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Title: The Racialized Surveillant Assemblage: Islam and the fear of Terrorism
Authors: Sharma, S
Nijjar, J
Keywords: Assemblages;Islam;Racialization;Racism;Radicalisation;Surveillance;Terrorism
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Popular Communication, 16 (1), (2017)
Abstract: Increasingly intense, multifaceted and integrated forms of surveillance are a central feature of Western national security attempts to counter the violence of ‘Islamic terrorism’. However, there has been a lack of research examining contemporary regimes of surveillance as profoundly racialized. This study examines how counter-terrorism efforts are underpinned by ill-conceived accounts of radicalisation that pre-emptively construct Muslim-migrants as a threat to national security, thereby justifying practices of mass surveillance that further propagate racist discourses of uncertainty and risk. We advance an analysis of a racialized surveillant assemblage, that is generative of mutable, algorithmically determined profiles of the Muslim-as-terrorist. Such a regime of mass surveillance effectively puts all Muslims under suspicion. We highlight that, paradoxically, mass data-mining operations stifle, rather than aid, the identification of actual terrorist threats. This conditions a paranoid surveillant racism, through which Muslim populations become modulated as an unknowable threat of death and destruction.
ISSN: 1540-5702
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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