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Three stereotypical figures have come to represent the 'war on terror' - the 'dangerous' Muslim man, the 'imperilled' Muslim woman, and the 'civilized' European. Casting Out explores the use of these characterizations in the creation of the myth of the family of democratic Western nations obliged to use political, military, and legal force to defend itself against a menacing third world population. It argues that this myth is promoted to justify the expulsion of Muslims from the political community, a process that takes the form of stigmatization, surveillance, incarceration, torture, and bombing.
In this timely and controversial work, Sherene H. Razack looks at contemporary legal and social responses to Muslims in the West and places them in historical context. She explains how 'race thinking,' a structure of thought that divides up the world between the deserving and undeserving according to racial descent, accustoms us to the idea that the suspension of rights for racialized groups is warranted in the interests of national security. She discusses many examples of the institution and implementation of exclusionary and coercive practices, including the mistreatment of security detainees, the regulation of Muslim populations in the name of protecting Muslim women, and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. She explores how the denial of a common bond between European people and those of different origins has given rise to the proliferation of literal and figurative 'camps,' places or bodies where liberties are suspended and the rule of law does not apply.
Combining rich theoretical perspectives and extensive research, Casting Out makes a major contribution to contemporary debates on race and the 'war on terror' and their implications in areas such as law, politics, cultural studies, feminist and gender studies, and race relations.