17th Annual Africana Studies Symposium
"Religion, Racism, & Religious Racism: The Color of Faith Discrimination"
In an era of increasing awareness and conversation about the many facets and forms of racial discrimination, the role of religion as a motivation for racism and the manifestation of racism as religious discrimination are often under-examined. However, it is clear that religion and racism are closely linked. In many circumstances, white nationalist/white supremacist groups represent themselves as religious organizations and ground their claims of racial superiority or opposition to interracial mixing in their faith. These groups also frequently espouse discriminatory views against both racial and religious minorities. Likely as a result of these links, hate crimes based on religious discrimination might disparately impact racial minorities or might incorrectly target individuals who fit a stereotype of how the attacker perceives members of that religious group.
Restrictions on religious freedom also frequently stem from racial bias. For example, policies banning certain types of hairstyles, head-coverings, or other religious attire in schools and public places often begin as a response to concerns about minority immigrants. Similarly, growing limitations on certain religious practices, such as the ritual slaughter of animals and circumcision, have a disparate impact on racial or ethnic minorities. Furthermore, laws and policies addressing religious-based terrorism frequently stereotype racial minorities as having a greater propensity for violent crime.
Through the discussion of these and related topics, this symposium seeks to unpack the relationship between religion and racism.
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This event is co-sponsored by the Dean's Office, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences