By S. Salaita
Utilizing a mixture of literary and social research, this e-book examines a extensive diversity of contemporary Arab American literary fiction and illustrates how a number of socio-political phenomena have affected the advance of the Arab American novel. Salaita argues that during the U.S. various fictions approximately Arabs and Islam move usually in either well known and educational cultures. He endeavors in flip to focus on the differences inscribed within the Arab American group that render it extra complicated than normally is stated in public dialogue, an undertaking undertaken via critique of a cross-section of contemporary Arab American novelists, together with Etel Adnan, Rabih Alameddine, Joseph Geha, and Laila Halaby. Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics is the 1st unique publication of Arab American literary feedback and gives reflections at the viability of constructing an Arab American Studies.
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I would argue that to search out inclusions in this sort of taxonomy reinforces ambiguity because the taxonomy has largely been inhospitable and contrived ever since its origin in the juridical imagination of pre-Revolution settlers. The system by which human subjects are assigned placement in racialized hierarchies relies at least partly on the reduction of diverse communities to their imagined or invented essences. I would further point out that any argument about where Arab Americans best fit into extant racial paradigms is hopelessly ambivalent because Arabs comprise the entire range of human skin pigmentations and don’t necessarily form a race so much as a loose cultural grouping that is likewise impossibly abstract.
As a legal observation, it urges us to confront the discrimination inherent in the interpretation of existing laws and in the creation of new ones. Yet this position does not constitute a satisfactory representation of Arab America, or even of how anti-Arab racism functions legally and sociopolitically. S. majoritarian dogmas inadvertently reduces Arab Americans to an alternately rigorous and inadvertent dehumanization. For to be “America’s new niggers” is simultaneously to be trapped in a particular metanarrative in which settlers invented racism in the New World and then ensured that such racism would be inherited by future generations.
3 Stubbs argues that insofar as the word niggers symbolizes profiling and mistreatment based on (perceived or real) moral, physical, and psychological difference, and insofar as racial discrimination has traditionally pervaded domestic jurisprudence, then, yes, Muslims in the United States are—legally and proverbially speaking, at least—America’s new niggers. We have, as a result of this argument, much to contemplate. In this chapter, I will elaborate on Stubbs’s propositions and situate them in a framework in which some of the concerns of literary theory can be employed in the service of humanistic analysis.