Editor’s Note: Despite the size of its population and growing importance, Bangladesh gets little attention in policy circles. This is true even though radical terrorist groups like the Islamic State are making inroads there. To help remedy this neglect, my Georgetown colleague Christine Fair presents an overview of Islamism in Bangladesh and assesses the terrorism threat there today.
On 12 December, a 27-year old named Akayed Ullah attempted—but failed—to set off a pipe bomb in the New York City subway. He hailed from Bangladesh, a country that few Americans had ever heard of. While Ullah may be the one of the first Bangladeshi terrorists to make the front page of American newspapers, he may not be the last. Bangladesh may be an important source of future jihadi manpower.
The Bangladeshi “Success Story”
Scholars, commentators, and policymakers alike have generally held that Bangladesh is a success story of a moderate, secular, Muslim democracy; however, this view never rested on strong empirical ground. Indeed, since Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971, the durability of both secularism and democracy have been undermined by numerous military coups—many of which involved multiple counter-coups before a clear “victor” emerged—in 1974-75, 1977-1980, 1981-82, 1996, and 2007. In January 2012, the military claimed it had thwarted another coup.
Bangladesh’s two mainstream political parties are known more for their rivalry, corruption, and incompetence than for governance. Since independence, Bangladesh has experienced creeping Islamism that continues to enjoy popular support. More worrisome yet, Bangladesh is increasingly the site of Islamist violence. Between January 2005 and December 2017, some 746 people have died in Islamist terrorist attacks, including 339 alleged terrorists; of those attacks, 91 percent have taken place since 2013. That the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claim many of these recent attacks casts a pall over Bangladesh’s ostensible success.
Despite these troubling signs, security professionals and analysts have neglected Bangladesh. This is puzzling: Bangladesh has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations with more than 141 million Muslims, in addition to another 17 million non-Muslims. Bangladesh’s Muslim population is comparable to the combined populaces of Iran (82 million), Afghanistan (34 million), and Saudi Arabia (29 million). But it is also one of the world’s least developed countries: Bangladesh ranks 139th out of 190 countries according to the United Nations Human Development Index. Its citizens view their country as plagued by corruption, ranking 145th out of 167 countries in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index. Bangladesh is an important provider of global security, and is consistently one of the largest contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. While not a top-tier military, its military forces are ranked 57th out of 133, using an index that considers the forces’ end-strength, diversity, and number of weapons systems as measures of national power. Despite these fairly impressive figures, Bangladesh has remained ignored in scholarly and policy analytic circles.
Bangladesh: Between Secularism and Islamism Since 1947
In 1947, the British divided the erstwhile Raj into India and Pakistan after Muslim League activists demanded a separate Muslim state by mobilizing the “Two Nation Theory,” which held that Muslims could not live with security and dignity in a Hindu-dominated, democratic India. The Pakistan that emerged had two wings, East and West, separated by the expanse of India. East Pakistan was ethnically homogenous, dominated by a Bengali ethnic majority, and nearly a quarter of the population were Hindu. In contrast, West Pakistan was ethnically diverse but had less religious diversity. West Pakistan deployed political Islam to suppress ethnic aspirations in both wings of the nascent state. After enduring decades of economically extractive and discriminatory policies, Bengalis in the east launched a civil war to wrest an independent state. West Pakistan used Islamist militias under the control of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) as well as the armed forces to brutally suppress Bengali agitators. Approximately three million people died in the conflict, and millions more were displaced. Many of the perpetrators of extreme violence were associated with the JeI, which aided the Pakistani army to commit atrocities against civilians in East Pakistan. Finally, in December 1971, with Indian assistance, the Bengali freedom fighters (mukti bahini) secured an independent Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s government, under the political leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (“Mujib”) and his party, the Awami League (AL), established secularism as a state principle. Mujib’s government outlawed the JeI (now known as Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, or BJeI) for its wartime crimes against Bengalis. The current AL Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is fulfilling a long-standing promise to prosecute BJeI activists, among others, in a controversial war crimes tribunal. Her government has carried out several death sentences accordingly.
Over time, the resurgent importance of Bangladeshis’ personal identity as Muslim made it difficult for the government to maintain its commitment to secularism. While secularism allowed citizens to separate their identities as Bangladeshis (distinct from Bengalis in India) on the one hand and as Muslims on the other, it did not eliminate the importance of personal faith, and openly criticizing Islam was politically unpopular. The role of Islam deepened as Mujib sought to secure the support of other Muslim countries to rebuild the war-torn country and burnish his legitimacy; however, most Muslim states saw Bengali independence as a means to destroy Pakistan and divide the Muslim world. In 1973, Mujib mustered considerable efforts during a meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement in Algiers to obtain formal recognition and eventual support of several Arab countries. Wary of losing newfound aid from the Islamic bloc, Mujib abjured criticizing Islam aggressively and became more permissive of Islamist movements. Despite the efforts of some Bangladeshi politicians to firmly embed secularism in Bangladeshi society and systems of education, Bangladeshis increasingly equated secularism with dishonoring Islam and tantamount to dependence upon India.
Religious schools, the media, and the ubiquity of Islam in family and social life subsequently contributed to a growing consensus in support of Islam and away from secularism. As skepticism towards secularism grew “political parties and leaders competed with one another to be in tune with the society and its rulers, thus strengthening Islam as a factor in the power struggle in Bangladesh.” Mujib was assassinated during an August 1975 military coup. Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmen became president for less than three months before a counter-coup brought Major General Ziaur Rahman (usually called Ziaur) to power in late 1975. He remained in power until 1981.
Bangladesh’s external ties to Arab Gulf states intensified under Ziaur’s tenure. To establish more productive ties with Muslim states and to woo Saudi Arabia, Ziaur made crucial constitutional changes. He inserted a clause into Article 25 of the 1972 constitution that formally stated Bangladesh’s solidarity with other Muslim countries. He also reversed the country’s secular orientation by changing the constitution in 1977 to remove the preamble’s reference to secularism in favor of the words “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah.” In 1978, he founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as an alternative to the AL and promoted Bangladeshi nationalism, which was “explicitly Islamic in character,” instead of the AL’s secular Bengali nationalism. Between 1976 and 1979, Ziaur also legalized religious political parties and allowed the Islamists who had worked with the Pakistani Army during the liberation war to participate in government again. BJeI was able to publicly rejoin Bangladeshi politics in 1979. By the time Ziaur was assassinated in 1981, reliance on Islam to build nationalism and bolster the government’s legitimacy was commonplace.
General Hossain Mohammad Ershad (Ershad), Bangladesh’s second military dictator, who was in power from 1982 until 1990, continued consolidating Bangladesh’s ties with Muslim countries and extended Ziaur’s project of embedding Islam in Bangladesh’s governance. He made Islam Bangladesh’s state religion and he revivified BJeI as a legitimate political actor. Ershad even appointed two BJeI war criminals to cabinet positions.
