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Friday, July 7 • 9:30am - 11:00am
Islamophobia and the Ideology of the "War on Terror"

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Like the “war on drugs,” the “war on terror” is not so much a single war as an ideological framework under which the United States wages war and justifies its foreign and domestic policies. If in the 19th and early 20th century the European colonial powers and the United States presented their struggle for global dominance as a “civilizing mission,” or after the Second World War as a global war of the “free world” against Soviet Communist aggression, since the 1990s the United States has waged war under the pretext that it is defending freedom against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. But logically, terrorism is a tactic and so one cannot wage “war” against it. Moreover, if terrorism is defined as systematic political violence designed to intimidate populations, it's applied with greater devastation by states like the U.S. than by non-state actors. For Washington, the usefulness of the “war on terror” trope is that it is self-perpetuating; through its brutal military attacks in the Middle East, it allows the U.S. to generate a perpetual cast of “enemies” against which the “war” can be waged indefinitely, providing a continuous justification for imperial interventions.


Friday July 7, 2017 9:30am - 11:00am
Burnham A/B