New Release: Constructing the Terrorist Threat

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“An important and timely analysis of how the racialized terrorist threat has been produced and mobilized in the 21st century. Drawing on the history of racism in the US, the video sheds light on the current anti-Muslim hysteria by tracing its roots in the political, economic and social contexts of past decades. It be should be required viewing in courses on race, culture, media, politics and US history.”

- Bill Mullen, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University

In Constructing the Terrorist Threat, Deepa Kumar, one of the nation’s foremost scholars on Islamophobia, looks at how Muslims have become the predominant face of terror in U.S. news and entertainment media — even though terror attacks by white extremists have far outnumbered attacks by Muslim Americans since 9/11.

Arguing that racialized threats have long been used to induce moral panics and advance anti-democratic policies, Kumar explores how ruling elites have been raising the specter of Arab and Islamic terror since the 1970s to justify militarism, war, and curbs on civil liberties. From the Iran-Hostage Crisis in 1979 to the “war on terror” after 9/11 to the rise of ISIS today, she argues that Americans have been taught to fear Muslims out of all proportion to reality, presenting a wealth of eye-opening data about the actual threat level posed by Muslim terrorists in the United States.

Constructing the Terrorist Threat offers a clear-headed assessment of terrorism that couldn’t be more timely and urgent given the politics of fear that now dominate our political landscape.