In 1990 democracy returned with a BNP electoral victory. The chasm between the religious Bangladeshi nationalism propounded by the BNP and the secular Bengali nationalism espoused by the AL widened in subsequent years. Both parties boycotted parliament at different times to undermine the elected government of the competition and, when out of power, have used hartals (total strikes across the country which impose enormous economic costs and often turn violent) to destabilize the other in power. Since 1990, Bangladesh’s civil societies and political actors have struggled to define the role of Islam within the polity and the state, with proponents of secularism pitted against those who want to see greater formalization of Islam in state and society. Critically, with the country nearly split in its support for two parties, neither party can win an election without coalitions. This has made BJeI an important kingmaker that can extort political gains in exchange for its coalition support. Electoral politics have thus empowered the BJeI as both parties tried to align with it to augment their own political power.
Three complex international developments also enabled the growth of Islamist militancy in Bangladesh. First, during the 1980s, some Bangladeshis participated—and more importantly, learned to fight—in the “jihad” to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. Returning militants brought with them their new knowledge of insurgent warfare and jihadist ideology to Bangladesh. Second, in the early 1980s, Muslim ethnic Rohingyas formed the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) in the wake of a massive military operation waged by the Myanmar military that drove some 200,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh. The RSO enjoyed explicit support from the BJeI. While the size of this organization remains debated, analysts assess that “small numbers” of Rohingya militants continued to train in remote bases in Bangladesh opposite Myanmar's Maungdaw district until the 1990s. In very limited numbers, Rohingyas became sources of recruitment for different Islamistmilitant groups, including the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda, detailed below. Third, Bangladesh became one of the regional hubs which Pakistan has used to train, hide, and dispatch Islamist terror groups into India for over a decade.
Islamist Militant Milieu in Bangladesh
BJeI, Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, aims to transform Bangladesh into an Islamic country. The BJeI has attracted episodic international scrutiny since 2001 due to its deep involvement in numerous terror attacks targeting Hindus, Ahmedis, and AL and liberal activists in Bangladesh. BJeI’s student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) or Jamaat-Shibir, has also been involved in these attacks. For example, in 2015, Shibir destroyed about 50 shops in a northern village, forcing Hindu residents to flee.
Another important Islamist group is the Jagrato Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), which is closely related to the Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). (The two groups have been virtually the same since they came under the leadership of Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqur Rahman, aka “Bangla Bhai.”) The JMB perpetrated many attacks in the early 2000s, including a shocking August 2005 attack in which the group set off 459 bombs simultaneously in 63 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts to push the country into adopting Sharia law. JMB has also been linked to recent violence, including an incident in Dinajpur at the end of 2015 in which an Italian Catholic priest was attacked.
Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) was founded in 1992 and facilitated the development of many other Islamist groups in the country. Analysts believe that HuJI-B perpetrated some of the earliest Islamist terrorist actions in Bangladesh. These include the 1993 death threats against the feminist author Taslima Nasreen, who had to leave Bangladesh after a $5,000 bounty was put on her head, and the attempts to assassinate both Shamshur Rahman, a famed secular poet, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Many of HuJI-B’s members came from or were trained by foreign militants, especially fighters from the war in Afghanistan. In its early years, Osama bin Laden funded the group.
Many Rohingyas also closely collaborated with and even trained HuJI-B members in the 1990s. HuJI-B recruited members from Rohingya communities in southeastern Bangladesh, assigning them to perform the riskiest fighting jobs, doing tasks such as carrying equipment or removing mines. The relationship between the RSO and Bangladeshi Islamist groups like HuJI-B and the JMB ultimately proved beneficial to both sides: The JMB, for example, taught Rohingyas to build and detonate bombs, while Rohingya experts trained JMB members in the use of small arms.
In addition to these Bangladeshi groups, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) organized many terrorist attacks in both Bangladesh and India, though it is most renowned for its November 2008 assault on multiple targets in the Indian mega-city of Mumbai. Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Islamic State (IS) have increased their activity in Bangladesh in recent years. IS has taken responsibility for attacks on foreigners, homosexuals, Shia, Ahmadis, Sufis, and other religious minorities, among other groups. Islamist militants have targeted secular writers and bloggers in particular, with an online “hit list.” Dozens of Bangladeshis, including persons of Bangladeshi extraction in the United Kingdom, have gone to fight with the Islamic State, and in April 2016, the organization’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, offered a tribute to a Bangladeshi militant who died in Syria.
In addition, AQIS has taken responsibility for several murders, including the killing of secular publishers and bloggers, at least one of whom was American. Some of these murders were committed by Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a banned Bangladeshi Islamist group that first gained attention in 2013, on behalf of AQIS. ABT, which has also called itself Ansar al-Islam and Ansar Bangla 7, is affiliated with al-Qaeda. , AQIS has launched its own efforts to focus on Bangladesh and other parts of South Asia.
The differences between the groups are important. Over the course of several trips to Bangladesh, I have learned that AQIS tends to recruit poorly educated young men from seminaries (madaris), whereas IS attracts better educated, affluent young men. One Bangladeshi IS recruit, who appeared in a 2016 video extolling the jihad in Bangladesh, was Tahmid Rahman Shafi, a finalist on Bangladesh's NTV music show in 1995. As one Bangladeshi intelligence official quipped: AQIS is your uncle’s terrorist organization and lacks the flashy appeal of IS. Despite these claims by IS and AQIS, Bangladesh’s government has insisted that these groups do not have a presence in the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina denies the presence of AQIS and IS on Bangladeshi soil and instead alleges that the BNP and BJeI are conducting these attacks “to destabilize the country.” Despite Hasina’s ostensibly secular reputation, she has demurred from explicitly condemning the killing of secular activists and minorities and has even blamed the victims for provoking the terrorists with their controversial speech.
What Does the Future Hold?
Fortunately, to date, Bangladeshi terrorists have largely been incompetent. While there have been more than 114 terrorist attacks that can be attributed to Islamists in Bangladesh since 2000, their victim yields are low: They generally only kill one person per attack. In nearby Pakistan, terrorists routinely kill dozens of persons per attack. Moreover, until 2017, suicide bombing was extremely uncommon in Bangladesh. This is likely why so few have bothered with Bangladesh. If Bangladeshi terrorists killed with the same lethality as their Pakistani counterparts, I suspect more Americans would be alarmed. But there is evidence that Bangladeshi terrorists are upping their game.
For example, between 2005 and 2015, Bangladesh experienced only 4 suicide attacks, but 2017 saw as many suicide attacks in a single year. Whereas Islamist groups in South Asia have avoided using women, Bangladesh has suffered a spate of female suicide bombers.
