A full circle! #BecauseWeveRead was launched in 2018 after my interview on live TV went viral for going, well, horribly wrong…for the hosts. Over two years later and unfortunately the incident is still far from irrelevant, and has been experienced time and time again by others around the world. But it’s not just those of us in front of cameras who are forced to be confined within the parameters of violent and racist securitization frameworks and speak on behalf of our communities; microagressions underpinned by racist and classist “War on Terror,” “War on Drugs,” and “national security” logics continue to be normalized for all of us as Muslims, people of color, and oppressed communities globally in daily life. Between programs including Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), Prevent (its UK equivalent), gang-prevention programs, predictive policing, and all of their close relatives, our streets, public venues, places of worship, schools, workplaces, therapy, the media we consume, incarceration, and even our private homes have all become fair game for states’ probing surveillance, adamancy of control, and insistence on playing the role they’ve scripted for you in play entitled white supremacy. Refusals to play the role–to condemn terrorism, to sever our identities in exchange for powerless and meaningless positions in popular culture, and play by their rules–is where the complacency in our own oppression ends, and liberation begins. We are not just refusing to eat their food, we are questioning the very validity of the table on which it sits.
But let me keep this short, as Asim Qureshi has put together quite the introduction–complete with discussion points and a proposed project–for the special BWR-edition excerpt of the book! Even if you do go ahead and purchase the complete book (which, I highly recommend! There are amazing essays!), I do suggest downloading our BWR-specific PDF with the special introduction!
If you’re already on our email list, you will have already received a copy of the book emailed straight to your inbox! If not yet, you can sign up here and automatically receive a follow-up email with the link!
Our additional recommended resources has a lot of writing, essays, poetry, music, and even comedic sketches from the incredible contributors of the book and beyond, so be sure to explore that below! And as always, I hope you can join us for our roundtable conversation at the end of the month with the authors of the essays included in the PDF excerpt!
As always, be sure to share your insights with us as you’re reading, using the hashtag #BecauseWeveRead. Here’s to developing language of refusal, of resistance, and of community power together, on our terms.