Rutgers logo
Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

The Race and Religion Series: Intersections of Race, Religion, and Immigration

Featured Events Article Image - The Racial Muslim
About this series:

The Race and Religion Series at ISGRJ-Newark seeks to center conversations about the intersections of race and religion, and the racialization of religion, from historical and contemporary perspectives, in the U.S. and globally. As categories of identity and identification, race and religion have historically overlapped and competed as primary forms of differentiation and markers of difference.

This Winter/Spring the series will focus on Islam in Africa. One of the consequences of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was that West African Muslims preceded much of the rest of the Muslim world in their confrontation with imperial power, market economies, and the moral questions they engendered. Later European colonization and the subsequent process of decolonization, and the tensions between discriminating hierarchies of race and the moral commitments of religion, conditioned conflicting ways of imagining community and group membership.

Events in this series: 

Global Circuits of Difference with Dr. Madina Thiam | Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 2:30 PM

Watch the recording of the lecture here:
Race and Religion Series Madina Thiam Lecture
Last year's Race and Religion Series events and lectures:
The Racial Muslim with Sahar Aziz and Deborah Amos | April 24, 2023

The Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University-Newark proudly continued its Race and Religion series with with second signature book talk on April 24, 2023 featuring Sahar Aziz, Rutgers Professor of Law, Chancellor's Social Justice Scholar, founding Director of the Center for the Security, Race, and Rights and acclaimed author of The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom, in conversation with Deborah Amos, Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence at Princeton University and Award-Winning International Correspondent for National Public Radio.

Access the livestream recording of the fireside chat here.
The Racial Muslim Banner
Mayte Green-Mercado, Sahar Aziz and Deborah Amos
ISGRJ-Newark Director Mayte Green Mercado, Professor Sahar Aziz and Professor Deborah Amos
The Racial Muslim with Sahar Aziz and Deborah Amos
The Racial Muslim with Sahar Aziz and Deborah Amos
Sahar Aziz
Sahar Aziz on her book The Racial Muslim
Deborah Amos and Sahar Aziz
Sahar Aziz in conversation with Deborah Amos
The Racial Muslim

About the Presenter and Moderator:

Sahar Aziz is Professor of Law, Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, and Middle East and Legal Studies Scholar at Rutgers University Law School. Professor Aziz’s scholarship adopts an interdisciplinary approach to examine intersections of national security, race, and civil rights with a focus on the adverse impact of national security laws and policies on racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in the U.S. Her research also investigates the relationship between authoritarianism, terrorism, and rule of law in the Middle East. She is the founding director of the interdisciplinary Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights ( and a faculty affiliate of the African American Studies Department at Rutgers University-Newark Professor Aziz serves on the Rutgers-Newark Chancellor's Commission on Diversity and Transformation as well as the editorial board of the Arab Law Quarterly and the International Journal of Middle East Studies. Professor Aziz teaches courses on national security, critical race theory, Islamophobia, evidence, torts, and Middle East law.

Professor Aziz is the recipient of numerous awards including a Soros Equality Fellowship (2021), A New America Middle Eastern and North African American National Security and Foreign Policy Next Generation Leader (2020), the Research Making an Impact Award by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (2017), the Derrick Bell Award from the American Association of Law Schools Minority Section (2015), and an Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education (2015). She serves on the board of directors of ReThink Media, the Project on Democracy in the Middle East (POMED), and Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN).

Professor Aziz's ground breaking book The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom examines how religious bigotry racializes immigrant Muslims through a historical and comparative approach. She has published over thirty academic articles and book chapters. Her articles are published in the Harvard National Security Journal, Washington and Lee Law Review, Nebraska Law Review, George Washington International Law Review, Penn State Law Review, and the Texas Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Journal.

Professor Aziz’s commentary has appeared in the New York Times,, Carnegie Endowment’s Sada Journal, Middle East Institute,, World Politics Review, Houston Chronicle, Austin Statesmen, The Guardian, and Christian Science Monitor. She is a frequent public speaker and has appeared on CNN, BBC World, PBS, CSPAN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Al Jazeera English. She is an editor of the Race and the Law Profs blog. She previously served on the board of the ACLU of Texas and as a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution – Doha.

Prior to joining legal academia, Professor Aziz served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where she worked on law and policy at the intersection of national security and civil liberties. Professor Aziz began her legal career as a litigation associate for WilmerHale after which she was an associate at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLP in Washington, D.C. where she litigated Title VII class actions on behalf of plaintiffs.

Professor Aziz earned a J.D. and M.A. in Middle East Studies from the University of Texas where she was as an associate editor of the Texas Law Review. Professor Aziz clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

In 2021, Professor Aziz was named a Soros Equality Fellow for her work in race, policing, and national security.

Deborah Amos is the Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence at Princeton University and an award-winning international correspondent for National Public Radio. Her reporting on the Middle East and refugees in the U.S. is regularly featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and All Things Considered. She has recently covered the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crises, the economy in the Middle East, and the Arab youth surge. She previously reported for ABC’s Nightline and PBS’s Frontline.