Then there is the burgeoning Rohingya crisis. While this is not the first time Rohingyas have flocked to Bangladesh, the scale of the human suffering and the brutality of forces in Myanmar is unprecedented. In 2005, tens of thousands of Rohingyas made their way to Bangladesh to escape the junta’s violence. Even though that period was a heyday for Bangladeshi groups like the JMB and many worried that Rohingyas would join in droves, they did not. But many things have changed since 2005. For one thing, Bangladesh is clearly in the crosshairs of IS and AQIS, both of which have local collaborators in the country. Both AQIS and IS have specifically identified the Rohingyas in their media as important loci of actions. Other regional terrorist actors such as the LeT (through its various purportedly humanitarian front organizations) are also deeply involved with the Rohingya. Equally important, the Islamist militancy inside Myanmar itself that manifested itself in December 2016 was also unprecedented and enjoyed support from the Rohingya diaspora in the Gulf and elsewhere. While the vast majority of Rohingya refugees will surely remain preoccupied with basic survival, others may find Islamist militancy to be gainful, particularly if outside actors are truly seeking to militarize the Rohingyas, as some reports suggest. For now, the idea of the militarized Rohingyas seems to be a creation of the Myanmar government, which wants to justify the genocide it is waging against the Rohingya.
Unfortunately, the Sheikh Hasina government has bumbled in its handling in this emerging threat. Rather than addressing the actual international terrorist organizations in Bangladesh, Hasina has remained steadfastly interested in clinging to power at all costs. She remains focused on BJeI and her BNP rivals, and has used “terrorism” as an excuse to crack down on her real and imaginary political rivals and to render the country an autocracy dominated by her and her Awami League, much as her father did. While Hasina harasses and disappears her critics with an eye to capturing the 2019 elections, an array of Islamist militant organizations are organizing in her midst and preparing to fight jihads both near and far.
The options for the United States are not terrific. Bangladesh would most certainly partner with the Americans to eliminate a potential terrorist. In fact, Bangladeshi security forces have been too eager to engage in the use of force and are accused of numerous human rights violations. The Americans who interact with Bangladesh on policing and military matters, in fact, find that Bangladesh is an eager collaborator on issues pertaining to Islamist terrorism because Hasina has used this phenomenon as an excuse to eliminate her rivals as well as her critics. Where the United States is unable to get traction is on governance, democratization, and electoral transparency, as these are at odds with Hasina’s own political aspirations of ruling the country unchallenged. Yet it is in these interstices where the allure of terrorism likely lies.
"Who Supports Suicide Terrorism in Bangladesh? What the Data Say," C. Christine Fair, Ali Hamza, Rebecca Heller, Politics and Religion, published online June 21, 2017.
“Islamist Militancy in Bangladesh Public Awareness and Attitudes," C. Christine Fair and Wahid Abdallah, RESOLVE Network Research Brief No. 4, Bangladesh Research Series September 2017.
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Terrorism and the Muslim "Veil"1
Texas A&M University School of Law
Prior to the September 11th terrorist attacks, Americans' limited exposure to Islam was shaped by Orientalist depictions of Arabs as oil rich Gulf Sheikhs, exotic belly dancers, and brutal dictators along the lines of Saddam Hussein and Muʿammar Qadhdhāfī.2 While international terrorism pre-dated 9/11, its association with Islam was often narrowly limited to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.3 On the domestic front, homegrown terrorism evoked images of white males such as Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber.4 Thus, Americans paid little attention to Muslims in the United States, so much so that Arab American Muslims often complained of being an invisible minority.5
The September 11th attacks, however, marked a sea change in the level of scrutiny placed upon Muslims in America.6 The association of Arabs and Muslims with terrorism became the quintessential stereotype evoked in national security debates.7Media images of dark-skinned, bearded Middle Eastern men permeated the mainstream media, allowing for misinformation about Islam as a violent ideology proliferated among Americans otherwise lacking any exposure to Islam, the Middle East, or Muslims.8 Indeed, the word terrorism axiomatically referred to Muslims, notwithstanding the marked growth of militant nativist groups considered to be right wing extremists by the government and anti-hate watch groups.9
While such scapegoating and stereotyping of American minority groups during times of conflict is a staple of American race politics,10 the post-9/11 era was different in that ethnicity, race, andreligion were at play. Not only were Muslims, whether of South Asian, Arab, or other descent, stereotyped as the "Terrorist Other," but the religion of Islam itself was recast as a political ideology as opposed to a religion.11 No longer was Islam viewed as a religion whose adherents deserved legal protection pursuant to freedom of religion principles, but rather Muslims were viewed as political actors whose faith had been constructively evicted from the protected category of religion.12 Once this shift in the public's perception occurred, criticism and adverse treatment of Muslims went from being considered bigotry or unlawful religious discrimination to being patriotic and "smart" national security policy. In the end, it was as if the burden of protecting the nation fell squarely on the few million Muslims in the United States, who were to pay for this security with their civil rights and liberties.
This paradigm shift had far reaching effects on Muslim communities throughout the United States, ranging from heightened government scrutiny in the form of selective criminal and immigration enforcement to private acts of discrimination in the workplace, schools, and public places.13 An oft-overlooked adverse effect of 9/11 is the notable shift in attitudes toward Muslim women from one of pity and patronization to suspicion and resentment.
The Headscarf as a Symbol of Terrorism
One component of the West's Orientalist approach to the Middle East has been its condemnation of the Muslim woman's "veil" as a tool of subjugation within a larger patriarchal structure.14 While patriarchy is certainly a reality within many Middle Eastern societies, for both Christian and Muslim citizens, the Muslim headscarf has been coopted by many women as part of a larger women's rights movement wherein they seek equal educational opportunities, employment, and status as professionals whose contributions to the welfare of the state extend beyond their homes.15 As such, headscarved Muslim women have touted their freedom to move about easily in their societies without the harrowing eye of men seeking to sexualize their bodies.16 They have also boasted feeling self-respect and dignity when wearing the headscarf in accordance with their personal moral beliefs.17 Indeed, the proliferation of the headscarf in countries like Egypt have transformed it into a fashion item whose color and texture matched young women's trendy clothing and glamorous makeup.18 These women incorporated the headscarf into their daily lives as university students, doctors, engineers, and professors, making a symbol of liberation rather than control. Notwithstanding such sociological shifts taking place in some parts of the Middle East, American feminists for the most part continued to deride the "veil" as a tool of oppression.19 That simplistic, dichotomous monologue was the extent to which the Muslim headscarf was discussed within American society.
