UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Responses to and interpretation of anti-Muslim racism in Canada : a community perspective Gova, Alnoor


Against the backdrop of rising levels of anti-“Muslim” racism (aka Islamophobia) in Canada, coupled with the nation-state’s targeting and surveillance of these communities, my dissertation sets out to interpret the responses to this racism by the affected communities themselves. In this study, I employ qualitative methodology within a critical race theoretical framework informed by indigenous and post-colonial theory. After inviting participation from self-identified Muslim and Arab community organizations, whether outwardly responding to racism or not, over a one year period (2011-2012), I interviewed eleven diverse organizations, all of which are working in various capabilities and focus on community capacity building – including in the sectors of professional mentorship and networking, activities such as multi/inter-faith programming, social services, and advocacy for their communities. I asked participants to share their narratives and views on a wide array of questions: their assessment of the situation of their communities and constituencies in Canada, their experiences with “community government,” and their assessment of the “good Muslim/bad Muslim” nexus. I classify data I gathered into a heuristic of three types of responses: direct, status and native informant, and argue that although most of them fall into the range of status, it is direct responses – ones that commence and attend to racial injustice – that can have the most positive impact in terms of overall responses to systemic anti-Muslim racism.

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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada