Bradley J. Zopf is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on intersections of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, and identity among Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim Americans. His dissertation examines the ambivalence surrounding racial identity construction among Egyptians in Chicago.

Racializing “Muslims”: Constructing a Muslim Archetype

More recently scholars, including those focusing on European Muslims, have incorporated the racialization framework to complement, rather than replace, Orientalism and Islamophobia to explain how Muslims experience prejudice and discrimination. This paper reinforces the racialization framework by arguing that in the United States Muslims have become victims of race-based violence through the construction of visible archetype of “Muslim” utilizing symbolic markers such as name, dress, phenotype, and language (Naber 2008). How do we explain the experiences of Muslims, who are ethnically, nationally, racially, and phenotypically diverse, in terms of racism? Continue reading