But the September 11th attacks changed everything. Feminists' anti-subjugation rhetoric became moot and eclipsed by more existential debates about protecting ourselves from the enemies within our borders. An anxious and angry public called for systematic profiling and heightened scrutiny of Muslims.20 The most visible target was the "marked" Muslim woman wearing a headscarf. Suddenly, her headscarf no longer evoked feelings of pity or confusion, but hatred and suspicion. She found herself a target of racial violence in public places and workplace discrimination.21 She feared for the safety of her school-aged children whose teachers and fellow students harbored anti-Muslim sentiment arising from stereotyping in the media.22 And she questioned whether she should give up her religious right to wear the headscarf to preserve her and her families' safety as well as retain employment needed to financially support her household.23 And yet she had few organizations she could turn to in defense of her rights at the intersection of four identities: a Muslim, a woman, a racial or ethnic minority, and usually an immigrant.
Muslim women of color experiences what is known as "intersectional discrimination" in critical race legal theory.24 Intersectionality discrimination goes beyond an aggregation of factors such as race, gender, or religion by acknowledging the discrimination that arises from an interaction of these characteristics.25 Hence, it aims to provide an account of a whole person whose subjectivity is shaped by different discourses in a particular social historical context. As such, the headscarved Muslim woman does not merely face one-dimensional discrimination as a woman, a practicing Muslim, an immigrant, or a person of color. Rather, she faces intersectional discrimination experienced only by "headscarved Muslim women of color."
Muslim headscarved women face multiple stereotypes that portray them as oppressed, subjugated, and coercively domesticated. Since 9/11, she has faced the additional stereotypes of being a disloyal and anti-American terrorist or terrorist-sympathizer.26 Meanwhile, she is subject to the broader societal biases against women that penalizes them for exhibiting behavior associated with men. For instance, women who are assertive and openly ambitious are stereotyped as "bitches," not being a team player, or feeling undeservingly self-entitled. Also, women who do not wear makeup or dress feminine are criticized as unprofessional, masculine, and unappealing. As a result, women in America continue to face challenges in the workplace particularly in terms of equal pay and equal opportunity to high level leadership positions notwithstanding advances in women's rights.27
Intersectional discrimination against Muslim women is manifested in various forms. The most glaring is in public spaces where many headscarved women have found themselves victims of attacks while driving their cars or walking in public.28 The image of the headscarf triggers a violent reaction from strangers who scream out racial and religious epithets such as terrorist, a "f*ing Muslim," along with demands that they "go home" and get out of America. Many Muslim women have their headscarves ripped off by their assailants.29 By late 2010, the frequency of violence committed against Muslim women based on racial and religious animus rose at a troubling rate. In a span of two months, at least six reported cases of hate crimes across the country were committed against Muslim women wearing a headscarf.30
Discrimination against Muslims in employment also rose dramatically after 9/11.31 Many employers have either refused to hire Muslim women applicants who donned the headscarf or changed their policies to coerce their Muslim women employees to remove their headscarves.31 Some used pretextual no-hat policies, while others claimed that the scarf frightened customers and reminded them of 9/11.32 Ironically, the right to work and be economically independent had long been a priority of Western feminists' in their attempts to "save" Muslim women from patriarchy. And yet, Muslim women faced obstacles to employment in the United States while American women's organizations remained deafeningly silent.
But Muslim women's experiences with intersectional discrimination are not limited to mainstream America. They often face obstacles to attaining equality within intra-community hierarchies that limit their influence to subjects affecting the home or children.33 Muslim communities are led predominantly by men who were born and raised abroad in Muslim-majority countries.34 Thus, they incorporate their cultural norms, which range from patriarchal to patronizing, in their dealings with Muslim women. Predominantly male perspectives cause resources to be directed toward forms of discrimination common to Muslim men, thereby obscuring the discrimination experienced by Muslim women. Muslim leaders and spokespersons claim to speak for Muslims, but often fail to incorporate women's perspectives beyond a superficial defense of their right to wear a headscarf. Resources are used to protect the right to build mosques and religious accommodation in the workplace, as well as to counter the media's negative stereotyping of Muslim men.35 In contrast, the focus on discrimination unique to women is often limited to a case-by-case basis rather than a more effective systemic approach with women integrated into the anti-discrimination campaign.
While well-intentioned and pious, many Muslim leaders do not prioritize Muslim women's grievances in their institutional agendas. Whether the issue is equality of facilities in mosques, equal access to mosque boards of directors, or intersectional discrimination by mainstream society, women's priorities rarely make it into Muslim institutions' top initiatives.36
Further complicating the predicament is the onslaught of anti-Muslim prejudice directed at Muslim men and Muslim communities writ large. As communities across the country experience mosque vandalism, hate crimes, forced exile on no-fly lists, profiling in airports, and aggressive law enforcement tactics that border on entrapment,37 intra-community gender rights are quickly marginalized. Therefore, the allegations that internal power struggles are rooted in male dominance, even if true, only reinforce negative stereotypes of (male) Muslims as oppressive, pathologically authoritarian, and deserving of suspicion.
Challenging male patriarchy within the Muslim communities also subjects a woman to allegations of harming the collective interests of Muslims in America—additional harms they cannot afford in light of political and physical attacks by the public and the government. These practical concerns deny Muslim women the ability to contest gender-biased interpretations of religious doctrine and cultural practices thereby stifling a healthy evolution of Islam in America. In the end, the new generation of Muslim women leaders may have little choice but to support defensive strategies that collectively marginalize Muslim women within American Muslim communities.
Rethinking Post-9/11 Leadership Strategies
As the post-9/11 era enters its thirteenth year, the persistent discrimination against Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians can no longer be characterized as mere backlash. Public bias is on the rise, and the government continues to ratchet up its aggressive preventative counterterrorism campaign against Muslims.38 The stereotype of the "Terrorist other" is now deeply entrenched in American race politics. Because women bear a significant brunt of the adverse consequences, a rethinking of post-9/11 civil rights strategies is long overdue.
Four specific strategies would go a long way toward empowering, de-essentializing, and granting agency to Muslim women. First and foremost, the unique forms of discrimination and subordination experienced by Muslim women, particularly those easily identifiable as Muslim, must be acknowledged and incorporated into anti-discrimination campaigns. Toward that end, there needs to be more media coverage about how Muslim women experience post-9/11 discrimination and are uniquely impacted by anti-Muslim bias in ways that their male counterparts are not. Second, more Muslim women must be included in leadership positions in Muslim advocacy groups, American women's rights groups, and national security advocacy groups. Hate crimes and discrimination against them should be viewed as a woman's rights as well as a national security issue, not just a religious bias issue. Third, Muslim women in advocacy leadership positions should be diverse in order to ensure the various political viewpoints, religious practices, and ethnic backgrounds are represented in all decision-making processes. Fourth, government efforts to prevent post-9/11 backlash through community outreach efforts or civil rights litigation must purposely include a diversity of Muslim women in the relevant meetings and dialogues with the Muslim communities. If Western feminists want to be taken seriously in their call for universal women's rights abroad, they must face the skeletons in their own countries' closets. Their organizations must confront the double standards whereby they adamantly defend the rights of women in the "Muslim East" yet neglect their own society's discrimination against Muslim women. Such subordination is not limited to garden variety discrimination but also occurs in the national security context, which can make it prohibitively hazardous to wear the headscarf.
