Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America
Book Review by Dr Abdul Jabbar, PhD
English and Interdisciplinary Studies
City College of San Francisco
Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America is a monumental source book on a topic that is of critical importance not only to Muslims but to all Americans who care for their civil liberties and constitutional rights. Meticulous attention to facts, painstaking research, and careful documentation make this book a compelling presentation.
The book’s comprehensive coverage of the topic is evident from its table of contents. The 11 chapters relate to issues of civil rights, Islamophobia, campaign against Muslim charities, Muslims facing inquisition, institutionalized profiling, stereotyping, hate crimes, silencing of genuine Muslim voices, Muslims in politics and Muslims’ response to the post-9/11 challenges.
The author has framed the message of his book, using a clear, easy-to-follow, and inviting format. The “Preface” points to the steady “erosion of the fundamental rights and civil liberties, all in the name of national security” in the wake of 9/11. It ends with a convincing analogy: “It will not be too much to say that after the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast were imprisoned in 10 relocation camps in the United States. But after 9/11, the whole country is converted into a virtual detention camp for the Muslims in America by abridging their civil rights”.
The book proceeds systematically to introduce and discuss each topic with careful attention to historical precedents and root causes and symptoms of America’s post-9/11 syndrome. A brief review cannot do justice to a book of this kind of complexity and depth, but it would be a good start to briefly highlight its main accomplishments.
The first edition of the book was published in June 2012. The second 2014 edition of the books comes with added new features that further enhance the value of this book. The author has updated the chapters on “American Muslims in Politics” and “A Decade of Civil Liberties’ Erosion.”
To the first-mentioned chapter, he has now included information on Muslims’ participation in the 2012 elections. In the second-mentioned chapter he has added details of crucial legal and constitutional importance. Those details relate to Edward Snowden’s revelations about National Security Agency’s surveillance of all Americans. The critical importance of the threat posed by such dismantling of Americans’ civil rights cannot be overemphasized.
By including verifiable facts of huge significance to all Americans, the author has greatly added to the already formidable value of his book. There are just too many books that consist mostly of opinions. This book is quite different because the author stays with facts and careful interpretations of data. This book deserves a place in all libraries across the globe and especially in the United States, where, sadly, essential knowledge about Islam and Muslims is in very short supply. I have recommended this book as a required textbook in the course on Introduction to Islam at City College of San Francisco. It is hoped that colleges and universities all across the nation will take advantage of this book’s unbiased contents and clear style of presentation.
Paperback: 406 pages
Available at: http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Muslims-Post-9-11-America/dp/0692201696/