Amos is the author of two books: Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East, and Lines in the Sand: Desert Storm and the Remaking of the Arab World. She has won several major journalism honors, including a Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation, a George Foster Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, and an Emmy.

With thanks to Rutgers Continuing Studies Media Productions for their support of this event


Past events in this series

  • The Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University-Newark proudly presented the kick off to the Race and Religion Series which featured a book talk by Professor Evelyn Alsultany, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, leading expert on the History of Representations of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. Media and acclaimed author of Broken: The Failed Promise of Muslim Inclusion.

    Professor Alsultany's book fundamentally shifts contemporary frames for understanding Muslim representation in media, corporations, government, and universities from 'Islamophobia' to 'Anti-Muslim Racism.' In doing so, she provides a razor-sharp analysis of the truly systemic reality of anti-Muslim racism.

    The talk was moderated by Professor Deepa Kumar, award-winning scholar, activist and Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University—New Brunswick who along with Alsultany delivered a thought provoking and powerful conversation on Muslim inclusion and comprehensive exploration of where Muslims factor into American diversity initiatives.

    Evelyn Alsultany Book Talk
    ISGRJ-Newark Director ​​Mayte Green-Mercado introduces the Race and Religion Series and the kick off event and book talk by Professor Evelyn Alsultany
    Evelyn Alsultany Book Talk
    Kumar, Green-Mercado and Alsultany
    Professors Deepa Kumar, Mayte Green-Mercado and Evelyn Alsultany
    Evelyn Alsultany Book Talk 1
    Professors Deepa Kumar, Mayte Green-Mercado and Evelyn Alsultany in conversation at the kick off event in the Race and Religion Series at ISGRJ-Newark
    Kumar and Alsultany
    Professors Deepa Kumar and Evelyn Alsultany
    Evelyn Alsultany Book Talk
    Alsultany Book Talk Flyer

    About the Presenter and Moderator:

    Evelyn Alsultany is the author of Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11 (New York University Press, 2012) that examines a paradox in an increase in positive portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media after 9/11 and a simultaneous increase in hate crimes and government policies targeting Arabs and Muslims. She shows that even seemingly positive images can produce meanings that justify exclusion and inequality. Her research, teaching, and lecturing are driven by a commitment to bringing Arab and Muslim Americans into the broader conversation about racial politics in the U.S. In her lectures, she seeks to educate audiences on the history of stereotypical representations of Arabs and Muslims in the US media, its consequences as evident in public opinion and government policies, and alternatives to foster greater human respect and dignity.

    Professor Alsultany is the co-editor of two volumes: Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging (Syracuse University Press, 2011) which won the Arab American National Museum’s Evelyn Shakir Book Award and Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora (University of Michigan Press, 2013) which won honorable mention for the Arab American National Museum’s book award. She has served as a consultant for Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers on how to better represent Muslim characters. Recently she co-authored the Obeidi-Alsultany Test to help Hollywood improve representations of Muslims. She hosts the podcast “Muslims As Seen on TV.”

    Professor Alsultany received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2005. Since 2019, she has been an associate professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Prior to her appointment at USC, she taught at the University of Michigan for 13 years where she co-founded and served as the director of the Arab and Muslim American Studies, one of only three comparable programs in the world that focus on Arabs and/or Muslims in the U.S. context. At the University of Michigan, she was recognized for her contributions to campus diversity, mentoring underrepresented students, and program building through the Harold Johnson Diversity Service Award, the Arab Community Leadership Award, and the Arab Students Association’s Faculty of the Year Award. Professor Alsultany has won numerous awards for her undergraduate teaching, including the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, the highest teaching award at the University of Michigan. She has also been awarded prestigious fellowships such as the ACLS/Luce Program on Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs and a Fulbright Specialist Award to serve as a consultant in Qatar. In 2012, she was honored with a Jack G. and Bernice Shaheen Achievement Award.

    Given the enduring salience of Islamophobia, she seeks to communicate her research to a wide audience within and beyond academia. In addition to being the guest curator for the Arab American National Museum’s online exhibit on Arab stereotypes (, collaborating with colleagues at other universities to create the #IslamophobiaIsRacism online syllabus, and being selected for a TEDx talk, she is frequently contacted by journalists about current events and writes op-eds. Professor Alsultany maintains an active public speaking schedule, at the invitation of universities across the country and abroad.

    Deepa Kumar is a Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She is also an award-winning scholar and activist. She is the recipient of the Dallas Smythe award for her engaged scholarship, the Georgina Smith award for her work on gender and race equity, and the Marilyn Sternberg award for her leadership of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT faculty union. She is the author of more than 75 publications including books, journal articles, book chapters, and articles in independent and mainstream media. She is recognized as a leading scholar on Islamophobia both nationally and internationally. Her book on Islamophobia has been translated into five languages; a second and completely revised edition will be published in Sept 2021. She is also part of the Media Education Foundation‘s series on media, culture, and the Middle East along with Edward Said and Jack Shaheen. She is affiliated faculty in the Depts of Women and Gender Studies and Sociology and with the Centers for Middle Eastern Studies and Race and Ethnicity.

    With thanks to Rutgers Continuing Studies Media Productions for their support of this event