Despite having more than ten years to arrive at this realization, many American women's rights groups have yet to include post-9/11 discrimination in their scholarly and activist agendas because they shortsightedly view it as a national security issue.39 Although some feminists may feel no loss at the end of the Islamic practice of veiling, which they believe contradicts the values of liberalism, they cannot escape their own culpability in stripping Muslim women of agency and individuality—two fundamental principles undergirding American feminism. Muslim women in the United States, just like their non-Muslim counterparts, deserve the social and political space to make their own decisions on how to live. But, as this paper argues, the status quo has made it difficult to do so without paying a high personal price in the form of unemployment, physical assault, and social and political marginalization. Western feminists should be looking to Muslim women to take the lead in developing strategies and projects tailored to experiences that only they can articulate. By inviting more Muslim women into women's rights organizations and campaigns, the inclusion of diverse voices will occur organically. Likewise, non-American Muslim feminists can support existing efforts by Muslim women rather than attempting to lead or speak on their behalf.
Although there is no singular, unitary "Muslim woman" that can represent the diversity of women who identify as Muslim, many Muslim women experience similar adverse consequences because they are collectively stereotyped as meek, powerless, oppressed, or in the post-9/11 era sympathetic to terrorism. Overt acts of violence and insidious forms of economic discrimination against some headscarved women restrict a woman's freedom of choice in practicing her religion. The threat this poses to a woman's life and livelihood should not be taken lightly. The right to work directly impacts a woman's self-esteem, individual autonomy, and placement in the power hierarchy of her family and community. Similarly, her inability to feel safe because of the headscarf strips her of a fundamental right to safety and religious expression.
The challenge now rests with Muslim civil rights, American women's rights, and civil liberties advocacy groups to uphold the rights of all women and all Muslims, rather than subordinate these women's interests to the dominant group's agenda. The urgency of this project does not stem from merely abstract notions of justice, but from real civil rights violations—headscarved women have increasingly become targets of entrenched anti-Muslim attitudes, and consequently suffer palpable harm. Addressing this challenge is essential not only to restoring their dignity, but also to strengthening American values of religious freedom and gender equality.******
Sahar Aziz is an associate professor at Texas A&M University School of Law where she teaches national security, civil rights, and Middle East law. Her work has been published in the Harvard National Security Journal, the Gonzaga Law Review, the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, and the Middle East Institute. She is a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and a member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association (www.earla.org).
1This essay is based on a longer article entitled "From the Oppressed to the Terrorist: American Muslim Women Caught in the Crosshairs of Intersectionality," 9 Hastings Race & Pov.y L. J. 1 (2012), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1981777
2See Nadine Strossen, "Freedom and Fear Post-9/11: Are We Again Fearing Witches and Burning Women," 31 Nova L. Rev. 279, 306 (2007).
3See Richard T. Micco, "Putting the Terrorist-sponsoring state in the Dock: Recent Changes in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the Individual's Resource Against Foreign Powers," 14 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. 109, 109 (2000); Roberta Smith, "America Tries to Come to Terms with Terrorism: The United States Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 v. British Anti-Terrorism Law and International Response," 5 Cardozo J. Int'l & Comp. L. 249, 257 (1997).
4See generally Michael J. Whidden, "Unequal Justice: Arabs in America and United States Antiterrorism Legislation," 69 Fordham L. Rev. 2825, 2849 (2001); Ari D. McKinnon, "Counterterrorism and Check and Balances: The Spanish and American Examples," 82 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 602, 608 (2007).
5Rachel Saloom, "I Know You Are, But What am I? Arab-American Experiences Through the Critical Race Theory Lens," 27 Hamline J. Pub. L. & Pol'y 55, 76 (2005).
6"About Islam and American Muslims," CAIR, http://www.cair.com/AboutIslam/IslamBasics.aspx (last visited May 4, 2012).
7See Editorial, "Terrorists Hiding in Hijabs: Muslims Seek Special Treatment to Elude TSA Groping," Wash. Times, Nov. 17, 2010, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/17/terrorists-hiding-in-hijabs (arguing that by granting religious accommodation to Muslim women who wear the headscarf, terrorists will use it to elude security measures).
8See Robert A. Kahn, "The Headscarf As Threat: A Comparison of German and U.S. Legal Discourse," 40 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 417, 419 (2007) (finding that Judge Thorpe repeatedly identified the headscarf as the means for accomplishing terrorist acts in her ruling and discussed the idea that an "insincere" terrorist could threaten national security by falsely posing as a religious Muslim at the department of motor vehicles stating that "wearers of full face cloaks would 'pretend to ascribe to religious beliefs in order to carry out activities that would threaten lives.'"); see also Kathleen M. Moore, "Visible through the Veil: The Regulation of Islam in American Law," 68 Soc. Of Religion, 269 (2007) (While most Muslim women in the United States choose not to wear the hijab, the visibility of it as a focal point for controversy influences American perceptions about what constitutes Islam. Such cases as the Florida driver's license case of Sultaana Freeman putatively pit a benighted image of Islam against the necessities of national security, and only serve to entrench already polarized opinions about the nature of Islam. Worse, such a binarism posits gender relations as an essential point of divergence between the Islamic world and secular democracies, and promotes the simplistic view that cultures are set on an unavoidable collision course, a clash of civilizations. Not only is the hijab a volatile emblem that can be viewed as a symbol of male oppression or of modesty and religious or cultural identity, it is also intertwined with discussions about the assimilability of Muslims in western societies.).
9See Widden, supra note 3, at 2829.
10Alexander Zaitchik, "Glenn Bleck rises again," Salon (Sep. 23, 2009, 06:22 ET), http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/23/glenn_beck_three; see Sheryll Cashin, "To Be Muslim or 'Muslim-Looking' In America: A Comparative Exploration of Racial and Religious Prejudice in the 21st Century," 2 Duke F. for L. & Soc. Change 125, 126-130 (2010) (citing evidence that bias against Muslims is more likely to be expressed explicitly and accepted without public outrage in contrast to bias expressed against other minority groups).
