Broken: The Failed Promise of Muslim Inclusion

NYU. Nov. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781479823963. $30. SOC SCI
In this eye-opening, provocative work, Alsultany (American studies and ethnicity, Univ. of Southern California; Arabs and Muslims in the Media) clearly demonstrates that many diversity initiatives fail when they’re centered around moments of crisis instead of lasting change. The book poignantly focuses on Islamophobic incidents, such as Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order that prohibited people from seven Muslim countries from traveling to the United States. Many publicly opposed the ban, but when the crisis moment passed, no more attention was paid to the problem until the next crisis. The author calls this “crisis diversity,” which raises awareness and little else. Page after page, Alsultany effectively argues that real change must happen at the systemic level. That includes Hollywood, where Muslim characters are often portrayed as “good” only after leaving the faith or securing jobs deemed patriotic in the U.S. In the corporate world, there have been examples of employees being fired for expressing anti-Muslim hatred, while the businesses themselves rarely change their institutional racism.
VERDICT This narrative will stay with readers long after the last page. To gain understanding and achieve true allyship, this is an essential title to read.
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