Synopses & Reviews
"In this savvy, research-based book, sociologist Peek (Colorado State Univ.) reports on interviews with Arab and South Asian Muslim Americans conducted after the 9/11 attacks. Peek provides an excellent introduction to the oppressive realities these Americans face, including sharp increases in hate crimes and illegal government spying after 9/11.... This important book counters many US myths about Muslim Americans, their origins, and their life experiences. It makes them 'come alive' as important US residents seeking to counter 'othering' by fellow Americans....Summing Up: Highly recommended."
"[A] well-researched, thoughtful examination of how processes of postdisaster backlash heighten social boundaries, despite both popular and scholarly assumptions of solidarity after disaster.... One highlight of Peek’s analysis is her sensitive consideration of the impact of 9/11 backlash on respondents who are less 'visibly Muslim.'...[The book] is engagingly written and often powerful."
—Sociology of Religion
As the nation tried to absorb the shock of the 9/11 attacks, Muslim Americans were caught up in an unprecedented wave of backlash violence. Public discussion revealed that widespread misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Islam persisted, despite the striking diversity of the Muslim community.
Letting the voices of 140 ordinary Muslim American men and women describe their experiences, Lori Peek's path-breaking book, Behind the Backlash presents moving accounts of prejudice and exclusion. Muslims speak of being subjected to harassment before the attacks, and recount the discrimination they encountered afterwards. Peek also explains the struggles of young Muslim adults to solidify their community and define their identity during a time of national crisis.
Behind the Backlash seeks to explain why blame and scapegoating occur after a catastrophe. Peek sets the twenty-first century experience of Muslim Americans, who were vilified and victimized, in the context of larger sociological and psychological processes. Peek’s book will be of interest to those in disaster research studies, sociology of religion, and race and ethnic relations.
About the Author
Lori Peek is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University. She has been involved in disaster research for more than a decade and has published widely in the areas of risk and social vulnerability.
Table of Contents
2. Under Attack
3. Encountering Intolerance