11See Greg Bates, "Back with a Vengeance: The Return of Racial Profiling," Counterpunch (Aug. 20, 2010), http://www.counterpunch.org/bates08202004.html (summarizing a statement by Rudy Maxa, the travel expert in residence on the public radio program Marketplace from Aug. 11, 2004, that, "No subject is more controversial right now than racial or ethnic profiling. Paying special attention to passengers of Middle East descent can get an airline in trouble. Pull more than two such passengers aside per flight for special scrutiny, and an airline risks a lawsuit. But captured al Qaeda documents show that Arab men are probing for weaknesses in U.S. security. So, is secondary profiling at airports a civil rights violation? I say no. Not if done efficiently and with respect and courtesy. Political correctness mustn't get in the way of security"); see The Boks Man, Dan Fanelli Ad, YouTube (May 6, 2010), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umTITWQuXwY (documenting an ad campaign by Dan Fanelli, a Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Alan Grayson in Florida, speaking against "political correctness" and explicitly supporting racial profiling).
12See Mark H. Hunter, "SLU Professor Talks About Significance of Hijab," The Advocate, Dec. 5, 2010, http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/latest/111333919.html (discussing the hijab's role internationally and in the Muslim experience).
13See Am. Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm., The 2010 ADC Legal Report: Legal Advocacy & Policy Review 2 (2011), available at http://adc.org/fileadmin/ADC/Pdfs/2010_ADC_Legal_Report.pdf; see Questions and Answers About the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, U.S. Equal Emp. Opportunity Comm'n, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/backlash-employee.cfm (last visited Jan. 10, 2012).
14Adrien Katherine Wing & Monica Nigh Smith, "Critical Race Feminism Lifts the Veil?: Muslim Women, France, and the Headscarf Ban," 39 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 743, 750 (2006) (discussing the origin and significance of the headscarf in Islamic history and in the French headscarf debate); see also Alia Al-Saji, "The Racialization of Muslim Veils: A Philosophical Analysis," Phil. & Soc. Criticism 875, 888-893 (2010) (discussing the significance of the headscarf in the American context).
15See infra note 15.
16See Pamela K. Taylor, "France, Spain and Syria: To ban or not to ban the burqa?," Wash. Post (Jul. 23, 2010), http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/modernmuslim/2010/07/france_spain_and_syria_to_ban_or_not_to_ban_the_burqa.html (seeing the hijab (the headscarf and long, loose clothes) as the "ultimate 'up yours' to the cult of causal sexuality that seemed to have overtaken American youth, the abusiveness of the beauty industry, and the objectification of women by Hollywood and advertisers that had spawned an epidemic of anorexia and bulimia among young women and its flip side, an epidemic of obesity, which left practically no woman happy with her body" and felt the "hijab was delightfully freeing, a way of stepping outside that game and rejecting it utterly."); see also Cecile Laborde, "Female Autonomy, Education and the Hijab," 9 Critical Rev. of Int'l Soc. & Pol. Phil. 351, 365, available at http://www.sss.ias.edu/files/pdfs/Laborde-Female-Autonomy.pdf (discussing that the hijab liberates them from the perceived dictates of Western fashion and from the pervasive sexualization of women's bodies).
17See supra note 15.
18Asra Q. Nomani, "Hijab Chic," Slate, Oct. 27, 2005, http:// www.slate.com/id/2128906/ (describing a Nordstrom fashion show in Virginia that was directed to conservative Muslim women); Shaimaa Khalil, "Muslim Designers Mix the Hijab with Latest Fashions," BBC, May 14, 2010, http:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/10105062; Theresa Perkins, Unveiling Muslim Women: The Constitutionality of Hijab Restrictions in Turkey, Tunisia and Kosovo, 30 B.U. Int'l L.J. 529, 534 (2012).
19See Code Pink in Iraq, CODE Pink, http://www.codepink.org/section.php?id=19 (last visited Dec. 24, 2011); Discrimination in Law, EQUALITY NOW, http://www.equalitynow.org/our-work/discrimination-law (last visited Dec. 24, 2011) (listing nations in which EQUALITY NOW is working; the United States is not on the list).
20See H.J. Res. 1056, 52nd Leg., Reg. Sess. (Okla. 2010).
21See, e.g., Tarice Gray, "Muslim American Girls Taunted, Assaulted at School for Wearing Hijab", Change.org (Dec. 21, 2010), http://education.change.org/blog/view/muslim_american_girls_taunted_assaulted_at_school_for_wearing_hijab (reporting that "The Greater Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) says it's hearing from students and their parents saying that children are being verbally harassed and tagged with labels like 'terrorist' or 'jihadi,' just for being Muslim and that girls have reported being physically assaulted for wearing hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women."); see also Engy Abdelkader, "In Post-9/11 World, Anti-Bullying Bill Carries Special Significance", N.J. L.J., Dec. 20, 2010 (reporting that post-9/11 harassment of American-Muslim and South- Asian youths has dramatically worsened including derogatory name-calling and physical threats and violence); see also Felicia Sonmez & Michelle Boorstein, "Few fireworks at hearing examining civil rights of American Muslims", Wash. Post (Mar. 29, 2011), http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ few-fireworks-at-hearing-examining-civil-rights-of-americanmuslims/2011/03/29/AFykZtvB_story.html (testifying that evidence indicates that religiously-inspired bullying of youth also is increasing.); see also John Doyle, "New 'Bias' Attack on SI Muslim," N.Y. Post (Oct. 14, 2010), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/staten_island/new_bias_attack_on_si_muslim_1OLCBmqaQg0IoZigpIufsO (reporting that a man was arrested for punching a headscarf-wearing woman and her four-year-old son from Staten Island); see also Tracy Clark Flory, "Abercrombie Hates Your Hijab," Salon (Feb. 25, 2010), http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/ feature/2010/02/25/hijab_abercrombie_hollister_discrimination (discussing a Muslim employee of Abercrombie & Fitch Co.'s allegation that she was fired for not removing her headscarf when she was initially told she could wear one. She was later told by a visiting district manager that scarves were not allowed during work hours. She said that she was fired when she refused to take it off.); see also Amy Joyce, "External Symbols of Faith Can Unfairly Add to Interview Stress," Wash. Post, Sept. 25, 2005, at F6 (telling the challenges in obtaining employment faced by a Muslim woman who wears the headscarf due to employers discomfort with her headscarf).
22But see All-American Muslim (TLC television broadcast series, premiered Nov. 13, 2011), the first reality show depicting Muslims as ordinary people with diverse beliefs and lifestyles. Unfortunately, TLC has received threats demanding that it stop airing the show because it misinforms viewers about the serious threat regarding the terrorist inclinations of all Muslims. Sheila Musaji, "American Companies Accused of Joining the All-American Anti-Muslim Bandwagon," Am. Muslim (Dec. 20, 2011), http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/all-american-muslim/0018896.
23See supra note 20.
