, they face discrimination and prejudices of being terrorists, suspicious, and violent.

This paradox is the heart of “The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom,” by Sahar Aziz, visiting professor at SPIA and Professor of Law and Chancellor's Social Justice Scholar at Rutgers University.

In this episode of Endnotes, Aziz explains the intersection of race and religion and what she refers to as the “Racial Muslim.” She discusses the government surveillance and immigration restrictions that Muslims continue to face in the U.S. and compares this plight to other religious groups that have historically faced discrimination in America, such as Catholics, Mormons and Jews.

Endnotes is a podcast series taking listeners behind the cover and through the pages of books and publications on politics, policy, and more — all written by faculty at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). The show is hosted, produced, and edited by B. Rose Huber, director of communications.