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This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Over the last few years, Moustafa Bayoumi has been an extra in Sex and the City 2 playing a generic Arab, a terrorist suspect (or at least his namesake “Mustafa Bayoumi” was) in a detective novel, the subject of a trumped-up controversy because a book he had written was seen by right-wing media as pushing an “anti-American, pro-Islam” agenda, and was asked by a U.S. citize ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2015 by NYU Press
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Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The essays were uneven--some were fantastic and others felt a bit too overplayed. I love Bayoumi's perspective on the Muslim experience in America and the book is a nice update to Orientalism (which is one of his inspirations). I also loved the cultural critiques (of 24 and Homeland, etc), but a few of the essays just seemed off to me--like you sort of trashes Reza Aslan in the same breath as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and they are nowhere near the same ballpark of bad on Islam. Aslan may have made a few g ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, poc, library
This is a valuable read with 3/4 of it's sections (Muslims in History, Muslims in Theory, and Muslims in Culture) being quite strong. The third section, Muslims in Politics gets a bit repetive. I really appreciated Bayoumi's dry wit. ...more
Juanita Johnson
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this one for book club. I've got mixed emotions. At times, this book is self, literally, self-serving. The author is making a name for himself. However, the author provided good fact checked information that every intelligent should consider when looking at racism and bigotry in the US, or for that matter, anywhere in the world. We are not a Christian nation. We are a nation of individuals, built on the demolition of other cultures. The systematic construction of a rationalization for thi ...more
Jules Bertaut
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was more like a collection of essays, and written in a more academic register than a lot of what I've read lately, so reading it was a bit of an adjustment. Also, it feels a little dated, through, I want to emphasize, no fault of the author. Just, it was published in 2015 and I’d guess mostly written between 2012 and 2014, and reading it I felt the world has changed and not for the better. Like, now if you’re talking about immigration and Muslim Americans, you’d have to talk about Trum ...more
David Lucander
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: race-and-culture
An incisive and well-written collection of essays, this book is an obvious (and long awaited) follow up to Bayoumi's How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America. My favorites were "East of the Sun," which had an interesting take on Coltrane's "Love Supreme" and "Disco Inferno," which is about how American culture itself is weaponized in the War on Terror. This book has a lot of criticism on the NYPD's programs for spying on ordinary Muslims, the erosion of civil rights and ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Though this book was written before Trump was in the White House, much of it is even more relevant today. I learned a lot about the consequences of 9/11 and the "war on terror" for Arab Americans.

I read this book because I want to learn more about Islam, and I learned a little. I learned more about the racial injustices that happen to Arab Americans. Two-thirds of Americans have never met someone who is Muslim, and the images most Americans see of Muslims come from stereotypes in action movies.
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
A collection of essays and stories about living in America as a Muslim. I had a little trouble getting through some of the more academic essays but really appreciated his perspectives on how difficult it is to live as a Muslim in America right now, the appalling treatment of American citizens who happen to share a religion with some extremists in the world. We are seeing this play out all around the world, and we must speak up about it.
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. His humor in unexpected places helped alleviate the heaviness and seriousness of the topic. I realized somewhere in the back of my mind I still think American is a benevolent accepting country but realized that is propaganda. Really grieves me. And the way the media in all its forms has played on our worst fears, again is despicable.
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this book with its plain blue cover sitting on the new book shelf at the library. I had just picked up another book "The Terrorist's son" by Zak Ebrahim that I had on hold. I was very glad I decided to take it home. This book is such an informative read on what life is like is like as a Muslim in the U.S, and everything that has occurred since 9/11.
These are a series of essays which is why the book seems to repeat itself in some areas and is a little disconnected from chapter to chapte
Shannon Wyss
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
A very good book with a lot of great insight and information.

The first couple chapters are important but rough. Bayoumi makes a lot of references to Muslim thought and Arabic words without necessarily defining or explaining all of them. For someone with only a very basic (very, very basic) knowledge of Islam, this was very hard to follow; i definitely missed a lot.

However, after those first two sections, the rest of the book is much more digestible by a general audience.

Definitely worth the re
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: abandoned
This turned out to be reprints of a number of relatively recent articles by Bayoumi, some better than others.
Didn't finish it, though that's probably not Bayoumi's fault.
Gary Itano
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
15b09_### letters Muslim American Life from War on Terror, Moustafa Bayoumi .30 Witches- Salem, 1692, Stacy Schiff.MP3
Renee Ortenzio
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not the easiest book to read, but it does give insight into how we view Muslims in America
Ava Rezai
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the more raw and insightful discourses I've read regarding Muslim-American life post-9/11. ...more
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“What Sadiq found when he reached the welcoming shores of the United States was a history of institutional racism and Asian exclusion laws for which he was unprepared. White nationalism would already be working against the Mufti’s message. Later he would write that if Jesus Christ comes to America and applies for admission to the United States under the immigration laws, [he] would not be allowed to enter this country because: 1. He comes from a land which is out of the permitted zone. 2. He has no money with him. 3. He is not decently dressed. 4. His hands have holes in the palms. 5. He remains bare-footed, which is a disorderly act. 6. He is against fighting for the country. 7. He believes in making wine when he thinks necessary. 8. He has no credential to show that he is an authorized preacher. 9. He believes in practicing the Law of Moses [polygamy].7” 0 likes
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