24See Strossen, supra note 1, at 306 ("Before Sept. 11, Muslim women who wore head scarves in the United States were often viewed as vaguely exotic. The terrorist attacks abruptly changed that, transforming the head scarf, for many people, into a symbol of something dangerous, and marking the women who wear them as among the most obvious targets."); John Blake, "Muslim Women Uncover Myths About Hijab," CNN (Aug. 19, 2009), http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-12/us/generation.islam.hijab_1_hijab-muslim-women-muslim-americans? (reporting that "some hijab-wearers say that strangers treat them as if they're terrorists"); see also Nadine Naber, "'Look, Mohammed the Terrorist Is Coming!' Cultural Racism, Nation-Based Racism, and the Intersectionality of Oppressions after 9/11," Scholar & Feminist Online (Summer 2008), http://barnard.edu/sfonline/immigration/naber_01.htm (identifying cultural racism as a "process of Othering that constructs perceived cultural (e.g., Arab), religious (e.g., Muslim), or civilizational (e.g., Arab and/or Muslim) differences as natural and insurmountable" and nation-based racism as a construct that treats certain immigrants as potentially criminal or immoral).
25See Iyiola Solanke, "Putting Race and Gender Together: A New Approach to Intersectionality," 72(5) Mod. L. Rev. 723 (2009) (highlighting that additive discrimination claims fail "to acknowledge the black woman as 'an integrated, undifferentiated, complete whole' with a 'consciousness and politics' of her own." Quoting Regina Austin, "Sapphire Bound!," 1989 Wis. L. Rev. 539, 540 (1989)).
26See Gowri Ramachandran, "Intersectionality as 'Catch 22': Why Identity Performance Demands Are Neither Harmless Nor Reasonable," 69 Alb. L. Rev. 299, 302 (2006) (noting that intersectionals "experience a qualitatively different kind of subordination").
27See Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In 162 (2013).
28See infra note 29.
29See Mackenzie Carpenter, "Muslim Women Say Veil is More About Expression than Oppression," Pittsburgh Post- Gazette (Oct. 28, 2001), http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20011028muslimwomennat3p3.asp; see also Franchesca Benzant, "Donning the Hijab: My Day As an Undercover Muslim Woman," Clutch (Dec. 9, 2011), http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/12/donning-the-hijab-my-day-as-an-undercover-muslim-woman/2/ (detailing the author's experience as part of an outreach effort by the Muslim Women of Maryland challenging women to wear a hijab for a day. The author also recounted another participant's post-9/11 experience, stating, "One girl who was Muslim admitted that this was her first time wearing the hijab since 9/11. She used to be teased to the point students would yank her hijab off of her head and once it was even thrown in the toilet."); see also Nadine Naber, "'Look, Mohammed the Terrorist Is Coming!' Cultural Racism, Nation-Based Racism, and the Intersectionality of Oppressions after 9/11," Scholar & Feminist Online (Summer 2008), http://barnard.edu/sfonline/immigration/naber_01.htm (citing incidents of school children having their headscarf pulled off while commuting to school).
30See John Doyle, "New 'bias' attack on SI Muslim," N.Y. Post (Oct. 14, 2010 1:14 am), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/staten_island/new_bias_attack_on_si_muslim_1OLCBmqaQg0IoZigpIufsO; see Janet I. Tu, "Woman charged with hate crime against two Muslim women," The Seattle Times (Oct. 22, 2010), http:// seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013220695_muslimwomen22m.html.; Gina Potthoff, "FBI Investigates Reported Assault on Local Muslim," The Columbus Dispatch (Dec. 20, 2010), http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/12/21/columbus-muslim-reports-harassment-assault.html?sid=101.; Harassment Allegedly Began After Victim Began Wearing Islamic Scarf, Novanews (Dec. 22, 2010), http://www.shoah.org.uk/2010/12/23/harassment-allegedly-began-after-victim-began-wearing-islamic scarf/; see "CAIR: FBI Asked to Probe Bias Motive for Harassment of Ore. Muslim," PR Newswire (Dec. 21, 2010), http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-fbi-asked-to-probe-bias-motive-for-harassment-of-oremuslim- 112274619.html.; see Ben Botkins, "Twin Falls man arrested for allegedly harassing Muslim," Magic Valley News (Dec. 24, 2010), http://www.magicvalley.com/news/local/twin-falls/article_cc705188-c402-534f-8d71-7e5f64fe9283.html.; see Levi Pulkkinen, "Hate Crime Charge Filed in Seattle Grocery Store Attack," Seattlepi (Jan. 4, 2011), available at http://http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2011/01/04/hate-crimecharge-filed-in-seattle-grocery-store-attack/ (reporting the man was charged with a hate crime of malicious harassment); "CAIR: Seattle Muslim Targeted in Bias Attack," Breitbart.com (Jan. 5, 2011), http://www.breitbart.com/article. php?id=xprnw.20110105.DC25496&show_article=1.; Jamie Schram and Maura O'Connor, "Muslim Gal assaulted in Harlem," N.Y. Post (July 8, 2011), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/muslim_gal_assaulted_in_harlem_tpbqmgjLNjlRdJzTtcpnKO.; Editorial, "Tennessee Knife-Wielding Driver Shouts "I'll Kill You," Spews Religious Slurs at Muslim Mother and Son," Al-Jazeerah (July 28, 2011), http://www.aljazeerah.info/News/2011/August/1%20n/Tennessee%20Knife- Wielding%20Driver%20Shouts%20I'll%20Kill%20You,%20Spews%20Religious%20Slurs%20at%20Muslim%20Mother%20and%20Son.htm.; "CAIR-MI Asks FBI to Probe Threat Against Muslim Driver," PR Newswire (August 7, 2011), http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-mi-asks-fbi-to-probe-threat-againstmuslim- driver-127096513.html.
31See "Religious Freedom Has a Place in the Workplace," FindLaw (Nov. 9, 2010), http://knowledgebase.findlaw.com/kb/2010/Nov/208334.html; see also Marisol Bello, "Controversy Shrouds Muslim Women's Head Coverings," USA Today, (Apr. 15, 2010), http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-04-14-headscarves-muslim_N.htm; "Discrimination Against Muslim Women-Fact Sheet," ACLU (May 29, 2008), http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief-womens-rights/discriminationagainst-muslim-women-fact-sheet (article with statistically backed numbers as to discrimination or harassment complaints that stemmed from head covering); Elizabeth K. Dorminey, "Veiled Meaning: Tolerance and Prohibition of the Hijab in the U.S. and France," The Federalist Society For Law And Public Policy Studies (May 29, 2012), http://www.fed-soc. org/publications/detail/veiled-meaning-tolerance-and-prohibition-of-the-hijab-in-the-us-and-france (addresses the EEOC statistics for 2010: "In FY 2010 the EEOC reported receiving 3790 charges from individuals alleging religious discrimination or harassment. Of these, the EEOC reported that 3782 were resolved. Following an investigation, the EEOC issued 'no cause' determinations—a finding by the agency that there was no evidence from which they could conclude that discrimination or harassment had occurred—in 2309 cases. Seventy-three cases were successfully resolved through conciliation; there were 847 'merit resolutions,' which means that the case was probably resolved through litigation, and more than $10 million in monetary benefits were paid to employees by employers. An unscientific review of reported cases in which plaintiffs has completed the EEOC process and filed lawsuits suggest that the vast majority of religious discrimination or harassment cases in recent years have been brought by, or on behalf of, Muslims." Further, also addresses the EEOC v. GEO Group, Inc. case and brings up another case, EEOC v. Kelly Services).
