The Post-9/11 Security State

Surveilling America Arabs and Muslims in the 21st Century

  • Andrea Carosso
Keywords: 9/11, Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Islamophobia, Civil Rights


A “silent minority” until the end of the 20th century, Arab and Muslim Americans became, literally overnight, a "problem" ethnic group in the US consensus after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when on the one hand Islamophobia was adopted as the leading trope of national grievance, while on the other a massive surveillance apparatus was put in place in order to ostensibly address the risk of internal radicalization, resulting in visible loss of civil rights for Arab and Muslim minorities in the US. This paper explores the deployment of the US security state against America Arabs and Muslims after 9/11, and sets it within the complex history of Middle Eastern and South Asian immigration to the US in the 20th century.