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I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting racism in times of national security , Asim Qureshi, ed

I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting racism in times of national security , Asim Qureshi, ed

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.

RSVP for the zoom webinar conversation here!


Additional Resources

Asim Qureshi interview with Jon Snow (video)

+ Hoda Katebi interview with WGN (video + essay)

+ “This is Not a Humanizing Poem” (poem, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan)

Postcolonial Banter (poetry book, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan)

+ All of Lowkey’s music 🙂

+ “The silence of a coward: Why I no longer play the ‘good Muslim'” (essay, Tarek Younis)

Black Skin, White Masks (non-fiction book, Fanon): BWR unit here

Radical Skin, Moderate Masks (non-fiction book, Yassir Morsi)

The Poetics of Anti-Colonialism in the Arabic Qasida (non-fiction book, Hussein N Kadhim)

From the Ruins of Empire (non-fiction book, Pankaj Mishra)

+ Chapter 7: “Disobedience to Condemnation”, A Virtue of Disobedience (non-fiction book, Asim Qureshi)

+ “Innocence/Guilt” Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan interviews Daria Reaven on the Breaking Binaries podcast:

+ “Where does Shamima Begum Exist?” (essay, Azeezat & Shereen)

+ “Muslims are scared of going to therapy in case they’re linked to terrorism” (essay, Faima Bakar)

God Forbid (short ficton story, Tarek Younis

The Patient Assassin (non-fiction book, Anita Anand)

I Write What I Like (non-fiction book, Steve Biko)

Whites, Jews and Us (non-fiction book, Houria Bouteldja)

Guest House for Young Widows (non-fiction book, Azadeh Moaveni)

The Making of a Human Bomb: A Ethnography of Palestinian Resistance (non-fiction book, Nasser Abu Farha)

Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America (non-fiction book, Erik Nielson & Andrea L Dennis)

+ “”Good” and “Bad” Muslim Citizens: Feminists, Terrorists, and U. S. Orientalism” (journal article, Sunaina Maira)

Poor (poetry book, Caleb Femi)

With Stones in Our Hands: Writings on Muslims, Race and Empire (collection of essays, Sohail Daulatzai & Junaid Rana)

+ I am Not Your Negro (documentary, James Baldwin)

Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism (non-fiction book, Todd H. Green)

Aamer Rahman on ISIS (comedic sketch, Aamer Rahman)

Is it really ok to punch Nazis? (comedic sketch, Aamer Rahman)