32Campbell v. Avis Rent A Car Sys., Inc., No. Civ.A. 303 CV737H, 2006 WL 2865169 at 2 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 5, 2006); EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch, Co., No. CV10-3911-HRL (N.D. Cal. 2010).
33See Kimberlé Crenshaw, "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, 1989 U. Chi. Legal F. 139 (examining the failure of anti-discrimination law to account for the multiple influences of racism and sexism on the lives of black women); see also M. Imran Hayee, "For Muslim Women, Wearing a Veil Isn't Oppression," Star Tribune (Aug. 17, 2011), http://www.startribune.com/opinion/ otherviews/127972598.html (The author, a male Muslim, justifies use of the headscarf as a religious marker, notably omitting his wife's narrative and thereby exemplifying her denial of agency within the community).
34See Ahmed Eid, "UnMosqued: Why Are Young Muslims Leaving American Mosques?," Huffington Post (17 Oct. 2013), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ahmed-eid/young-americanmuslims_b_4109256.html?utm_hp_ref=religion.
35In nearly every joint national press conference called by Muslim organizations, the individuals speaking in a representational role are consistently males despite their 50 percent female constituency. One of many examples includes the joint press conference responding to President Obama's speech on May 18, 2011, about democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. The Council on American Islamic Relations issued a joint statement citing the following Muslim leaders of the largest American Muslim organizations, all of whom are males: "Those who watched or spoke following the president's speech included CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America, Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, Dr. Mohammed Elsanousi of the Islamic Society of North America, Mouaz Moustafa of the Libyan Council of North America, and Dr. Louay Safi of the Syrian American Council." Press Release, "CAIR: Obama's 'Arab Spring' Address Sets the Right Tone," CAIR (May 19, 2011, 4:15 pm), http://www.cair.com/ Article Details.aspx?mid1=777&&ArticleID=26779&&name=n&&currPage=2; Press Release, "CAIR: CAIR Calls for Reform of FBI's Training on Islam, Muslims," CAIR (Sept. 21, 2011, 6:15 pm), http://www.cair.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?mid1=777&&ArticleID=26881&&name=n&&currPage=3.
36Jen'nan Ghazal Read and John P. Bartkowski, "To Veil or Not to Veil?: A Case Study of Identity Negotiation among Muslim Women in Austin, Texas," 14 Gender & Society 395, 406-07 (2000), http://www.soc.duke.edu/~jgr14/pdfs/gs_pub.pdf (shows a struggle between what society deems good or appropriate and what the individual who wishes to be veiled views as good); Jehanzeb Dar, "Part 1: Time to End Gender Segregation in Mosques," Altmuslimah.com (Nov. 30, 2011), www.altmuslimah.com/a/b/mca/3413 (discussing the various ways in which Muslim men are privileged within the American Muslim community).
37See, e.g., "Hamden Mosque Vandalized," EyewitnessNEWS3 (Feb. 25, 2011) http://www.wfsb.com/news/26998327/detail.html (reporting that a mosque in Hamden, Connecticut, was marred with spray-painted profanity and graffiti, having experienced such vandalism four times in the past two years.); see also, John Doyle, Frank Rosario & Jessica Simeone, "'Drunk' desecration at mosque," N.Y. Post (Aug. 26, 2010), http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/drunk_desecration_at_mosque_fA7FZKYh59hx3Bjika6UGN?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME# (reporting on a man who barged in began cursing at the mosque attendees and ultimately urinated on the prayer rugs before he was able to be escorted out); see also "CAIR: Southern California Mosque Vandalized," CAIR-CA (Dec. 13, 2009), http://ca.cair.com/losangeles/news/cair_southern_california_mosque_vandalized (accounting the vandalism of a mosque in Los Angeles where vandals shattered windows and glass doors of the mosque and broke into the donation boxes, further commenting that an Oregon mosque was previously targeted with hate graffiti reading, "Allah is a pig"); See Robert Koenig, "Discrimination, hate crimes against Muslim Americans rising, officials say," St. Louis Beacon (Mar. 29, 2010, http://www.stlbeacon.org/issues-politics/280-washington/109204-discrimination-against-muslims-on-the-rise (documenting that "while Muslims represent less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, officials said about a quarter of religion-related workplace discrimination cases involve Muslims, as well as more than 14 percent of the overall number of federal religious discrimination cases" with the Anti-Defamation League reporting "an intensified level of anti-Muslim bigotry'"); see Press Release, "ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Unconstitutional 'No Fly List'," ACLU (Jun. 30, 2010), http://www.aclu.org/national security/aclu-files-lawsuit-challenging-unconstitutional-no-fly-list; "Wrong Then, Wrong Now: Racial Profiling Before & After September 11, 2001," Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, Feb 21, 2003, at 27 (documenting and critiquing "terrorism Profiling" specifically the profiling of Arabs, South-Asians and Muslims at airports).
38See David Cole & Jules Lobel, Less Safe, Less Free, 26–33 (2007) (explaining the government's "preventative" approach of detaining people based on "group identity or political affiliations"); President George W. Bush, Address Before the United States Military Academy Graduating Class (June 1, 2002) ("If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long…The war on terror will not be won on the defensive.") (transcript, video recording, and audio recording available at The White House, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601-3.html (last visited Jan. 5, 2012)). Attorney General John Ashcroft prepared the following statement: In order to fight and to defeat terrorism, the Department of Justice has added a new paradigm to that of prosecution - a paradigm of prevention…Our new, international goal of terrorism prevention…involves anticipation and imagination about emerging scenarios, the puzzle pieces of which have yet to come into alignment. John Ashcroft, U.S. Att'y Gen., Remarks Before the Council on Foreign Relations (Feb. 10, 2003) (prepared remarks available at U.S. Dep't of Justice, http://www.justice.gov/archive/ag/speeches/2003/021003agcouncilonforeignrelation.htm (last visited Jan. 5, 2012)).
39Similar to domestic violence programs that do not gain White support until it is viewed as affecting the white community, the collective punishment of Muslim women arising out of terrorist acts by Muslim (men or women) that undermine gender rights is ignored unless white women experience an analogous context. See Crenshaw, supra note 32 at 1258–59 (discussing the prerequisite for domestic violence to affect White communities before domestic violence programs that affect minority communities are supported by mainstream White communities).