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Islamophobia Working Group

The Islamophobia Working Group (IWG) was assembled in January of 2016 to address the national crisis of Islamophobia and its impact on our campus community. We have become actively involved in the University's strategic plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and gained visibility across campus.

Given the recent increase in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment internationally, the purpose of this group of faculty, staff, and students is to study the climate and its impact on Arab, Muslim, and MENA-identified students, faculty, staff, and the campus community at large; strategize on how to create a safe and inclusive campus environment for Arab, Muslim, and MENA students and those who are impacted by anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments (i.e. Sikh, etc.); and create a set of resources for community members, students and faculty included. If you are a U-M faculty, staff, or student and are interested in getting involved, email Samer Mahdy Ali (


#IslamophobiaIsRacism Online Syllabus

In response to intensified anti-Muslim racism and inspired by the #FergusonSyllabus, the #StandingRockSyllabus, the #BlackIslamSyllabus and others, a group of interdisciplinary scholars has created the #IslamophobiaIsRacism syllabus to provide resources for teaching and learning about anti-Muslim racism in the United States. This syllabus deliberately reframes “Islamophobia” as “anti-Muslim racism” to more accurately reflect the intersection of race and religion as a reality of structural inequality and violence rooted in the longer history of US (and European) empire building. It focuses mainly on the United States, while gesturing to the ways that anti-Muslim racism overlaps and intersects with various global histories of racism, colonization, and empire building. 

As an interdisciplinary syllabus with social justice education as its objective, the #IslamophobiaIsRacism syllabus is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of resources or readings, but instead provides one possible curated list of teachable texts and materials that provide a useful introduction to each section. While the readings include pieces that address recent events like the 2017 “Muslim ban” executive order, they also show that similar policies extend to both earlier moments and other communities.

This syllabus was built by Su'ad Abdul Khabeer, Arshad Ali, Evelyn Alsultany, Sohail Daulatzai, Lara Deeb, Carol Fadda, Zareena Grewal, Juliane Hammer, Nadine Naber, and Junaid Rana. We hope that educators find it useful and share it widely.

The syllabus is available here: